When former Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster decided he did not want to stay in charge of Los Merengues last week, he surrendered all dignity by stating that it was "impossible to beat Barcelona" in their upcoming derby match.
Bernd, people have been killed for less than that.
While Schuster's ploy might well have been designed to get himself fired and thus collect the massive termination fee affixed to his contract, his comments and actions were an affront to one of the most important and storied football clubs in the world.
The day after Schuster's firing, Real Madrid's president, Ramón Calderón, ever the masochist, hired Juande Ramos as his new field boss—the same Ramos who had been run out of England only a month before as he had steered Tottenham into last place in the EPL.
And thus, after Barcelona's merciful 2-0 victory, Real Madrid find themselves wallowing in a pit of their own desperation, brought on by terrible leadership.
The endless pockets that any one man in charge of Real is privy to can mask the ugliness of mismanagement and total carelessness when it comes to running a club. In this sense, Calderón is definitely guilty, as he shown time and again he's not up to the challenge.
In the spirit of former Real president Florentino Pérez, Calderón announced his intentions to field a spectacular team with the world's brightest stars. His first target, Cristiano Ronaldo, remains at Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid sold Brazilian international Robinho, and settled for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, a solid player but hardly a bankable name.
Under the guise of not tolerating "defensive" football, Calderón ran Italian manager Fabio Capello out of the team in 2007 after he coached the team to its first league title in four years.
Hiring Bernd Schuster to a massive contract, the German employed a similar strategy and took advantage of a weak Barcelona season to complete a double. Schuster was fired six months later, with the team in fifth place.
Again, never learning from his mistakes, Calderón has informed all media outlets and fans that he intends to sign the world's brightest stars, therefore giving those teams advance warning to hike up their asking prices as high as they wish.
Since 1997, Real Madrid have been a fixture in the UEFA Champions League. Trailing four solid teams in Barcelona, Villarreal, Valencia, and Sevilla—Real are on pace to miss their annual European date.
And now, sitting in fifth place, with a lame duck manager and an uninspired squad, Calderón looks to cement his legacy with this grisly tidbit.
With managers, trainers, and players having come and gone during Calderón's era, the question of "who's to blame?" just got a whole lot easier to answer.