As we saw in the Introduction, Racing Santander have had more than their fair share of turbulent times in the past – this turbulence and specifically the financial difficulties brought about by incompetent ownership and successive relegations inform a huge part of the long and short term plans for the club.
As I moved through my first day at the club, it became apparent that over the next (hopefully many) seasons, my aim of returning Santander to the top levels of Spanish football would involve more than a couple of promotions and some big-spender loan deals for Premier League wonderkids in a couple of seasons.
“Make Santander Great Again” seems to be the board’s motto for this save, and while on-pitch goals leave me with a fair bit of scope after this season, the off-pitch expectations look like they will be much more demanding.
I am expected to win the League this season, but thereafter the board don’t seem to have much expectation for future success in the Second Division. Off the pitch, I look like I have two seasons to turn around the club’s financial situation, and repair the damage done by the club’s turbulent past.
Lets look at the damage, shall we?
Off the bat, £500k in the bank doesn’t look like a complete disaster, but we are already over-spending on our wage budget for the season, and the picture doesn’t get any rosier when we dig deeper into our debts and projections:
Honestly, looking at these graphs makes me happier about the conversations I have with my credit card companies…
It’s obvious that turning the club’s finances around will be a big ask, especially in the two-season timeframe I have been given. With virtually no sponsorship income from the league, and meagre prize money on offer, it looks like – for now at least – we’re going to have to develop our own starlets, and sell them off to the big clubs to fix the hole in our finances.
Of course, selling off players isn’t the only way to balance the books: Dictate The Game recently looked at some ways to make money which i’ll be using throughout this save – particularly arranging friendly tournaments: DTG suggested running friendlies throughout the season as well, but our squad isn’t big enough for such adventures.
During pre-season, I created two friendly leagues which featured some big-name teams (Villareal, Granada, Barcelona B and Bilbao B) which brought in a decent amount of cash ahead of the start of the season. We also managed to offload the large wage of Jordi Figueras (£5k/week) which, even with some new additions, brought our wage budget back under control:
Financially, we still run at a loss, however our starting position looks a lot healthier, with the club’s balance almost doubled. With pre-season wrapped up and the squad set, it is time to get stuck in on the field, but in order to be successful, I’ll have to keep at least half an eye on our finances across the year.