Well, that didn't take long.
Less than 24 hours after one of the most thrilling finishes in Mexican futbol history showed its league in the best possible light, Liga MX officials reminded us that, yes, they are still very much in charge of Mexican futbol, whether it was re-branded or not. And all they have to do to remind us of that is open their mouths and inform us of their decisions.
Who is in charge of their PR?
The latest installment of this ongoing saga started a few weeks ago when second division La Piedad had the nerve to win promotion by beating Neza. The problem, though, was that neither club had a stadium that met the requirements to be in Liga MX.
The obvious question, of course, is if these teams had no chance of ever playing in the top flight, then why were these teams allowed to even play for promotion in the first place?
The answer, of course, rests in another tried and true tradition in Mexican soccer.
When the Apertura 13 season kicks off in a couple of months, no less than 3 franchises will have relocated. And that doesn't even include how many will have relocated in the 2nd division.
Nice way to generate fan loyalty.
Recently promoted La Piedad, the Michoacan town that is about an hour east of Guadalajara, will not get to see their "reboceros" play in the first division. The franchise, however, will be playing their games further east in Veracruz, a city that is no stranger to buying their way into the first division (only to be relegated again soon after).
Fans in Queretaro, who saw their Gallos Blancos descend despite finishing 8th in the C13 table, will have to get acquainted with a new team to be named later. Jaguares, who up until very recently played in the Chiapan jungle, have been purchased and re-located to the thriving city in central Mexico. Jaguares de Queretaro? I hope not, but please, pick something that is a little more intimidating than the white chickens.
Speaking of the white chickens, they will not be playing in the second division. They have been disbanded, dissolved, and never will be heard from again. Until the new Queretaro team drops, is re-located, and someone else buys a club and moves it to Queretaro.
What about the loyal Jaguares fans who have been cheering their club for the last decade? They have the honor of welcoming the exceedingly mediocre Real San Luis to the Chiapan jungle, leaving fans in San Luis in a lurch.
San Luis fans now have the luxury of rooting for the newly formed Atletico San Luis ( I would have preferred Atletico Potosino, but that shows how old I am), but they will be playing in the second division. Along with about half a dozen new teams that have been shuffled around the country. Some of the highlights:
Irapuato has become Zacatepec. Neza is now Delfines del Carmen. And they are looking for more.
And you thought the coaching carousel in Mexican soccer was crazy.
Last week, the FMF also announced that they were hoping to be done with multi-team owners within the next five years. So it was odd, then, that they announced yesterday that the Xolos group had bought a 60% stake in Dorados de Culiacan. A real shame, really, because it nullifies what would have been a natural regional rivalry for the Aztec Dogs.
The multi-club ownership issue has always been a point of contention for fans, but not so much for the owners. That was until the persistently strong rumors that Carlos Slim was in the market to buy Chivas started to surface. Slim has a stake in León, owns Estudiantes Tecos outright, and also is a direct competitor to Televisa in other industries, including television. Not to mention the fact that up until very recently, Televisa owned 3 teams in the first division while TV Azteca owned 2.
So now they have a problem with multi-team ownership?