By Chris Wright
It’s not a particularly good time to be a Racing Santander fan at the moment, with the Segunda B side struggling on all fronts after being relegated down from La Liga to the Spanish third tier in the space of the two seasons and the first-team squad having not received their wages since September.
In protest over their financial debacle, the Racing players decided to stage an on-field protest at the beginning of their Copa Del Rey tie against Almeria last night, with the home side merely refusing for play for 20 seconds after kicking-off while their top flight opponents idly passed the ball between themselves in a show of solidarity.
The tension escalated throughout the game, with the minuscule crowd (we’re talking 1,000 or so home fans) in attendance at El Sardinero creating an incredibly hostile atmosphere, culminating with several of the more aggrieved (and masked) supporters actually attempting to attack Racing president Angel Lavin in the stands during the match, pelting him with various projectiles, chucking drinks at him and attempting to clamber up into the directors’ box to give him a thorough talking to/pummeling.
The hostility didn’t settle until the club’s security intervened and forcibly separated the masked fans, with the two teams eventually playing out a fairly ordinary 1-1 draw.