Sporting Gijón sent tumbling into the abyss by Deportivo and Leganés | Sid Lowe

Sporting’s relegation was all their own work, a result of institutional crisis, social divide and financial limitations. Survival, then, for Depor and Leganés

There were two minutes left on the penultimate night when Fernando Amorebieta approached the bench one last time. Any news? He would have heard if there was and deep down he knew what they were going to say, but he had to ask. By the touchline at Ipurua they waited, phones and radios at the ready, and the scene was repeated in the corner of the ground where 300 fans stood. On the pitch, their minds were drawn to San Mamés or El Madrigal, clinging to a hope they couldn’t see. This time, though, there was no miracle, no one riding to their rescue. “Anything?” Nothing. Time was slipping away and so were they. Sporting Gijón were on course for a second successive victory; they were also on course for the second division, their fate finally decided 50km west and 600km south.

On this given Sunday, at least. No fate but what you make – and Sporting’s relegation was their own work. Institutional crisis, social divide and financial limitations had brought them here, the “revolution” run aground, revealed as but a brief rebellion against their reality; they had never expected to get up to primera in the first place and had enjoyed two seasons there but now they were heading down again, just when they seemed to have been given the chance to secure a little stability, their very survival no longer in doubt; the club had been saved by the team, their coach insisting: “Let’s see if we can build a bit so we don’t have to suffer again.” Instead, they went down.

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