El Sardinero, Santander. Home of Los Verdiblancos; one of the founding clubs of Spain’s La Liga. Established in 1913, Racing Santander are one of Spain’s oldest clubs. Joining La Liga as the 10th founder – having beaten Valencia, Real Betis and Sevilla to the honour – the club’s performances have failed to find any true consistency. Santander have finished as high as 2nd in La Liga ( 1930/31), but have never won the title.
Despite a lack of top-level silverware, Racing Santander boast some interesting records. In 1935/36 they become the first club to beat both Real Madrid and Barcelona home and away in the league. They were the first club in Spain to wear a shirt sponsor, agreeing a deal with Teka in 1981.
Santander have yo-yo’d between the top two divisions in Spain for many years. But in the mid-2010’s, following a 2011 takeover by Indian tycoon Ahsan Ali Syed, Racing Santander ploughed headfirst into turmoil.
The takeover had been full of promise. Syed arrived promising big signings, a big future, and – eventually – competing in Europe! But the dream quickly turned into a nightmare. Syed was under investigation by Interpol for fraud, and he disappeared into the ether, leaving the club floundering, with no leadership and no direction.
3 different managers in the 2011/12 season preceded a double relegation and left the club battling internal and economic crises, with fans eventually storming the stadium during a cup game. January 2014 saw the team refuse to play in a cup game, resulting in their manager losing his job, and being replaced by former player Juan Antonio Sanudo.
Sanudo somewhat turned things around, winning the Segunda B group, and gaining promotion via the playoff in the 2013/14 season. However, the success was short-lived. Los Verdiblancos were relegated once again the following season. 2018/19 saw another promotion into the second division (then called La Liga 1|2|3), followed by (yep) another relegation.
And that is where we join the Racing Santander story.
A club with no top-flight success to speak of, and only one European appearance in their long history, Los Verdiblancos offer an opportunity to rebuild one of Spain’s most historic clubs into a true force both Domestically and on the Continent.
With current debt of around £8m, budget control and clever squad building will be key, as we aim to grow and build our way back through Spain’s league system. Personally, I aim to put the focus on building a brand of football, and investing in youth to grow the club over the years.