When Sevilla FC came to a Small Island

Pic by Ando

It wasn’t meant to be and SD Formentera can hold their heads high this morning but if you are to achieve a cup giant killing then conceding a penalty after only 12 seconds isn’t the best way to go about it.

As you would expect from a top class team Sevilla, playing in white, came out with a steely professional commitment wanting to avoid any potential banana skin.

Formentera on the other hand looked edgy in front of a large local support packing out the impressive temporary stands that stood all the way round this tiny ground. Several home players couldn’t get going, overwhelmed by the occasion, the biggest game of their lives in front of the national TV cameras.

There was an audible groan when the early penalty was converted by Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder and when Joaquin Correa doubled the lead in the 15th minute you feared for the red and blacks of Formentera. After a big build up nobody wanted to see a bloodbath, well apart from the 200 noisy Sevilla fans behind the far goal.

Then in the 25th minute came a minor miracle. A smart passing move involving no less than 6 Formentera players resulted in Gomez’s right foot shot getting a slight deflection and ending up in the corner of Sevilla’s net. The home fans celebrated like it was a last minute winner, nobody really expected that to be honest. The magic of the cup encapsulated in that one moment.

But football can be a cruel game and 3 minutes later, as the home fans were still dreaming of an upset, Sevilla put together a clinical training ground move that saw Correa notching his 2nd and dampening the euphoria.

Formentera carried on chipping away but the deflation was complete when Correa completed his hat trick just before half time with a sharp shot from outside the area making it 4-1.

As Formentera trudged off at the break the crowd descended on the several pop-up bars for refreshments which in time honoured fashion ran out of food almost immediately. The 4 portaloos in our section also had a long waiting time. “Be prepared” obviously not the grounds motto for the evening but hey who was worried (apart from my 2 kids). This was an ‘I was there’ night, not a culinary experience.

As the second half started you couldn’t help but think that Sevilla had taken their collective feet off the gas as they dropped deep and invited Formentera to come at them. The home team enjoyed plenty of possession but not much penetration up top.

All thoughts of it being a game of 2 halves was put to bed on 74 mins as Formentera conceded another needless penalty for Ben Yedder to bag his brace with a low drive into the left hand side of the onion bag. The racehorses of Sevilla were too quick and too clever for the workhorses of SDF. 

The final whistle came and the crowd applauded both teams who stayed on the pitch taking in this once in a lifetime experience. Sevilla’s goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu threw his shirt to the away fans which was a nice touch and star striker Luciano Vietto signed a couple of autographs and posed with fans for photos. 

At the port we waited for the last ferry back to Ibiza and mulled over our evening. Was it worth the 40 minute boat journey, the 10 minute bus ride and the 15 minute walk to the ground?

The answer was a resounding YES because we can say that we were there when a quality Champions League side came to town to do some business and the little club that is SD Formentera: players, management, ground staff and organisers put on a great show and can be very proud of their performance and achievements. 

¡Amunt Formentera! 

Jolly Boys to Formentera, pics by Stew/Ando

San Antonio Town Hall Announces its 2017 Budget

San Antonio (Ibiza) Town Hall has presented its 2017 budget which will amount to 25.97M euros, 0.7% more than 2016 however it will not start to implement any of the recommendations of the ‘strategic plan’ that was undertaken by the ex-Mayor of Barcelona Jordi Hereu at a cost of 60,000 euros. 

Mayor Jose Tur said that they will devote about 400,000 euros to the drafting of projects and studies to see how plan can come to fruition.  He also said that another 400,000 euros has been set aside to carry out the day to day works of the plan but admitted that these are “things that have to be done anyway but will now be done with a script “.

The first projects of the Strategic Plan include an ‘Urban Mobility Plan’, an ‘Urban Landscape Plan’ , an ‘Incentive Program for the Improvement of the Level of Tourist Accommodation’ and ‘Plan for Improvement of the Bay’. None of these will be executed in 2017 but a draft plan will be put together to confirm how best to implement the recommendations.  The plan about the plan if you will…..

The major spend for 2017 will be the implementation of the new refuse collection service for the amount of 4.72M euros. The town hall will also make an important effort to improve their first aid service and adapt it to new regulations so will dedicate 390,000 euros to this issue, twice as much as the previous year.  The execution of the first phase of the project to open Calle Ametller in Ses Païsses will cost 800,000 euros and will serve to “greatly improve the mobility of this area”.

It is also planned to relocate the Local Police station bringing it closer to the town centre for which 400,000 euros will be invested.  The elimination of architectural barriers (street accessibility), one of the traditional subjects for San Antonio, still has no proper place in the budget and appears only in a general plan of “various actions” in urban improvements.

Mayor Tur and Councillor Fran Tienda devoted much of their presentation on the economic situation of San Antonio to deplore “the poor management developed by the previous government team” which they said plunged the municipal coffers into such a level of debt that the investment capacity of the council will be limited for several years to come.

Mayor Tur said that in 2015 “the total sum where payment is obligatory and unavoidable amounts to 18.7M euros, of which 705,500 euros is interest” but in addition Tur added that other disputed concepts where there isn’t a being “a firm obligation to pay” amount to 30.3M euros but these also include the hypothetical payment of compensation claimed by music mogul Michael Cretu for the demolition of his house in Santa Agnès.

The Mayor fears that because of the “lack of diligence produced in the defence of municipal interests since 2013 something may have to be paid to Mr Cretu”.

Source: Diario de Ibiza 

SD Formentera v Sevilla FC: David v Goliath

When it comes to true underdog stories it doesn’t get much better than this Wednesdays football match where SD Formentera play Sevilla FC in the 4th round of the Copa del Rey, Spain’s version of the FA Cup.

Similar to the FA Cup the Copa del Rey’s format allows the possibility of a minnow facing a giant and that’s exactly what has happened with this fixture courtesy of Formentera’s penalty shootout victory over CD Tudelano leaving them as the only 3rd division team left in the Cup. 

Here are few facts about the 2 teams to put the tie into more perspective. 

Formentera play in the Spanish 3rd division (Group 11), the 4th tier of Spanish football which features 360 teams divided into 18 regional groups.

Sevilla play in La Liga with Real Madrid and Barcelona, the 2 biggest clubs in the world. La Liga is the 4th richest league in world football. 

SD Formentera was formed in 1969. Sevilla is Spain’s oldest team and were founded in 1890

The Balearic island of Formentera has 12000 inhabitants. The Andalusian city of Seville has 700,000.  

Formentera’s stadium holds 1000 spectators although numbers will ‘swell’ to 3000 for this special occasion with the erection of temporary stands. Sevilla’s Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium holds 45,500.

Sevilla are the current UEFA Europa League champions having won it for the last 3 years beating Liverpool in last years Final. They finished 7th in La Liga last season. Formentera finished 2nd in their league. 

Sevilla played Juventus last week in the Champions League and Valencia at home on Saturday.  Formentera played Felanitx in Mallorca on Saturday. 

Sevilla lie 3rd in La Liga as do Formentera in the 3rd division (group 11). 

Sevilla’s current squad is worth an estimated 200,000,000 euros whilst Formentera’s is worth 25,000 euros. 

So as you can see it will be a mammoth task for Formentera to get anything out of the first leg although there will be a passionate home crowd (including me) cheering on the underdogs. The return leg in Sevilla is on 21 December and no matter what the results it will be a memorable couple of nights for the Balearic islanders. 

Taking all the facts into consideration there’s absolutely no way that Formentera can beat Sevilla, can they?

Oooo the magic of the Cup! 

SD Formentera celebrate their 3rd round victory

For tickets to the match go to http://www.trasmapi.com website and put in the dates plus “PACKENTRADA” in the promotion code box. Price is approx 75 euros per person that includes the boat, bus to the ground and match ticket. See you there. 

Palma Goat Mafia turn Attention to Ibiza Bike Race

The same Balearic government department that decided to cull the Es Vedra goats has now turned its attention to the ‘Vuelta Ibiza’ cycle race due to take place on the island on 14-16 April 2017.

2016’s race saw 1200 cyclists tackle a course that was made up of 60% nature trails and now the government environmentalists have said that this is unacceptable as it has too much effect on the island’s flora and fauna.

The race organisers reduced the nature trails to 25% but the government then came back with a maximum of 350 participants which wouldn’t even cover those from the island wishing to take part.

After a stand off between Palma and the race organisers a new line of positive dialogue has now opened with the organisers hoping for a compromise capping the participants at around 1000.

The organisers argue that you can’t apply the same rules to Ibiza as to Mallorca as most of Ibiza’s nature trails are open to the public whereas in Mallorca many are inaccessible.

The Palma politicians have now asked for an environmental impact review and will announce their decision over the coming weeks with the race organisers hoping for a positive outcome and also enough time to market their incredibly popular event. 

Publish and be Damned

Once again San Antonio (Ibiza) is hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. This time our politicians are making ‘jokes’ on social media using phrases such as ‘nude’, ‘little dicks’ and ‘gays’ whilst responding to news about the late arrival of winter uniforms for the local police.

Understandably this caused an outcry from the opposing parties and ended up with one of the culpable politicians promising to withdraw from social media for good (or so he says). 

What an avoidable mess. Not a day goes by in the world when a paid politician is not caught out by social media making an off the cuff remark or tweeting something in the early hours and then instantly regretting it when it’s taken out of context. When will they learn?

Social Media is ruthless. If you say it in public then it becomes public property whether you meant it in jest or not and you will be judged on it. Why give your adversaries the chance to mock?

Focus on the job in hand and inform the people of what you are doing to make our town better and if you want to make a joke to lighten the mood after a tough day in the office then say it amongst close confidants not on a platform that can be accessed by over a billion people.

The irony is that the politician in question built his whole election manifesto and garnered support via social media and interaction with his supporters. He is now finding out that social media can make you but it can also break you.

Publish and be damned….but don’t start crying about it later. 

Es Vedra Goats STILL ALIVE 

Nearly 9 months after the Balearic Government sent ‘technicians’ to shoot dead the herd of 50 goats that lived on the islet of Es Vedra there has been sightings of up to 4 goats that are still alive.

“There are 4 or 5 goats and at least 1 male that managed to avoid the slaughter,” said Bartomeu Marí Rota, one of the owners of the islet of Es Vedra, known as the ‘Vedraners’. Marí also said that since the Government ordered the slaughter they have not taken any more goats to the island. “We will go and see them and make sure they have water. This year it has rained a lot and they have enough food” says the veteran vedraner who hopes the government sponsored ‘gunmen’ don’t reappear.

Marí said he had seen “up to 7 or 8 goats including 2 males fighting, but now maybe some have died because the last time we only saw 4”.

On 4 February 2016 two government technicians were sent to shoot the 50 goats inhabiting Es Vedra on the direct orders of the Ministry of the Environment to safeguard the endemic flora of the island, threatened by the presence of mammals. They also decided to leave the carcasses where they fell as this was the ‘safest option’.

The decision to cull the goats was greeted with much anger from island residents and animal lovers the world over resulting in 400 people marching through the streets of Ibiza town calling for the resignation of Mallorca based Caterina Amengual the director general of natural spaces and biodiversity and also the Balearic Minister of the Environment Miquel Vericad.

Coincidentally Sra Amengual was sacked from her position at the end of September blaming political infighting.

Goats 1 – 0 Armengual

Source: Periodico de Ibiza 

Winter Flights: Open Letter to Ryanair 

Dear Ryanair

This coming Tuesday (1 Nov) is the end of your summer flight programme to Ibiza. Many thanks for once again serving the island so well over the last 7 months and judging by your prices it looks like you had a good summer especially as you appear to charge more for Ibiza flights than other destinations but that’s your business and if people are happy to pay then good luck and well done to you.

I know that Ryanair isn’t everyone’s cup of overpriced inflight lukewarm tea but I’m a massive fan especially since you seem to actually like your customers nowadays rather than treat them like cattle. You give them assigned seats so there’s not a massive scrum at the airport and you even dropped that silly idea of charging customers to use the aeroplane toilets. That was always a strange  plan especially as you relentlessly flog booze throughout all your flights (but business is business).

So as we approach your winter flying schedule may I ask a small favour which may sound a big ask but I assure you makes perfect sense.  We all know that as of Tuesday you will have hundreds of nearly new aeroplanes stored in hangars all over Europe for the winter months so could you please put one of those lovely jets to good use and schedule direct winter flights from the north of England to the beautiful island of Ibiza. Ibiza has a burgeoning population of over 200,000 and is open for 12 months a year these days, it is 2016 after all and the whole world seems connected except for Ibiza in the winter (and Menorca but lets not even go there!)

At the risk of upsetting other areas may I suggest that Manchester would be an ideal winter hub as it serves most of the north and also the midlands. I’m sure you will agree that this is a massive catchment area especially if you are the only ones offering this service.

Ryanair already operates an extensive winter flying program in and out of Ibiza to Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Malaga so slipping in an extra plane to Manchester 4 or 5 times a week shouldn’t cause you too many operational problems.

You have the planes, you have the staff, you have the infrastructure and you have an island that’s just begging for more winter connections. You may say that there isn’t enough demand but I can assure you that there is. You might have to lower the prices during quiet weeks but you would clean up over Christmas and New Year (and Ibiza is AMAZING over the extended holiday season).

We have a precedent you see, British Airways (apologies for swearing in your language) started a few years ago offering a couple of direct flights a week between London City and Ibiza and they have smashed it charging decent money. They now operate almost daily and they don’t give it away for free either.

The BA direct flights are great but the problem with London City airport is that it’s in the arse end of nowhere (pardon the phrase) for anyone who lives north of Watford (and that’s quite a few people by the way).

So thats the small favour I’m asking. A direct flight between Manchester and Ibiza 4 or 5 times a week from November until the end of March. It would help the island enormously plus it would open up Ibiza to whole new demographic of weekend travellers and that’s a win/win right?

Have a serious think about it because it would be great for you to offer your loyal customers something in the winter rather than just milking the summer for all it’s worth. 

You can thank me later, profit share not required

Yours sincerely
Martin Makepeace
A happy Ryanair customer
Usually found in seat 17F

P.S. As a great man once said “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”.