FCBarcelona - Racing in the first half of the season / Photo: FCB

HISTORY

Racing Santander have spent 18 of the last 19 seasons in the top flight and as founder
members of the Spanish League in 1928, they have spent 44 seasons amongst the elite, though
in their most recent spell, they have usually finished in the bottom half of the table. Since the
1930s, their best position in the league was the sixth place they won in the 2007/08 season,
which also led to their only appearance in Europe. The Indian businessman Ali Syed bought the
club in 2011 and many fans hoped this might give their team a boost, but after finishing 12th
last year, they are currently sitting third from bottom after another disappointing campaign.

FORM GUIDE

Racing didn’t get a win until week 10 of this season, when they beat Betis 1-0, and since then
they have only managed 3 more – at home to Zaragoza and Villarreal and away to Osasuna in
January. That win in Pamplona marked the start of what had looked to be a decent run, with
draws against Valencia, Levante and Atletico Madrid coming soon after, but successive heavy
defeats away to Real Madrid and Rayo (4-0 and 4-2) as well as a disappointing 1-1 draw with
fellow strugglers Sporting proved too much for the owners who decided to change managers
this week.

THE BOSS

Recreativo de Huelva manager Alvaro Cervera took Friday morning’s training session with his
squad and at lunchtime he took the team bus with his players for Almeria where they were
due to play on Saturday. However, he got off the coach in Sevilla after receiving a phone call
and returned to Huelva where he finalised the end of his contract before being presented as
the new Racing manager in the evening. Cervera, who played for Racing in the 90s, comes in
for Juan Jose Gonzalez who was sacked earlier this week after himself taking over from Hector
Cuper who quit in November.

ONE TO WATCH

Veteran Pedro Munitis was born in Santander and came up through the Racing B team, making
his La Liga debut way back in the 1994-5 season and after two years at Real Madrid from
2000 to 2002 – where he won a Champions League and a Spanish League winners medal- he
re-joined his hometown club on loan in the 2002-03 season, but he only stayed for one year
before joining Deportivo. He began his final stint at Racing in 2006 and remains a competitive
forward, though perhaps with a little less pace than he once had, and is a firm favourite with
the Sardinero fans.