Any Valencia fan will tell you that the club is not calm. The owner and his henchmen are pulling the club in one direction, and fans and the media in another. And if people were allowed into the stands of stadiums in Spain, the whole world would hear the anger of the fans. But alas, Mestalla is silent.So why are fans afraid? The team does not play very badly, and there seems to be reasons for optimism. But all Spanish football fans remember all too well other examples of how famous teams were killed by their owners. Let’s look behind La Liga, and there, in the lower divisions, once proud names vegetate. Their fans did not know what was coming, but at Valencia they already saw signs of degradation. Now they are everywhere.
At the very bottom of the well, into which Valencia really does not want to fall, is Deportivo La Coruña – the champion of 2000 and the semi-finalist of the Champions League 2004. That was not so long ago. Now Depor is in the third division, and its financial affairs are so bad that they even had to abandon the fans, who have always owned the team, and surrender to the financial organization Abanca.
In the second division there is another iconic name – “ Espanyol, 2007 UEFA Cup silver medalist, followed by Zaragoza, the six-time King’s Cup winner. She will try to return to La Liga for the eighth time this season. Mallorca made it to the UEFA Cup final in 1999 and beat Valencia and Real Madrid last season, but for the past seven years they have been doing their best to rush between divisions.
The most creepy and fresh an example is Malaga. The club with a wealthy owner, great coach and an outstanding line-up made it to the Champions League quarter-finals in 2013, but it has been falling apart in recent years. Many seriously doubt that he will survive at all. You can look at the forecasts for the upcoming matches of this club on the website https://mmu.ac.tz/, where experts assess the upcoming events with the club’s participation.
When Peter Lim became the owner of Valencia, he saved her. If not for the local banks, “black mice” could already disappear from the football card, and Lim’s investments allowed him to get rid of debt and invest in the future of the team. But fans always remember only the bad.
Lim saved Valencia. It does not matter under what conditions, the main thing is that he saved, and this historical fact cannot be denied. Another thing is that since 2014, his style of government can only be called turbulent. Javi Gracia is already the eighth coach of his era.
It is difficult for fans to sympathize with a Singaporean who does not live in Valencia and rarely comes here. This leads fans to believe that he is unable to understand the local culture of pain and simply does not care about the well-being of the players. When you have to blame someone, everyone blames Lim. And who will stand up for him? Well, we, apparently, because the facts, again, remain facts: in the last six years, the “bats” managed to play in Europe and win their first trophy in 11 years. And again, Lim saved the club from bankruptcy.
But yes, there is a caveat. Lim kept repeating for a long time that only he understands how to manage the club, and never once listened to the claims or fears of the fans. Between 2017 and 2019, Marcelino strengthened the squad and helped the team achieve their best season since 2004. With him, the “bats” won the Spanish Cup and made their way to the Champions League, but … the management simply could not forgive the coach for the slightest slack. The coach, having found out that a little more, and the team could achieve real greatness, began to demand loud signings and refuse to get rid of the players and cut salaries. Result: dismissal.
Obviously, such a specialist should have stayed in the club. At any cost. And now, as a result, we are witnessing the events of recent months. Ferran Torres refused to renew the contract, thereby depriving Valencia of not only their services, but also an impressive price tag, and others may follow. In the 2020-21 season, you will not be able to make money either from European competitions or season tickets.
The management made many mistakes, this is undeniable. Murthy himself, who said that “any coach who gets out of the way of the owner’s path will be fired – even if he wins the Champions League,” admitted that there were some blots.
But back to the main thing – to football. The start of the season was remembered for the bright victory of Xavi Gracia’s charges over Levante. 4: 2 in a principled derby will cheer up anyone, and after the match, there really were reasons for optimism. First of all, I would like to highlight the young three players – Lee Kang-in, Yunus Musa and Manu Vallejo (pictured). It was a fateful evening for the South Korean, when he turned from a “young talent” into a new star of the club.
Nobody doubted that Ina had a bright future. It was no coincidence that the management mentioned his name in the process of firing Marcelino – the coach did not really like the midfielder. In Ina, Lim and Murti see the chosen one, who will lead Valencia. Yes, he has a bad temper, and he often breaks down on the field, but talent is talent, and now everyone is praying for him – both the owners and the audience.
As for Musa, “bats” were found in him uncut diamond. What’s even nicer, he managed to snatch from Arsenal, which itself plucked Valencia many times. England U21 coach Steve Cooper, who is now working with Swansea, told us about Yunus’s talent:
“A very nice guy, cheerful, sociable, well-mannered, always with a smile on his face. I especially like his athletic anger and athleticism, reminiscent of Paul Pogba. If he gets the ball in midfield, he will go away from the opponent and break forward simply because he believes in himself and knows what he is capable of. With that kind of talent, you only need one thing: practice. Training cannot replace real experience. I am glad that he plays for Valencia.
What conclusion have we come to? What is the future of the club?
This will be a tough season. No European cups, no spectators. In the coming weeks, even more stars may go to other teams. It is quite possible that this coach will give up and leave, having lost Joffre Kondogbia, Maxi Gomez and Gonçalo Guedes. They want the coaches to say “so exactly” and “I obey and obey”, and not everyone is able to silently endure what is happening. But even with all the negativity, it cannot be denied that the owner may indeed have a plan. Maybe. It remains only to wait and wonder if Valencia will now make a step forward or roll back again.