Last Friday the lights were made in the Plaza de la Maestranza in Seville: the businessman Ramón Valencia presented the posters of the season, eleven bullfights, a rejoneo show and two novilladas, fourteen celebrations like fourteen suns that come to illuminate the deep darkness in which the bullfighting festival has been debated since March of last year.
Good for the Pagés company. Very good.
It is never late if happiness is good; In this case, it has been made to wait, but these posters are the best news that 2021 could offer.
The step in front of the Sevillian businessman – a value in itself since the April Fair is suspended – is a breath of fresh air, the realization that the party is alive and ready to make up for part of the lost time.
Has the Real Maestranza been the one that has ordered the employer to present the payment?
It is more important that there are posters, -businessman, bullfighters and ranchers willing-, than the transcendental fact that the festivities can be celebrated; If this is not possible, it will not be because a businessman has not worked so that the doors of the square are opened and the bugles sound. If they do not celebrate it will be because sanitary circumstances, unrelated to the bull, prevent it.
But the most optimistic message that Mr. Valencia has communicated to the world is that the bulls have opened their eyes, have come out of a coma and want to face the virus in the bullring of the plaza.
A substantial decision that of the businessman (back in the ring for Ramón Valencia) who, in some way, redeems him from his repeated silence last season, when he did not open his mouth or show commitment, -knowledged, at least-, so that the Maestranza will celebrate a celebration throughout the year.
What will have happened so that the Pagés company has had the courage to ‘challenge’ the virus and the Junta de Andalucía itself by presenting some posters without the absolute assurance that they can be celebrated?
Answering that question is impossible; And not only because Ramón Valencia is a reserved and cryptic man, which he is, but because he is a prominent member of the employers’ association of the great bullfighting businessmen, ANOET, which is characterized by its absolute lack of transparency and its very little attachment to risk.
What has happened so that the Sevillian manager dares to make a triple jump without a net? Because, certainly, it entails an economic investment that, without a doubt, will be as high as the possibility that the virus will prevent the Maestranza from opening its doors.
Could it be that the regional government has offered him well-founded hopes that it will allow him to sell 50 percent of the capacity, which the businessman considers an inexcusable condition so that the celebrations are not a complete ruin?
Or, perhaps, has it been the Real Maestranza de Caballería itself, owner of the arena, that has ordered you to design the season ticket?
Do not forget that the main source of income for the teaching institution is the ticket office in the square, from which it receives around 25 percent of what it bills for each celebration; Keep in mind that the relationships between the teachers and the Pagés company are governed by a contract that includes a certain number of shows that must be held if time and authority do not prevent it.
In what difficult situation would Valencia be if it does not now present posters and the health crisis of April or May allows the celebration of celebrations? For now, it would breach the contract with the property of the square.
The question will undoubtedly remain unanswered, but there are the posters as proof of the best disposition, and that is the most important thing.
The posters bet on the usual bulls and bullfighters, without a hint of innovation
And the compost?
Valencia has opted for the traditional, the safe, without any gap to innovation or the to risk; the same bulls and bullfighters as always, with the inevitable exception of Juan Ortega and the usual mistreatment of Paco Ureña. And it shows, well it shows, the hand of Matilla, -which they call the master of bullfighting, another innovator …! -, who is in charge of Morante -four afternoons-, Manzanares -three afternoons- and El Fandi and owner of the bulls of García Jiménez.
But this is not the time to gut the posters when the important thing is that they exist, although they can be improved, which they are.
It is incomprehensible that the company has decided that those subscribers who do not access the renewal this year will lose their right for the coming seasons. This is a special subscription, and the best clients of the company do not deserve size snub.
This is what the Pagés company has informed him in a letter in which he has also advised them that two tickets cannot be sold together – normal in the current sanitary circumstances – to maintain the necessary security among spectators.
Once the subscription is presented, everything depends on the course of the pandemic and the decision taken by the Junta de Andalucía.
And of something else: of the pressure that makes the world of the bull.
This past Friday there was no one at the door of the Plaza de la Maestranza.
Where were those thousands of businessmen, ranchers, bullfighters, proxies, swordsmen, drivers, mayorales, cowboys, and so many others who make a living from the bullfighting festival?
They were at home, waiting for others to solve the problem of their livelihood.
It is evident that health is the priority, but it would not hurt if the world of the bull expressed its need for the party to get out of bed and start walking, even if it is with the hesitations of the patient who has been in a coma many months.
By the way, on November 14, the actor Dani Rovira recorded a monologue at the Soho theater in Malaga that can be seen on Nexflit. The health crisis was more serious in those days than it is these days, but the images show a stalls packed with spectators. And it is a closed enclosure.
On the other hand, an outbreak of the virus has not yet been found in any of the festivities that were held last season.
For the moment, the bulls have come out of their coma and, holed up, challenge the virus; perhaps because of that gesture of courage it could be concluded that circumstances would have to change a lot so that the festivities announced in Seville were not celebrated.
If that were the case, hopefully, it will be due to the effort and determination of Ramón Valencia and the Real Maestranza, and not because of the solidarity of the world of bullfighting. And whoever has ears to hear, let him hear …