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Villarreal Plans for the New Year

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The club's budget will drop by nearly 30 million euros for the upcoming season. Before you ask how the club can remain competitive (if it truly is), remember two points.

First, these figures are retrospective rather than prospective. That is, the transfer decisions made last season-- if management runs the club well, as Srs. Roig and Llaneza do-- reflected this economic reality. As a result, if the forecast is for Champions League football and worldwide economic growth in the coming year (as we all fervently hope), the budget will go back up (though probably not by 30%).

Second, from the same EPM article, the club has reduced costs by nearly 25%, so the books are just about in order. Combined with small net operating surpluses, the Yellow Submarine should stay on even keel financially for another season.

And with Capdevila (two years) and Cani (three) back in the fold, and Senna expected to follow suit, squad reinforcements are more of luxuries than necessities. I'm not as sure about the back four (aside from Mario), but Hernán Pérez, Iago Falqué, and Marcos Gullón should contribute in 2010-11. So there's no crisis today at El Madrigal.

In the interesting but unsubstantiated file: Villarreal is interested in Benfica striker Óscar Cardozo. The Paraguayan international is a classy finisher and physical presence at 6'3", and he has scored a whopping 62 goals in 93 Primeira Liga matches. He also was joint top scorer in the 2009-10 Europa League with 9 tallies, so he will not come cheap. Look for this rumor to gain traction only if Nilmar, Rossi, or both leave El Madrigal.

And last, but certainly not least, from all of us here at VillarrealUSA, have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and yours.