Malaga-Tenerife-Real Sociedad Bribe Allegations Hit Fever Pitch

Whether it's Real Sociedad branding Malaga's owners as crooks, hidden recordings showing a Tenerife player apparently admitting to taking a 'premium' to lose a match, or Tenerife's captains denying everything, there's never a dull moment in the Segunda.
El Mundo this morning released a text transcript of a discussion between Real Sociedad president Iñaki Badiola and ex-Tenerife winger Jesuli discussing a match-fixing incident.

It is alleged that Tenerife were paid a 'premium' in order to lose to Malaga in the final day of last season's Segunda campaign, with Malaga thus going up at the expense of a Real Sociedad side for whom results did not go their way.

This allegation was later backed up with an audio recording released onto the internet, in which Jesuli can plainly be heard in the following exchange:

Badiola: "How much would it cost? I mean, in your case you were paid to lose this match? It's just to know, I don't have any experience on this, how much did it cost for us not to get promoted?"
Jesuli: "I tell you, honestly ... that I don't remember. But ... it really annoyed me to take that money."
Badiola: "€5,000, €7,000?"
Jesuli: "Yes, around that. If it wasn't €7,000 it was €6,000."

Badiola Speaks

After letting the sparks fly in the press, Badiola appeared in front of Radio Marca microphones this afternoon to further clarify his take on the event.

Badiola is in no doubt that the premium payment was arranged by the Malaga club hierarchy, comprising the Sanz family who once had control over Real Madrid.

"We have nothing against the Malaga club, nor the city," he said.

"But we believe that the Sanz family, especially Fernando and Lorenzo Sanz, are habitual crooks and cheats, and they're not fit to lead the club in this way.

"We hope that justice will be served and this is what we call for."

Just as seriously, he alleged that the premium payment took place with the "knowledge" of the players involved and that "all Tenerife players" received it.

He further disclosed that he told Tenerife president Miguel Concepcion of this issue before speaking to the press.

Fernando Sanz Denies It

After being effectively branded as a criminal, Malaga president Fernando Sanz was forthright in his denial of the whole situation.

"If in twenty-four hours Jesuli does not retract what he said then Malaga will submit a complaint," he roared.

"Malaga have nothing to do with this and we will not allow anyone to place our club and squad in doubt."

For Sanz, Badiola's behaviour was another sticking point.

"Their president is going above and beyond what should be doing," he said.

"He created false expectations there, and the bankruptcy administrators recommended that he not lead the club because it's heading towards disappearance.

"This is just a smokescreen," he added, confirming that he is speaking to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to express his "deepest concern about this gentleman's behaviour."

Jesuli's Anger

Meanwhile, another man at the centre of it all did his talking. Jesuli signed a statement prepared by his lawyer in which they attempted to clear up his part in the issue.

Key to his argument was that, due to a broken nose, he didn't even take part in the match in question. Jesuli said that it was "absurd to suggest that a player who could not even participate in such a match is going to receive any funds for this."

While not disputing the authenticity of the recording itself, he added that it was "uncertain as evidence, as it had been stolen from a private conversation between (Jesuli) and Inaki Badiola without the consent for recording or playback."

In stating that he would not countenance such an offer, he concluded that it was "reprehensible" to "disrupt the result of competitions to gain bonuses for either winning or losing."

Tenerife Fight Back

Meanwhile the Tenerife club hierarchy have also reacted angrily to the incident.

They stated their "absolute shock" at allegations that they "neither admit to nor tolerate."

Club president Miguel Concepcion further added that if Real Sociedad had any concerns then a courtroom is the correct place to raise them.

"The confidence of our board in the squad is total," he went on.

He also spoke out on Badiola's accusation against Tenerife captain Juanma Delgado, who was fingered as the alleged ringleader on the Tenerife end.

"I hope he has evidence for that, because if he doesn't then this will be taken very badly."

The Captains' Table

Meanwhile Tenerife's team captains, Juanma and Manolo Martinez, have categorically denied the accuracy of Jesuli's statements.

Juanma, for his part, told Marca that he was unsure of the context in which the remarks were made.

"He might have been planning on messing around if it was in a relaxed atmosphere, or perhaps he was forced," mused the skipper.

"But we did not sell anything. Nobody has received anything."

Manolo added, "The name of our club can be tarnished by this.

"Now until the end the season all our matches will be under suspicion.

"This banter has put us in doubt without providing evidence. We're accused and now it's up to us to prove our innocence!"

Ewan Macdonald,