The First RFEF team, which reached an agreement with the eSports club owned by Courtois and Borja Iglesias, has been ‘unregistered’ from the competition as it cannot face the new conditions of the category. “The club is healthy. There are others with debts who are going to go out and compete,” defends their coach Alfredo Santaelena.
- The intrahistory of DUX The eSports club that has bought a Second B team: youtubers, First Division footballers and 15 million followers
In july 2020the electronic sports team Dux Gaming and the football club Madrid Internationalfrom Second Division B, announced a historic agreement by which they became “the infinite club”. That’s how they describe it. A move made by Dux Gaming, where they are co-owners Thibaut Courtois, Borja Iglesias and youtuber DJMariiothe first organization of eSports that was part of the shareholding of a soccer directive.
From the despus, the dream of the infinity club is dead. The International Dux of Madrid, which was promoted to the First RFEF in the 2020-2021 season and remained in it during 21-22, has been “unregistered“by the sole judge of the Real Spanish Football Federation unable to cope with budget and conditions required by the RFEF for the new season. These are: the presentation of 18 cards that comply with the general regulations of the new First RFEF or, if they do not have them, a guarantee of 493,317 euros to compensate the other teams.
In that “general regulation” of the new First RFEF is the problem for the Dux, a healthy club and in which its players were paid daily and without problem until the end of last year. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the RFEF requires the Dux and the rest of the teams to have 18 professional cards with a minimum salary of 20,000 euros gross per year, a capital increase that the board has not been able to assume. The Dux had one of the lowest budgets in the category, with salaries of 2,500 euros gross to the best paid and 600-800 to the least, a scale that is far from what the RFEF is now asking for.
“Es a bitchbecause we are a humble club and sportingly we had done well, “he explains to EL MUNDO Alfredo Santaelena, team coach. “They have always paid us daily, that we must give importance to that because in amateur football, which is in the end what this category still is, it does not happen everywhere. The club is healthy, it owes nothing to anyone… It makes me angry for the kids who are now left lying around”. Santaelena focuses on the “exaggerated ceiling for such humble teams” that the Federation sets. “There are teams with debts that are going to go out and compete. These are things that upset me. The conditions set by the Federation are very high for the club in a non-professional league. The referees are not professionals either. Last year this happened to Extremadura and now to us. You can’t put that salary cap on this category. I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
The role of Courtois and Borja Iglesias
But, “can’t professional soccer players with millionaire salaries like Courtois or Iglesias do something?”, the reader will ask. And the reality is that not too much. The Real Madrid goalkeeper and the Betis striker are co-owners of the electronic sports team, where they support the club with their image and opinion in decision-making, but on the football team they have no power or influencesince the shareholding that Dux Gaming owns is minimal.
When Dux Gaming and Internacional de Madrid announced their collaboration, it was defined in the name, shield and colors of Dux, but the football club address they kept having it Stephen Newman (current president), David Barragn (vice president) and Francis Pons, who have the majority shareholding. The three, with the British Newman, real estate entrepreneur based in Spainas president, created the team in 2002.
The Newman–Rubiales War
As this newspaper has been able to learn, from the footballers’ environment they have tried to mediate to find new investors who would deal with the season’s budgets, but they encountered various problems. One of them is the bad relationship between Newman and Luis Rubiales, president of the RFEF. “They are at war,” say various sources.
The president of the International Doge has been one of those who has been most against that minimum salary of 20,000 euros for footballers. “We are not going to pay a salary almost 100% above the minimum interprofessional. It is not legal. The League imposes a minimum salary on you for Second, but it deposits between five and seven million in your account. They give us about 200,000 euros a year,” he assured The voice of Galicia a few days ago
Added to these criticisms is the fact that Newman is the spokesman for the newly created Association of Clubs of the Third Categorycurrently composed of Linares, Rayo Majadahonda, UD Sanse, DUX International of Madrid, Balompdica Linense and Real Unin. An invention that is not to the liking of the RFEF, although all have registered without problems except the Dux. As if that were not enough, Newman put his signature in one of the complaints filed at the CSD against Rubiales, in his case for the rental of a luxury home in Madrid’s Plaza de España. In addition, he also denounced the president of the Federation for an alleged administrative prevaricacin offense by “imposing requirements to participate in the First RFEF while these are pending approval by the CSD”.
A situation that leaves the International Doge of Madrid to the deriveswith big doubts about your future. It could administratively descend to the Second RFEF, to the Preferential or disappear, depending on the next events and the lawsuits against the RFEF. Also, he doesn’t have the institutional support and social that a club of this category should have. And that is where another of his problems lies. It is a nomadic organization, with no stability or base in one area of the Community. started playing in Orcasitas in the early 2000s, then went to Meadow of the Villaafter to Moral of the Middle and later on Boadilla del Montelast headquarters before moving to Villaviciosa de Odin in 2020. There he has not found the necessary financial support either and has even received a small rejection from the town. An unexpected ending for “the infinite club”.
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