In what appeared to be a surprise move by experienced head coach Victor Manuel Vucetich stepping down from his job in Queretaro this past Tuesday, it has only gone on to prove more logical by the hour. Having signed a one-year contract with the club this past January, many found the decision difficult to process, but now the skeletons begin to exit the closet. Of course, “Rey Midas” didn’t just wake up one day and decide to leave. He was no doubt informed or in the very least caught eye of the avalanche to come for Gallos Blancos, which he clearly and justifiably wanted no part of.
One could debatably argue that the beginning of the snowball effect began in December, when Grupo Imagen sold Queretaro to Grupo Caliente, who are also owners of Xolos de Tijuana. Gallos immediately lost key players prior to the start of the Clausura 2020, such as Aké Loba to Rayados and Alonso Escoboza to America, to only name two. The dismantling of the team had begun right there. Vucetich managed to patch up a flurry of holes caused by this change in ownership and was putting together a very respectable season, considering the circumstances. The thing to keep in mind here is that Vucetich’s main condition to remain with the team back in January was that fron office continued to help him build a championship contending squad. Gallos were headed in the complete opposite direction.
Over the past couple of weeks, rumors began to swirl saying that Queretaro were to lose another bunch of key players during this offseason; Jair Pereira’s one-year deal is up and he won’t be extended; two of Queretaro’s main youth academy stars, Marcel Ruiz and “Jimmy” Gomez, are to be sold; Jeison Lucumi’s loan is up. This is only four of their starters. Who knows what other changes that haven’t been leaked could and probably will be made, considering these difficult economic times the world is dealing with.
This brings us to the elephant in the room. A few hours following Vucetich’s resignation, a new rumor began to circle, saying Atlante owners, RAG Capital Partners which belongs to Manuel Velarde and Greg Taylor, are already in conversations with Grupo Caliente related to acquiring Gallos. Velarde and Taylor are important names because they own one of the largest player agencies in Mexican Football, and there have been many rumors indicating they have been behind shady transactions, inflating players’ prices and profiting in a non-ethical, and possibly illegal manner. That’s the company interested in acquiring the Queretaro franchise, and I don’t believe the league would have a problem approving this, based on empirical evidence.
Many people questioned if Gallos were to become the second team in less than a month to relocate for the upcoming Apertura, as Atlante was known to be interested in a return to First Division and relocation back to Mexico City, playing in Estadio Azteca as they did over a decade ago. But recently, the rumors appear to have changed a bit. While the negotiations are real and are happening as we speak, Atlante would not return to Liga MX. Rather, RAG Capital Partners would acquire the franchise and keep it in Queretaro, as there appears to be a clause conditioning the team to remain in Queretaro through 2021. We all know those clauses don’t have much weight in the end, but it’s something to keep in mind, as many sources now confirm Gallos will remain as we know them, with the only change coming in ownership.
“Rey Midas” must’ve been in no desire to go through a second ownership change in a six-month period and saw what was ahead for the team (a complete dismantling and dismembering), added to the main fact of his contract conditions not being respected. And so, Gallos Blancos continue a downward path. After many years of struggling and straight up bad quality teams, they had finally found the answer to bring them back to relevance, and it wasn’t a player, but rather a head coach who found answers in washed up and unwanted players, and led them to a 4th place in the Apertura 2019 league table, and were right there in the playoff fight during the Clausura 2020.
We all know that under new ownership groups, many plans and interests change from the previous one, and “Vuce” was not willing to go through that again, understandably so. Many more bad decisions are on the way for Gallos Blancos, as they continue on their path to destroy every accomplishment in the past year and on their way back to irrelevance. And this theme will continue for Gallos Blancos as long as unserious groups and owners keep grabbing and handling the franchise at will.
This still doesn’t take the relocation option for Gallos to become Atlante off the table. We know how quickly these situations work, how easy a project can turn and go in a totally different direction and that neither FMF or Liga MX will stand in the way of any clause or rule infringement, as long as it fattens their wallet, of course. Be prepared for anything in the coming days, as the Liga MX circus continues.