El Centrocampista

CENTS AND SENSIBILITY – How Team Dubai landed at Getafe

By Olly Dawes

Howls of derision were cast across Spanish and indeed world football when ‘Team Dubai’ announced that they had bought little old Getafe, based in the South of Madrid.

That might not sound quite so hilarious to you, but when they named plans to rename Getafe as ‘Getafe Team Dubai’ there was a mixture of apoplexy and uncontainable laughter, depending on which part of Madrid you were based.

The howls have suddenly died down however. The sheikhs, or the ‘Royal Emirates Group’, have invested plenty of money, but the spending has been controlled and sensible. They have tried to make steady progress instead of radical, revolutionary changes at the club. There was no talk of world class managers, bids of £50m for players or the like, in fact, quite the opposite to Malaga.

Fans of Getafe may finally have something to cheer about.

There has been a change at the helm though, after a disappointing year where they stayed up on the final day of the season. Impressive young manager Luis Garcia Plaza has moved to take the reigns at Getafe after incredibly leading Levante to a mid table finish on the smallest budget in La Liga. On a playing staff front, there have been sensible purchases such as Alberto Lopo and Juan Rodriguez from relegated Deportivo, anchorman Mehdi Lacen from cash-strapped Santander and Diego Castro from Sporting Gijon.

The Royal Emirates Group have already spoken out about this strategy, saying “We are in the process of building up a big and good all-round team. But we will be a bit more conservative in what we are doing as we don’t want to go crazy and scare and shake-up everyone in Europe.” The sentiments came as a relief to all Getafe fans after the ‘Team Dubai’ fiasco.

Amongst all these positives, there seems to have been somewhat of an exodus at the club, losing key players over the summer. Talented playmaker Dani Parejo joined a rejuvenated Valencia, Ghanaian powerhouse Derek Boateng moved to Ukraine with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, despite interest from English sides, Uruguayan forward Juan Albin  was signed by Espanyol following the expiration of his Getafe contract and striker Manu del Moral was sold to Sevilla after breaking into the national team setup.

The need for more bodies has not been ignored by Dr Kaiser Rafiq, the Managing Director of the REG, saying “We still need another four players, preferably an offensive midfielder, wing defender and strikers, and these will be known in due course”

Ambitious bids for Martin Montoya and Bojan Krkic were turned down by Barcelona, but a renewed bid for Hercules’ Paraguayan hitman Nelson Haedo Valdez is expected in the next few days. Former Getafe winger Pedro Leon has also been linked with a return after being frozen out of Jose Mourinho’s Galacticos at the Bernabeu.

There are many more bodies needed at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, but many people have been impressed with how Getafe have done business so far this summer, and I would expect the same level of sensibility from ‘Team Dubai’ in the near future. If Getafe can achieve a top half finish, we might just see the cents come into play next summer.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: CENTS AND SENSIBILITY – How Team Dubai landed at Getafe « Sublime Finish

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