People’s Republic of Vallecas

Let me tell you a story good people.

A story in a land far far away.

In that land, there were two mighty kingdoms – The Blancos and the Colchoneros.

The Blancos were richer and more powerful and their people were arrogant sods with a sense of entitlement.

The Colchoneros were fiery fighters who would fight with everybody, but mostly they fought themselves. As a result, for years after years, they kept losing battles against the Blancos. Tired of all those losses, they finally elected an ex soldier as their general.

And lo and behold, a new era of domination began for the Colchoneros.


Now sandwiched between these two mighty kingdoms, there is a poor, tiny republic, filled with working class families barely making ends meet.

They are poor, they are powerless, they are forever on the verge of extinction – but boy are they passionate. Hell, you can call them mucho bonkers.

Once, sometimes twice a week, thousands and thousands of their citizens turn up in an enclosed place and for about two hours, continuously jump up and down shouting “whoever doesn’t bounce is a fascist!”

One of their ex  ministers used to go around chasing referees with an umbrella.


Now, in this tiny republic, there lives a 85 year old widow – Carmen Martínez Ayudo. She lived in a small flat on Calle Sierra de Palomeras, she has lived there for the last 50 years. Once her husband died, the house went to her son, who took loans from a loan shark.

You know where it headed after that.

The bailiffs came to evict her, with the help of a load of policemen, after her son defaulted on €40,000.

And so 85 year old Carmen was out on the street, a destitute with no hope for the future.

Until a group of men came to her rescue.


Because in the People’s Republic of Vallecas, that’s what they do.

Those men are footballers and they play for Rayo Vallecano, coach Paco Jémez leading them into finding a new flat for Carmen, paying her rent and paying regular visits ever since.


And this is a football club perennially on the verge of bankruptcy themselves where sometimes the players and staff go months without their salary.

Welcome to Rayo Vallecano, a football club which truly is “mes que un club” (unlike some Qatari team who are the current champions), which truly is good and which truly is the football club that is as opposite to the fascistic Arsenal as any can be.

In case you forgot, Arsneal bullied a little old lady selling hats in Spain.


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