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Season Four – First Division: Exceeding Expectations Part Two!

We’re ahead of schedule according to the revised Five Year Target that was set out. Being back in the First Division (La Liga to some) brings with it a multitude of financial benefits but the biggest problem facing us is ensuring we have a squad capable of staying up. We have to balance out our financial prudence with our need to be ambitious.


You might want to catch up on our previous seasons if you haven’t already. You can do so via the following links: Season One, Season Two and Season Three.


On The Pitch

Footballing updates will be brief as I’m concentrating more on developing the club with a more holistic approach.

It’s safe to say that for the second season running we have overachieved. The usual media cliché of “40 points for safety” was brought up in early season press conferences, my personal safety method was just to hope we were able to hold at least as many points as we had played games once the season had truly kicked into gear. Our problem over the last two seasons has been poor form following the winter break – this season we managed to truly exorcise those demons as we hit a real purple patch in the second half of the season. In the end we were in contention for a European spot with 2 games to go rather than facing the relegation battle that everyone, myself included, had anticipated. A first victory over Barcelona in that final run of games was a particular delight.

Once again, the Spanish Cup was not a priority but we actually performed relatively well in reaching the Quarter Finals despite playing a second choice XI throughout. Eventually undone by Barcelona, no great shame there.


Recruitment and Player Development

With promotion to the top flight comes a chance to spend a bit of money – the exact reasons for this to be clarified later – needless to say I went shopping!

Defensive midfielder Koba Rekhiasvili was signed on a free following a pre-contract agreement being sorted in the final stages of last season (from Dinamo Tblisi), full back David Carmona (Sevilla) was brought in for £600k and young midfielder Christoffer Bergmann (Midtjylland) was signed for £750k. We further strengthened our defensive line with moves for Horacio Tabarez (Nacional) for £1.9m and Joao Palhinha (Sporting Lisbon) for a fee of £1.1m. Remy Cabella was available as a free agent and was snapped up with great joy. Further to this cluster of signings we negotiated a further four new loan deals for Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, Callum Gribbin (all Manchester United) and Oihan Sancet (Atletico Madrid). This in addition to a loans already in place for Nicolas Schiappacasse (Atletico Madrid) and Borja Mayoral (Real Madrid). A total outlay of £4.35million in transfer fees during the summer window.

There were only two permanent departures from the club during the season with Joan Sastre moving on to Lugo for £220k and, just 7 months after joininig, Koba Rekhiasvili moving on to Porto for £1million of pure profit in transfer fees following his 24 appearances in a Mallorca shirt. In January we agreed to loan out young Belarussian midfielder Denis Kapov (Real Santander) for 100% of his wages.

2021’s Youth Intake was to see 5 players sign terms with the club. Goalkeeper Edu Venzal (Manresa, Barcelona), Defenders Nikola Constable (Rancho Cucamonga (CA), USA) and Marcos Fernandez (Palma, Mallorca), midfielder Marcos Montoro (Marratxi, Mallorca) and forward Gabi Molina (Arenal de Lluchmajor, Mallorca) join the youth ranks.

Season Four was to see the breakthrough of two youth academy graduates into the senior team. Jaume Riera was introduced to first team football in only our fifth game of the season following an injury to Munir which sidelined him for 3 months. Unfortunately I made the mistake of not signing a senior back up goalkeeper and thus we were forced to hand a debut to a 16 year old Riera. Riera immediately took to the task and developed so well over the 3 months that he ended up becoming our first choice between the sticks, going on to make 39 appearances this season. Full back Biel was given a chance following some interesting advances in his attributes as a result of training and tutoring. Biel is sure to become a first team regular in the coming future and made a total of 17 senior appearances following his debut in the Spanish Cup fourth round in December.

Following the conclusion of their contracts, senior players Antonio Raillo, Miguel Nunez and Javier Bonilla were released on a free. Season two youth intake players Pep Oliver and Josep Alzina were also allowed to leave at the expiration of their contracts. The last player still in Mallorca B ranks, Bryan Reyna, leaves on a free at the end of his contract to join Ayacucho FC.


Financial Outlook and Club Development Progress

Finances

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).

It was a massive season for us in terms of income. The big difference maker was quite clearly under TV Revenue, thanks largely to the individual TV deal the club had in place which only takes effect if we are in the top division – the income from this alone was upwards of £20m. Season Tickets, Gate Receipts etc. all increased as you would expect them to.

With a step into a higher division you expect to see higher expenditure but we did well to ensure that we kept any increases to a minimum. The biggest outlay came in the form of dividends paid on account of our massive turnover, similar to this we also had a hefty tax bill to pay due to our end of year profits.

No debt outstanding.

Facilities

Training Facilities: 3.5 stars – Great – following improvements completed in December 2020

Youth Facilities: 3 stars – Good – following improvements completed in December 2020

Youth Recruitment: Well Established – following improvements agreed in December 2020

Junior Coaching: Excellent

Corporate Facilities: Average

Club Standing

Reputation: 3 Stars – National

Finances: 4 Stars – Secure – Account Balance: £31,885,560 (at 30/06/2021)

Estimated Value: £63.09million


End of Season Stats

Most apperances: Salva Ruiz (D/WBL) and Joao Palhinha (D/DM/MC) – 41 appearances

Top Goalscorer: Borja Mayoral (STC) – 21 goals (19 League, 2 Spanish Cup)

Most Assists: Rémy Cabella (M/AMLC) – 8 assists (8 League)

Clean Sheets: Jaume Riera (GK) – 10 clean sheets (9 League, 1 Spanish Cup)

Highest Average Rating: Rémy Cabella (M/AMLC) – 7.32 average rating

Following a fantastic league campaign I was named Manager of the Year.