Whilst Spanish top tier football is hailed around the globe as one of the most exciting and attractive league football competitions, all is not as well at is may seem in sunny Spain’s La Liga.
I’m not talking about the poor showings of their two European superpowers in Barcelona and Real Madrid’s catastrophic defeats to Bundesliga sides in the Champions League semi-finals, although that will certainly impact on the likely shake-up of La Liga this summer.
I’m talking about debts – it will come as no surprise that Spanish football clubs are in debt as many English and other European clubs are but in Spain there is something of an economic crisis occurring in their football financing.
The likes of Valencia and Malaga have for the past season or two had to sell off their best assets – players – to foreign clubs and in some cases rival clubs in Spain.
The debt problems run rife throughout the Spanish top tier – Atletico Madrid, Deportivo de La Coruna, Zaragoza, Betis, and Osasuna are all up to their eyeballs in debt and will likely have to downsize their squads this summer to make up a little of the shortfall.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are expected to respond to their humiliating 7-0 on aggregate defeat by Champions League finalists Bayern Munich this month by making wholesale changes, reinvestments and improvements to their squad.
Likewise, Real Madrid will likely lose their manager Jose Mourinho at the end of the season and with him may go a couple of player departures, not to mention backroom personnel shake-ups and an incoming manager to replace him who will no doubt have designs of his own, leading him into the transfer market.
Across the board, La Liga will be the league to watch this summer – it’s almost ironic that the league itself attracts viewers all across the world for its breathtaking artistry but, whilst there will be no football played this summer, keep your eyes on the movers and shakers, many of whom will likely be on flights to England in the coming months.
Whilst the top four in the Premier League will likely pillage the big names like Radamel Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, David Villa, Victor Valdes, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez, Christian Tello, and Alex Song, there are a number of lesser-known gems to be found around La Liga.
To name but a few, there’s Iker Muniain, Isco, Bojan, Leo Baptisto, Inigo Martinez, Koke, Thiago Alcantara, Ignacio Camacho, Nelson Oliviera, Gabriel Torje, and Leo Baptistao who (by the way) came into Rayo Vallecano to replace Michu and we all know how that worked out for Swansea.
The list could go on and on but the fact remains La Liga will see dramatic changes and swathes of departures this summer – it’s inevitability. It’s up to the Premier League clubs to convince them that England is where their futures reside.
image: © cedric_ramirez