Things have gone seriously sideways for proud Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara, and in so many different ways.
On the one hand, a Dutchman griping and lobbing complaints is hardly newsworthy stuff. Ridiculously talented Dutch teams of past years came famously undone amid a bitter symphony of lowlands locker room rancor, and sometimes worse.
But to hear such a giant figure in the game, and one with knowledge of the club’s inner workings, taking shots at his former employer, well this one resonates for several reasons.
Johan Cruyff (pictured), architect of one of Barcelona’s past, fabled runs, cited upper management as the source of all that ills Chivas de Guadalajara, one of the enormously popular brands of Mexico and Liga MX. He is one of the figures who has the bona fides to say such a thing and be heard; he can certainly say out loud that the emperor has no clothes.
The “emperor” in this case is billionaire businessman and film producer Jorge Vergara, who owns Chivas de Guadalajara and Chivas USA – and man who once described Dutch soccer’s legendary figure as “the person who knows most about soccer in all the world.”
So it had to sting when, according to this piece at ESPN FC, Cruyff said, referring to Mexico’s split-season format:
In the last 22 seasons, which are 11 years, I believe they have won only once. You can only say that the people that direct the club aren’t directing it well.”
Vergara and Cruyff severed their relationship rather less than amicably last December. So, yes there is a “disgruntled employee” aspect at work. Then again, considering the lawsuits, dismissals of popular coaches, the losing at Chivas from points north and south, well, it’s hard to argue the point, eh?