Omar Bravo’s reunion with Chivas was only overshadowed by…
Atlas and Chivas share a city and a penchant for peculiar behaviors. The bitter rivals solicit controversy at every turn. Nothing comes easily on or off the field. Their actions consistently reinforce their inconsistent approach to standard operating principles.
The events on Monday underscored the unique operating fabric within the city’s footballing landscape at the moment. It is quite the day indeed when Omar Bravo’s return to Chivas from Atlas somehow ranks third in the pecking order.
Bravo’s rather reluctant reunion with his former side after a successful spell across town even drew second billing at Estadio Omnilife. Jose Luis Real claimed top spot when he emerged as the new Chivas coach for the Clausura. It is a typical inside job of an appointment for a club that places real value on turning to people familiar with its unorthodox ways. Real spent the past six months or so tending to the oft-ignored sister club in Los Angeles, but Chivas owner Jorge Vergara concluded his poor spell in MLS to steer the Red-and-White away from relegation.
…the club’s other comeback signing: manager Jose Luis Real (Images: Mexsport)
The move carries the usual air of desperation, though it also include more pragmatism than usual. Real guided Chivas to the Copa Libertadores during his first spell between 2009 and 2011 and oversaw a diligent, if somewhat lackluster, side capable of churning out results. His efficiency appeals after a poor Apertura campaign. The prospect of installing the unsuccessful Chivas USA technical team – both Real and new sporting director Francisco Palencia return to the parent club a dismal sojourn north of the border – to fix matters at home somehow fits right into the peculiar working order of a club lurching from identity to identity.
Atlas addressed its more pressing financial concerns when its vast ownership group reached an agreement to sell the debt-laden club to TV Azteca on Monday night. The decision essentially wipes away any long-term questions about financial viability. The club will survive, but it may just do so at the expense of coherence and working order in Liga MX.
TV Azteca’s acquisition once again raises concerns about investors owning multiple Liga MX teams. Liga MX adopted a one-owner, one-team policy back in May with an eye toward fully implementing the policy by 2018. As part of that agreement, the owners agreed to maintain or subtract from their current holdings before that juncture. TV Azteca sidestepped that rule to add Atlas to a portfolio that already includes Liguilla entrants Morelia.
If the past few months (years?) in Mexico prove anything, it is the pliability of the rules and regulations to suit the needs of Liga MX and its owners. Atlas’ sale reinforces those notions and supplies a salient reminder that those structures are always subject to revision. And at this stage in a tumultuous year for both Guadalajara-based sides, it should come as no surprise that the maxim especially holds true in Mexico’s second city.
Club Atlas’ financial woes are over, but is their deal with Azteca TV good for Liga MX?