Yesterday morning, while I was meeting with the Spain rugby team coach I ran into the president of a Real Madrid supporters club who told me he had been given 25 free tickets for the Real Madrid-Valencia game tonight. I wonder how many other supporters clubs have been given tickets? Do the players know about this? Does the almighty José Mourinho know that the loyal fans who give their heart and soul every week to watch Madrid want to go no more? No, they don't know. And it would be nice if someone told them: tickets are being given away.
They are giving tickets away to conceal the truth. It's possible that many people will be at the Bernabéu tonight, but the club have had to call on the help of supporters clubs so they can fill the ground and present a positive image to the television cameras.
Madrid have given away a large number of tickets for the lower areas of the ground, the areas that will be seen on television. They are doing so to avoid showing the concerning image that poor ticket sales have produced, the image of a half empty Bernabéu, the awful suggestion that this stadium is going to offer up a boring match.
I'm pleased that Madrid have reduced the price of their tickets (15 euros for the cheapest ticket against Valencia seems fair to me), and I'm even more pleased that the club are giving away surplus tickets to supporters clubs, that they have rewarded the people that live and breathe Madrid.
But I would also like the coach, players, big wigs and uninterested directors to realise that we have reached a point in which the club has to give tickets away for the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey against Valencia. Like it or not, Madrid are where they are, and the fans need to be listened to.