January in the Northern Hemisphere is grim but the Prophets of Doom are piling on the agony by predicting further economic woes and global meltdown. For fans of Racing Club - one of Argentina's famed 'Big Five' the black clouds have been hanging around for many years now. From being Champions of the World in 1967 after the infamous battles against Celtic to scrapping for their lives to remain in the top flight the decline has been long and steady (except for one Apertura in 2001 and a second rate Supercopa in 1988). I have been trying to think of English clubs whose demise and turmoil compares to La Academia; a combination of Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United is the best I could come up with. This triangle of misery covers all things suffered by Racing in recent years: bankruptcy, fan protests, humiliation, boardroom bust-ups, a revolving managerial door and the sale of their brightest talents. Just before Christmas two significant events in Racing's recent history took place the club held it's first elections for President in 11 years and also the authorities finally ruled that the bankruptcy order could be lifted. The new President - Rodolfo Molina trotted out the usual platitudes about 'sleeping giants' and 'returning to greatness' on accepting his new post.
One of Molina's first major obstacles will be to try and extend star player Maxi Moralez's loan spell at Racing from FC Moscow for the forthcoming Clasura campaign. Negotiations will be complex with the small matter of outstanding debts to settle owed by Blanquiceleste - the private company brought in to run and administer the club. If Molina is successful in this the fans may start to believe he is the one to rescue the club; however it's an indication of how low La Academia has sunk when securing the services of a homegrown star for 6 months is perceived as progress. One step at a time.
One of the many reasons they want to keep Maxi in Avellaneda: