Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Is he Jesús in disguise?

Is Daniel Levy the reincarnation of Jesús Gil? This Guardian article suggests he could be.

Gil was an egomaniac, a megalomaniac, a beacon of corruption in business, politics, sport and media - a sort of a poor man's Berlusconi. The Wikipedia entry puts it succinctly: "He was famous and controversial for his extreme right-wing political views, summed up in a unique brand of foulmouthed, low-brow populism punctuated by sexist, homophobic, racist and xenophobic remarks."

He was responsible for the manslaughter of 58 people on an illegal and unsafe construction site, for which he was imprisoned in 1967, eventually securing his release by bribing his friends in the Franco régime; in 2002 he was imprisoned for political corruption and banned from holding public office for 28 years.

No-one is accusing Daniel Levy of any of this.

But Gil was Presidente of Atlético Madrid for 16 years, and there are some intriguing parallels:
  • Levy: 5 managers in 7 years; Gil: 26 in 16 years (OK, Levy has some way to go - but it's not a bad start )
  • a never-ending succession of grossly overpriced, underperforming players
  • conversion of a club regularly finishing in the top 4 (only once below halfway in 26 years), to one flirting annually with relegation (including 2 years in Segunda Liga)
This chart, produced by Atlético fans, shows the effect he had on the club. Note the similarity with the Icelandic chart we showed you the other day.

A note below the chart lists Gil's achievements at Atlético:
  • more than 30 coaches employed
  • over 150 players signed
  • debt up from 6m€ to 300m€
  • relegation to 2nd Division
  • worst average league position in their history
  • out of Europe for 7 years
We hope 'Arry's got a Plan B for his career, for his own sake.

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