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Open Thread: July 15, 2021

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Our Thursday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Soccer - Laurie Cunningham - Real Madrid - Bernabeu Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

Real Madrid announce 300 million euros of lost income.

Real Madrid have presented their accounts from the 2020/21 fiscal year, which was heavily influenced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Blancos have estimated their COVID-caused losses to be at 300 million euros since March 2020, when LaLiga Santander was forced to stop and the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu had its doors shut. The team haven’t played at their traditional home since.

Los Blancos have estimated their COVID-caused losses to be at 300 million euros since March 2020, when LaLiga Santander was forced to stop and the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu had its doors shut. The team haven’t played at their traditional home since.

The accounts don’t show the Bernabeu’s renovation project, which amounts to 279 million euros with a loan organized on June 30, 2021, for 375m euros.

As well as outlining the club’s money-saving tactics, such as cutting the salary costs, the report predicts that “the recovery from the situation brought by the pandemic will not be immediate. As a result, the club will continue in its efforts to limit spending as has been done until now.”

Real Madrid also showed post-tax profits, with a balance of 874,000 euros, having ended the 2019/20 year with a profit of 313,000 euros. Additionally net debt has decreased from €240m at the end of the 2019/2020 season to €46m at the end of the 2020/2021 season.

“The club are one of very few big European clubs to have not incurred losses over the last two years,” the club wrote. “According to a UEFA study, the operating losses accumulated by European clubs between 2019/20 and 2020/21 will be close to six billion euros.”

More Leaks!!!

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both. - Niccolò Machiavelli

Something malicious is afoot. FloGate seems intent on bringing down Thanos Flo and the timing is certainly interesting. At first it was Raul and Casillas, now Ronaldo, Mourinho, Del Bosque and even Fabio Coentrao have been dragged into this scandal.

It all seems a bit ridiculous. Maybe Flo really feels this way or maybe he had a bad day and was venting his frustration. Who knows. One thing is certain, this doesn’t appear to be going away. All Madridistas will be hoping that none of the affected parties retaliate.

Florentino Perez meanwhile is doing what he does best, preparing to file a lawsuit against the journalist Jose Antonio Abellan and the newspaper El Confidencial for releasing audio clips from private conversations.

32 years since Laurie Cunningham’s passing.

Nicknamed the Black Pearl, Cunningham’s stint with Los Blancos was brief but an important one. In the summer of 1979, he made a historic move as the first British player to transfer to Real Madrid, who paid West Bromwich Albion a fee of £950,000. He scored twice on his debut and helped Real win the league and cup double.

The Englishman’s impact at the Bernabéu was immediate. Supported by Vicente Del Bosque’s quality and Stielke’s heavy lifting in the midfield, he formed an excellent attack with Juanito and Santillana, which gave Real Madrid the league title. He played in 29 of 34 league matches, and if on the third matchday he scored one of the goals that gave the merengues a Clásico victory at the Bernabéu (3-2), on matchday 20, Feb. 10, 1980, he turned into Barcelona’s worst nightmare.

“He drove us crazy with his dribbling, his bursts, his speed. He was electric, impressive,” recalled Migueli, the historic blaugrana centre-back who suffered first-hand that ill-fated afternoon on the Catalan team. Placed on the wing, Cunningham was even too much for Zuviría, who only three months earlier had tamed Diego Maradona in his first visit to the stadium wearing an Argentinos Juniors uniform. Nobody could stop him.

Cunningham, the “Black Pearl,” lives on for one particular fact: he is the last Real Madrid player to walk off the Nou Camp pitch to the applause of Barcelona fans, who on Feb. 10, 1980, rewarded the awesome display that led to a 2-0 Real victory. “Ovation for Magnificent Cunningham,” read the headline in newspaper El Mundo Deportivo the following day.

Cunningham made 66 official appearances for Real Madrid, netting 20 times. After an injury hampered spell he left Madrid after the 1982–83 season, joining Sporting Gijón and subsequently Marseille. On 15 July 1989 Laurie Cunningham died in a road accident on the outskirts of Madrid while playing for Rayo Vallecano, . He was survived by his Spanish wife and their son.