The longest season is finally over—the Segunda playoffs concluded on Saturday with Getafe winning promotion back to the Primera, and yesterday the Segunda B and Tercera playoffs concluded. The new season starts in under two months!
Ex-Villarreal striker David Fuster, now 35, announced his retirement after helping Getafe make it back. He played 6 years in Greece with Olympiakos and also appeared for Elche in addition to Villarreal.
Valencia’s B team were eliminated at the final stage of the promotion playoffs to the Segunda, so they will be an opponent for our B team again next season. Pending any administrative relegations, or teams wanting to sell their places to others (it happens), there are 7 Valencian Community teams in the Segunda B, 7 from Catalonia, 3 from the Baleric islands, so those 17 will clearly be in the same group. We probably have to reach up to Aragon or down to Mercia for the remaining teams to make up a group of 20 or 21.
News of our youth team (the alevin, 11-12 years old): they defeated new York FC and Atletico Madrid to get to the semifinals, but lost there to Real Madrid, who in turn lost to Barcelona in the final. A nice thing was, the match being in New Jersey, Giuseppe Rossi came out to lend his support. He said his recovery is going well, but he will not be returning to Celta.
Gonzalo Rodriguez has also left Fiorentina and is returning home to Argentina, to play for the Pope’s favorite club San Lorenzo (the club Villarreal signed Gonzalo from years ago). Betis had inquired about him but Gonzalo told them not to bother.
Our ladies’ side finished first in the ‘silver section’ of the Girls Cup 2017, held in Vila-real; I believe Espanyol won the gold category. And we had another youth side (not sure of age) in action in a tournament in Lugo, which they won.
Season ticket sales are up to over 7,000; I believe that pace is comparable to last season. Sr. Roig Negueroles gave an interview to Radio Vila-real where he confirmed what has been said before (no need to sell players, we have a balanced budget apart from player sales, we have options for the loaned players who returned to us). Rodri is under contract for four more years; we still own 50% of Gerard Moreno’s rights and are not interested in selling them to Espanyol; we should expect N’Diaye to be sold, as there is no place for him in the current squad; and we are paying absolutely no attention to Marcelino, but we wish him well at Valencia.
Villarreal’s budget will be around €100m (all levels) this season, with the increase over last year due to higher TV revenues—still well behind Atleti and Sevilla, and way, way behind the big two. We should not expect to see any more player moves unless the offer is really, really good, and we have a replacement already lined up. So, sounds like we should have another quiet month of preseason ahead of us!