August 21, 2011

Spain: the 3 promoted clubs from Segunda División to La Liga for the 2011-12 season.

Filed under: Spain — admin @ 2:58 pm

The 3 promoted clubs in La Liga

La Liga players, and Segunda División players, have gone on strike – from, from 19 Aug., by Sid Lowe, ‘Strike brings pain to Spain over players’ demand for emergency fund – La Liga faces prolonged shutdown while players’ union fights for a guarantee that protects all unpaid wages‘.

Some 200 players in La Liga and Segunda División are owed around 43 million Euros in back salary (!) {see this article, from the Rob Train blog at ESPN Soccernet, from 21 Aug., ‘Player strike delays La Liga season‘}.
[editor's note: the strike lasted just one week.]

Real Betis returns to La Liga after a 2-season spell back in the Segunda División. Betis had previously been in the second tier in 2000-01. Real Betis Balompié S.A.D were formed in 1907. The Seville club, with a fan base large enough to average around 38,000 per game in good seasons, has spent 46 seasons in the first division; the 2011-12 La Liga season, whenever it begins, will be Betis’ 47th season in the top flight. Seville, the 4th largest city in Spain, has a city population of around 704,000 and a metro-area population of around 1.5 million {2010 figures}. Real Betis won the 1934-35 La Liga season, for the club’s sole national title. That team was managed by the Irish international Patrick O’Connell. O’Connell had guided Betis out of the second division in 1932. Their 1935 championship came on the final day of the season, when they beat Santander and pipped Real Madrid by 1 point for the crown in the then-twelve-team-league. O’Connell left the next season to manage Barcelona. Betis have won 2 Copa del Rey – in 1977 and 2005. Betis’ 1977 cup win was over Athletic Bilbao, and needed 21 penalties and an 8-7 tally to decide the 2-2 match. Betis’ 2005 cup win saw them beat Osasuna 2-1 in aet. Betis play in the 52,000-capacity Estadio Benito Villamarín. [It is significant that while Betis play in stadium with a larger capacity than local rivals Sevilla FC (who play at the 48,500-capacity Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán), Sevilla have outdrawn Betis every season since 2002-03. Sevilla's highest crowds in the last decade were in 2006-07, when they drew 43,632 per game; while Betis' highest crowds in the last decade were also in 06/07, when they drew 38,737.] Betis averaged 31,095 per game last season, which is a huge figure for the Spanish second division, where often, no team draws over 20,000 per game, and where very few clubs can draw even 15,000 per game. Betis play in green-and-white vertically-striped jerseys – green and white are the colors of the flag of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. Betis’ green is usually a lighter shade of green than the Andalusian flag, although this season [2011-12], Betis have an alternate kit that includes a jersey in a darker shade of green – see this from

Rayo Vallecano are the self-styled left-wing football club of Madrid. Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, S.A.D. were formed in 1924. The team plays in white jerseys with a red sash. They play in the three-sided Estadio de Vallecas, which has a capacity of 15,500. The ground is in the working-class neighborhood of Vallecas, in the south-east of Madrid, 9 metro stops and 15 minutes south of the Sol station in the center of Madrid [Madrid has a city population of around 3.2 million and a metro-area population of around 6.4 million {2010 figures}]. Rayo Vallecano have spent 11 seasons in La Liga; 2011-12 will be the club’s 12th season in the top flight. Their last spell in the top tier was a 4-season stint from 1999-2000 to 2002-03 that included the club’s best-ever finish (of 9th place in 1999-2000), and a UEFA Cup run that saw them reach the 2000-01 UEFA Cup quarterfinals (going out to the Basque side Deportivo Alavés). Rayo Vallecano’s relegation in 2003 was just the start of their troubles, and another relegation in 2004-05 saw Rayo Vallecano stuck in the third division, in Segunda División B. Rayo returned to the second division in 2008. The club had financial problems for years, but the situation got worse when, during Rayo Vallecano’s promotion-run last season, the squad was only sporadically being paid – like, circa March 2011, only twice in the past 9 months. [Note - this is an example of the main reason why players in Spain in the top two divisions have gone on strike.] The owner, Jose Maria Ruiz Mateos, had previous as a tax cheat and spent time in prison for that a few years earlier. He’s the sort of businessman that did quite well when Franco was in power, and supported the status quo back then. His politics are lovely, too, with him giving lavishly to the creepy far right-wing Opus Dei organization. [What a great businessman this guy is...he's a right winger who buys the most left-wing football club in the country. That's a like an Israeli consortium buying a hog farm.] By early in 2011, his holding company was in financial crisis, and for pretty much all season long, the players were not being paid. In March, Ruiz Matos’ wife, Maria Teresa Rivero, who was the figurehead at the top of the club, accused the players of not trying, after a 4-1 loss to a basement club. That’s some pretty twisted moral values right there – criticizing the commitment of your players whom you have been failing to pay. Next thing you know there’s fan demonstrations outside the owners’ domicile, and even player protests prior to match kick-offs. {See this article, from When Saturday Comes site, from 4 March 2011, by Huw Richards, ‘Rayo Vallecano held back by their owners‘.} Well, the good news is that that owner and his charming wife, after 20 years, are now gone. The new owner is a local businessman, Raúl Martín, age 36, who made his money in the printing industry. The bad news is that Rayo Vallecano are now in administration. Being in administration in Spain is not necessarily as onerous as it is in England, because there are never any points deductions that accompany going-into-administration, like in England. However, with administrators now trying to force a 70%-pay-cut on the players, it looks like even more players are set to walk. From the site, from 19 June 2011, ‘Rayo Vallecano reach La Liga after tumultuous period of absence‘.

Granada CF wouldn’t be back in La Liga after a 35-year spell in the lower leagues without the support of Serie A club Udinese. 12 players on loan from Udinese contributed to Granada’s second-straight promotion in 2010-11, and several of those Udinese loanees were starters for Granada. In fact, a Udinese loan player, the Nigerian FW Odion Ighalo, was responsible for the goal that got Granada promoted, in the play-off finals versus Elche. And the fourth-highest scorer in Segunda División last season, the Swiss-born/ethnic Spaniard Alexandre Geijo (who netted 24 times last season), was and still is also on loan from Udinese to Granada. All this was the result of Granada president Quique Pina, who was a player agent in Italy and whose previous job was with Udinese Calcio. Udinese have a rather small fan base that produces crowds of only around 17,000 per game, and this club from the north-east of Italy survives in the Italian top flight by eventually selling off a good portion of the talent they develop. So it’s a win-win situation that circumvents the no-promotions-allowed-for-B-teams rule, by Udinese essentially having their B team in another country. Udinese have also given financial support to Granada. Granada CF are from Granada, in the south of Spain in Andalusia, about 50 km. (30 miles) from the coast, and 212 km. (132 miles) east of Seville. The city of Granada has a population of around 237,000 {2007 figure}. Granada is at the confluence of 3 rivers at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. The city of Granada is 738 meters (2,421 feet) above sea level. The Moorish palace and fortress and present-day museum and tourist-mecca the Alhambra, built in the 14th Century, is in Granada. Granada CF plays at the smart and compact, small-yet-still-three-tiered Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes, which has a capacity of 22,890 (but the stadium had been restricted to a 16,212 capacity while Granada was in the lower divisions). Granada drew 14,143 per game last season. Granada CF has a distinctive, narrow, shield-shaped crest in red and white, with angular and stylized G-C-F initials; and the team plays in red-and-white hooped jerseys and blue pants. Granada have spent 17 seasons in La Liga, and when the 2011-12 La Liga season gets underway, it will be Granada’s 18th season in the top flight. Granada Club de Fútbol were formed somewhat later than the bulk of top-division clubs in Spain, in 1931. It only took the club a decade to make it to the top flight – Granada made it’s first division debut in 1941-42. Granada’s most successful era was in the 1970s, with 8 seasons in La Liga then, including two 6th-place-finishes – in 1971-72 and 1973-74, which are Granada’s highest finishes.

Photo credits -
Rayo Vallecano…Aerial image of stadium [formely called Estadio Teresa Rivero] now called Estadio de Vallecas from’s Eye satellite view, here. 4 interior photos of Estadio de Vallecas from, ‘Vuestros estadios: Estadio Teresa River (Vallecas, Madrid)‘.

Real Betis…Aerial photo of stadium [formerly called Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera] now called Estadio Benito Villamarín] by PrishtinaLund at, here. Exterior photo of stadium with houses in the foreground by nosbigdivad at, here. Exterior photo of stadium by Gregory Zeier at, here. Interior photo ofstadium by hombre at, here.

Granada…Aerial image of Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes from’s Eye satellite view, here. Panoramic image of Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes from, here. Photo during a match at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes by Lanadahlauts at, here.

Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendances.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011-12 La Liga‘.
Thanks to for the base map of Spain, Demis Web Map Server.

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