Another season comes to an end and a new edition of The Rabona Chronicles series arrives. A series in which I detail my journey in Rabona. The decisions made, the changes, the results and, especially, all the mistakes I make along the way so that if you, a newcomer to the game, read this, don't make the same mistakes I did. Make others, but not mines. Let's go with the analysis of what this season has been like in the Real Valladolid offices.
STADIUM AND FACILITIES
There have been three major movements here. The expansion of two aspects of the club's infrastructure and the disappearance of an investment that has weighed the club down over the last two seasons and proved to be a mistake. It was critically compromising the financial future of the club and retarding our long term growth and so the downgrading of the infrastructure to level 0 was carried out. So far, perhaps improving this infrastructure has been the main mistake we have made.
We have made the largest investment to date. 2 million RBN to bring the stadium up to level 8. An increase in capacity from 1500 to 3200 seats and that should not be a major leap in terms of revenue.
Like the stadium, it will be under construction for the whole of next season, but the Youth Academy has also been expanded. This one up to level 7. Low maintenance cost for the performance it can give us. And the fact is that, right now, we don't have the capacity to renew all the players who finish their contracts and the youth academy must be a source of players in the coming seasons.
On the negative side is the Training Centre. Its maintenance costs were very high and the club cannot afford them at this stage of development. In the future it will again be an aspect to improve, but not now.
Here have come the most difficult decisions. We have decided not to renew any of the players whose contracts have expired and to replace them with players from the youth academy. Their salaries are unaffordable and would lead to costs that, until the stadium is operational, we cannot assume. These are the players who have not been renewed and the salaries they were asking for to stay at the club:
- Marco Antonio Álvarez - Goalkeeper - 8.353 RBN
- James David - Defender - 6.122 RBN
- Justin Holler - Defender - 11.199 RBN
- Luo Dai - Midfielder - 5.966
Nearly 32,000 RBN per game which amounts to an expenditure of almost 1 million per season on just four players. It hurts to make this decision but it is absolutely impossible to keep these four players at that wage cost.
Surprisingly, the team has performed better than last season with a poorer squad. If last season we were close to relegation, this season we have always been in the middle of the table without being in any kind of trouble. This fact has influenced the decision not to renew the four players whose contracts have expired. Moreover, a hypothetical relegation would not be serious for the future of the club. A future that, right now, is focused on sustainable growth and on finishing each season with a positive economic balance.
End of season in position 7º with 50 points and one of the highest scoring teams in the championship.
Objective accomplished. With the destruction of the Training Center the costs have remained stable and we ended up slightly in negative due to the fact that we still had to pay costs of that facility the first games of the season. The income from tickets and sponsorship have more than covered the costs of salaries and promotion of young promises. Aymeric Collard, moreover, has been a pleasant surprise, fulfilling perfectly when he has had to play.
Interesting season in which we have laid the foundations and the lines to follow for the growth of the club. Expenditures have been contained and a clear strategy has been established regarding the preparation of the workforce. The next one will be a transition season waiting for what the inauguration of the stadium brings us and seeing the occupation of its capacity with 3,200 available seats.
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All images credited to rabona.io. Cover image made in canva.com