Granada CF: La Liga's surprise package?
As la Primera gets underway in around a month’s time, clubs are now fully immersed in pre-season hoping to gain that all important preparation for the coming campaign. Amongst fans and personnel in media, it’s that time of year where we speculate, dissect and maybe even scrutinise clubs movements over the summer. Whether that be managerial changes or player transfers, summer is the transitional period for many.
Granada really have exceled for me this summer, with summer acquisitions, the financial well-being documented at the club and the general plans for the future. Security and stability from the top down has seen them become one of the most efficiently run clubs in Spain, one of very few that boast no lingering debts. Since the club were promoted to la Liga a couple of seasons ago, they really are building on already solid foundations, sustainable progress, very important for any football club.
Los Carmenes will see a host of new faces next season, with Lucas Alcaraz addressing key areas in the squad, a mixture of youth and experience has seen them shoot up in many people’s estimations. The signing of Piti in particular was the stand out, the Rayo playmaker attracted high interest from a host of clubs after his 18 goal haul and general performances for the Madrid outfit last season. He chose Granada, a big statement of intent for the club.
Riki is another with a wealth of experience, brought in from relegated Deportivo, yet again the Andalusian’s fought off Premier League competition for his signature. Iturra also worth mentioning, signed from rivals Malaga, the defensive midfielder will be an integral part of Granada’s season. More importantly, these players were all signed on free transfers as contracts with current clubs had expired, very shrewd.
As well as the experience they have added to the squad, Granada are also looking in building towards to future with an impressive number of good international youngsters being linked with the club. Promising 19-year-old Brazilian left-back Douglas has already put pen to paper to sign a deal with the club, with Udinese’s Chile U20 international Christian Bravo extremely close to signing for them.
So as they impress in bolstering their current squad, things also look very rosy off the pitch. A new €7 million training complex project has been given the green light. The new complex will feature state of the art facilities, for the use of the first-team, whilst also providing a home for the B team and youth teams, along with the women’s team.
As if the summer couldn’t get any better for all concerned with Granada, the current owners announced in the close season that they have been successful in clearing the inherited debts they took on in 2009, around €4 million. The club then announced a big reduction for fans on Season memberships for the coming season, as much as 50% in some areas. Things really do look bright for the club and their la Primera future.
Hard to say where Granada will finish this current campaign, I honestly think they will steer clear of a relegation battle; a mid-table finish would be perfect progress for further stability, which many fans would bite my hand off for. Granada really are a good example of how a club should be run, ambition without greed, somewhat thriving in an economic crisis, the model club.
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