What an incredible turnaround this season for Valencian Football. After the disastrous 2008-2009 campaign, when the club was mired in debt, with a huge new stadium they couldn’t afford to complete, VCF looked likely to be relegated. At the very least, experts agreed, they’d have to sell off all their stars — top-tier teams across Europe were eager to swoop down on Valencia’s stinking corpse and snatch up their stellar talent for pennies.
But Valencia ignored its debt, stubbornly kept all its best players, and this year has played incredible, inspired football, likely saving the club. With last night’s 3-1 victory over Xerez, Valencia has qualified for the Champions League. And the cash which will flow in from that competition (€3 million, just for qualifying) is sorely needed.
The Guardian has a terrific article explaining how Valencia was able to bluff its way back to life.
“The question is how did they do it? [… A] little help from friends in very high places. Sometimes even a rubbish hand can be a winning hand if you know how to ride it out – and when it comes to poker faces and playing hardball, few beat Valencia president Manolo Llorente.”The Guardian
With Levante UD likely to ascend to the top flight next season, this is turning out to be a banner year for Valencian football.