Las Palmas relegation must spark total clearout

Paco Jemez

Las Palmas have been relegated from La Liga following a disastrous season and the worry for the club now is how they will bounce back. Alongside Malaga, Los Amarillos have comfortably been the worst side in Spain’s top flight this season with boss Paco Jemez unable to steer them to safety, with just two wins in 20 attempts since his December appointment.

The worry for the Gran Canarian club is that they will need to rebuild their entire squad with a host of summer departures expected, including their eight current loanees of which star striker Jonathan Calleri is one.

It is not only on the field where the club are immersed in difficulties but off it too – chairman Miguel Angel Ramirez was last week arrested on charges of financial fraud. Jemez himself has constantly spoken of his discontent at the situation and frequently tried to clear himself of any blame.

“That was the moment (when Jonathan Viera was sold) that I should also have left,” Jemez told Marca upon the confirmation of his side’s relegation.

“However I decided to stay because of my players, I could not have left them in that situation but it is something that I have spoken about.

“Now we are in a situation whereby we cannot expect to maintain our status in the top flight, we have gone weeks without winning and it is not good.”

In Jemez’s 20 matches in charge, his side have managed just two wins and scored 11 goals as their slide towards the inevitability of relegation continued apace. Deportivo and Malaga have been relegated too but both have at least shown some degree of fight lately – Depor securing eight points in their last four matches while Malaga last week defeated Real Sociedad.

Los Amarillos are not yet bottom of the table – they sit two points above Malaga, but six from Depor – although their final league finish is now academic. The side are going through the motions and whilst the 1-1 draw at Espanyol on Saturday stopped a run of five straight defeats, it extended their run of games without a win to 14.

The club issued a statement on their website last week apologising for their ‘hugely disappointing’ campaign, while they have since informed season ticket members that their passes would be renewed, free of charge, for next season.

This is a club who face a huge summer but, having spent 13 years outside the top flight between 2002 and 2015, will be wary that ascension back to La Liga is far from a given.

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