The Champions League money was flowing but that couldn’t stop a slight regression in our league form. The inevitable post-winter break blip hit and was devastating. This will be our final seasn charting progress.
On The Pitch
Footballing updates will be brief as I’m concentrating more on developing the club with a more holistic approach.
The irony in this season is that we had our best defensive season yet in the top flight, the only problem is that the 37 goals we did give away came in significant matches. A disappointing run of only 3 wins in the 9 games immediately after the break was devastating for us. Despite a late rally of 6 straight wins we couldn’t quite retain our Champions League status and finished a disappointing 5th.
Yet another Quarter Final exit for us. That first leg with Real Madrid came at the worst possible time, in the midst of our awful run of form.
Our Champions League group was always going to be a big ask and sadly it was beyond us to qualify. We did manage to snag 3rd place to move into the Europa League. Two late goals against Schalke (Gelsenkirchen) in the second leg meant we didn’t rely on the away goals rule for victory. Marseille outclassed us in the first league of the second round and it was a stretch too far from there.
Recruitment and Player Development
This season we made use of an extended period of scouting on a few players. Neys Salazar (Vit Guimaraes) was signed for £6.25m after being targetted for a number of years, initially we wanted him as a midfielder but for now I spotted his ability at left full back. Ibrahim Naciri (Barcelona) was another player we had tracked for quite some time, finally getting the deal over the line for £4.3m. Miralem Pjanic was available as a free agent and we jumped at the chance to sign him. The biggest signing of pre-season was, without doubt, Borja Mayoral! After having him in on loan for the past 7 seasons we were delighted to bring him in following his release from Real Madrid. In January we twice managed to break our record transfer outlay: firstly with the £18m signing of Kurt Zouma (Shakhtar Donetsk) and then with an £18.5m signing of Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona).
Transfers out were minimal – Magnus Mar Petursson went to Southampton for £3m after failing to nail down a regular spot in the squad. The shock of the season came in February with the announcement of Adrien Silva’s retirement after sustaining an ACL injury. At the age of 35 he felt he would never return to the same level following a long recovery.
We continued our strict rules on Youth Intakes by only signing up three players on professional contracts: Defender Xisco Vidal (Palma, Mallorca) and midfielders Xisco (Ciutadella, Menorca) and Rafel (Marratxi, Mallorca).
Financial Outlook and Club Development Progress
Some finances may seem out of timing but I complete all financial sums using the ‘last season’ column on the Finances tab so that should explain any late/missing amounts (which may come in the following season’s accounts).
The European prize money was immense once again but the continuing reputation growth is what has helped our individual league TV deal grow year on year to a monumental amount.
We ended up operating at a big loss this season but it was an acceptable loss. Increased transfer expenditure to keep us competitive and facility improvements to push us up with the best clubs in Europe.
Training Facilities: 5 stars – State of the art
Youth Facilities: 4.5 stars – Superb
Youth Recruitment: Extensive
Junior Coaching: Exceptional
Corporate Facilities: Average
Reputation: 4 stars – Continental
Finances: 5 stars – Rich – Account Balance: £60,629,014 (at 30/06/2025)
Estimated Value: £350 million
European Club Rankings: 35th
End of Season Stats
Most apperances: Rafael Leao – 47 appearances
Top Goalscorer: Borja Mayoral – 24 goals (21 League, 1 Spanish Cup, 2 Europe)
Most Assists: Rafael Leao – 14 assists (11 League, 1 Spanish Cup, 2 Europe)
Clean Sheets: Jaume Riera – 11 clean sheets (11 League)
Highest Average Rating: Gerard Deulofeu – 7.59 average rating