Rayo Vallecano stadium fate remains unclear

Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano could find out on September 15th if their stadium, the Estadio de Vallecas, is fit to resume La Liga action.

The stadium was temporarily closed before their postponed game against Athletic Bilbao on September 1st, after safety fears following their season opener against Sevilla.

However there is growing concern that decision on the re-opening could be delayed by a further week, placing their game against Alaves on September 22nd in real doubt.

The decision was taken by the local authority in Madrid, who own the stadium, after reports of fan safety concerns and internal damage to the stadium.

However there has been major criticism from supporter groups, who are angry that the decision has been taken after the season began, with calls for club president Raul Martin Presa to resign.

Fan protests have taken place in the area, with Presa the focus, and the situation could get worse before it gets better.

If the safety review indicates work needs to be carried out that would go beyond the Alaves game deadline, the club is likely to be fined by La Liga.

Their options would before to apply to the league to have the fixture reversed and played at Alaves, or play the game behind closed doors in Vallecas – which would instantly incur a fine.

The other alternative is to play at another La Liga venue in the city, however that process takes time and logistical planning, and Presa and the club board have not put together any type of action plan.

The club has held training session at both the Real Madrid training complex in Valdebebas and Leganes’ Butarque Stadium, as well as their on training ground.

However no agreement is in place with Leganes, or any other Madrid-based side, to host home games for Rayo in the coming weeks.

The likelihood of the stadium meetings both the safety improvements and La Liga internal requirements in time to host Alaves is slim, and a fine would be another blow for the side currently bottom of the La Liga table.

Defeats in their opening two games, against Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, alongside the cancelled game against Athletic Bilbao, has compounded a poor start on their return to the top flight.

However those results did spark some late transfer activity at the club, with moves for Gael Kakuta, Gianelli Imbula, Raul de Tomas and Alvaro Garcia – but that is scant consolation for fans in the current situation.

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