Last season’s incredible 6th place finish ensured RCD Mallorca would be back in European competition through the illustrious EURO CUP (UEFA Europa League if you’ve bothered with the name fix). The trend of going beyond what was expected continued in Season Six combined with a post Winter dive in form. As we headed into Season Six it felt like we’re on the home straight of pushing toward being considered a European Superclub.
On The Pitch
Footballing updates will be brief as I’m concentrating more on developing the club with a more holistic approach.
It was a superb first half of the season for Mallorca with only 5 defeats in the league games played prior to the winter break – it was this spell that ultimately ensured our end position. The second half started well but soon descended into chaos with a run of five straight defeats in the league. The ship was steadied and we managed to secure an amazing 4th place finish ensuring Champions League football for next season!
We made a real go of it this season in the Spanish Cup, only narrowly losing out to Barcelona on away goals in the Quarter Final after disappointingly throwing away a first leg lead.
We managed to breeze through our Group with five wins from six games. Beating Ajax in the first knockout round was a delight but Leicester were too strong for us in a second leg which was one “for the neutrals”
Recruitment and Player Development
Even as we look toward becoming a big player in Europe, we’ll never turn our nose up at a free signing. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) was available following the conclusion of his contract, adding great experience to the squad. Raffael Arnold (Manchester City) agreed a 2 year loan deal, a player with bags of potential. Rafael Tresaco (Real Madrid) was available for £1.4m, a Perfectionist personality could not be turned down. The two biggest deals we concluded in the summer were a £10m transfer for Czech striker/winger Jiri Gabriel (Tigres) and a further 2 year loan extension for record goalscorer Borja Mayoral (Real Madrid) – still with all salary costs covered by his parent club. In January we strengthened our defensive rotational options with the £9.25m capture of promising centre back Klaas Bergsma (Ajax).
Pre-season we concluded two loan deals, goalkeeper Magnus Mar Petursson (Udinese) went out for the season while Callum Gribbin (Huesca) had a six month spell away before being recalled to play a part in the senior team. January brought interest in our defensive minded players, Salva Ruiz (Sevilla) departed for £2m – a player who had been here since I joined. David Carmona (Atletico Madrid) became my second biggest sale for £10.5m, this accounts for £9.9m in transfer profit after two and a half years at the club. Promising defender Miguel Angel Rubio (Almeria) was loaned out for the second half of the season to gain some playing experience in the Segunda Division.
It was another poor youth intake but we did decide to sign up five players on provisional full time contracts. Defenders Juan Luis (Rota, Adalusia) and Fernando Coll (Calvia, Mallorca), midfielders Gustavo Moreno (Guadalajara, Castilla-La Mancha) and Jaume (Andraitx, Mallorca) and striker Mikel (Calvia, Mallorca) were the lucky few to join our youth ranks. Jaume appears to be the most promising according to reports.
Young Goalkeeper Jaume Riera returned to first team action this season, taking over from Jens Ahrbecker following a dispute over transfers. Riera notched up 27 appearances keeping 7 clean sheets. Full back Biel continued his emergence into the senior team by becoming our first choice right back. Winger Ernest had a fantastic season at right midfield with 46 appearances, 12 goals and 10 assists for the 19 year old. There were debuts and a few appearances for Season Three graduates left back Fernando Garcia and defensive midfielder Marcos Montoro.
Following the end of the season we said goodbye to Denis Kapov and Joao Gois as their contracts expired. Kapov came in for £170k as a promising young midfielder but failed to match the growth of the club. Joao Gois was a £375k signing who more than paid for his fee through his performances and tutoring for younger players.
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).
We certainly reaped the rewards of European prize money this season along with some decent transfer business.
Increased wages and transfer expenditure is a sign of our increase in stature, it was another year of pre-tax profit for us but the profit margins are closing now.
Training Facilities: 4 stars – Excellent – following improvements completed this season. Further upgrade due for completion 31/12/2023.
Youth Facilities: 3.5 stars – Great – following improvements completed this season. Further upgrade due for completion 31/12/2023.
Youth Recruitment: Extensive
Junior Coaching: Exceptional
Corporate Facilities: Average
Reputation: 3.5 Stars – National
Finances: 5 Stars – Rich – Account Balance: £47,911,284 (at 30/06/2023)
Estimated Value: £117million
European Club Rankings: 67th
End of Season Stats
Most apperances: Horacio Tabarez (DC) – 52 appearances
Top Goalscorer: Jiri Gabriel (ML/AM/STC) – 21 goals (13 League, 4 Spanish Cup, 4 Euro Cup)
Most Assists: Christoffer Bergmann (MRC) – 12 assists (9 League, 2 Spanish Cup, 1 Euro Cup)
Clean Sheets: Jens Ahrbecker (GK) – 10 clean sheets (6 League, 1 Spanish Cup, 3 Euro Cup)
Highest Average Rating: Jiri Gabriel (ML/AM/STC) – 7.59 average rating
For the third year running I was named Manager of the Year. Jiri Gabriel was named 2022 European Golden Boy and also the Spanish League Young Player of the Year.