Despite extravagant links with Dubai-based businessmen, Getafe haven’t made the sort of progress they had anticipated. The Royal Emirates Group had, according to reports, agreed a deal for the club back in 2010 paving the way towards Champions League football and more for the Madrid minnows. However those hopes quickly evaporated as it became clear that the group had no intention of shovelling money into the club.
Instead Getafe look on in envy at Malaga who begin their first European quest into the Champions League, heavily backed by their Qatari owners. It’s a case of what might have been for Getafe whose owners seem content with their affiliation rather than taking affirmative action.
Sadly though the club doesn’t look like receiving any financial boost anytime soon, but they could definitely do with one. Part-time contenders for the Europa League spots last year, Getafe fell away into a more familiar mid-table position but the ever-ambitious president, Angel Torres, was less than satisfied.
“We achieved our objective and avoided relegation but we are far from happy. The coach and players did not achieve what could have been, playing in the Champions League or Europa League,” said Torres.
Yet without the kind of input which would make Getafe real contenders, they will remain in the shadows of their Madrid neighbours with an average attendance about the same as Bromsgrove Rovers.
Irrespective of the amount of fans Getafe have, they performed surprisingly well last year, earning some credible victories, most notably against Valencia, Sevilla and Barcelona. Juan Valera scored the only goal in a famous victory over the Catalan giants which proved to be the highlight of their season.
Many tipped Getafe for relegation ahead of last season but their stubborn defense proved to be one of the reasons for their survival. Cata Diaz was particularly impressive at centre-back and Atletico Madrid quickly snapped him up this summer. Miguel Angel Moya on the other hand, on loan from Valencia, showed just why he is one of the most respected keepers in La Liga and Getafe can count on his services again this season after he made his move permanent.
Pedro Leon has also extended his stay at the club, signing on loan for a second season from Madrid. Now in his second spell at Getafe, he will hope to have more of an impact this season having spent a long time out with injury.
Responsibility for banging in the goals will once again fall on the shoulders of Diego Castro, Miku and Daniel Guiza. Guiza didn’t enjoy the best of seasons last year after his return from Fenerbahce so he will be under pressure to live up to his €3million transfer fee.
A run in the Copa del Rey could be the only excitement we get from Getafe this season, aside from another laughable advertising campaign, as another mid-table finish beckons. Torres will continue to pester the Arabic owners for money but until that happens the club won’t be flirting with Europe soon.
La Liga: 11th
Copa del Rey: Last 32 (lost to Malaga 3-2 on agg)
Alexis Ruano loan from Sevilla
Miguel Angel Moya €1.8m from Valencia
Pedro Leon loan from Real Madrid
Angel Lafita free from Real Zaragoza
David Abraham free from FC Basel
Pablo Pintos free to Kasimpasa
Pedro Rios free to Levante
Alberto Escassi & Adrian Sardinero both free to Hercules
Javier Casquero free to Almeria
Oscar Ustari free to Boca Juniors
Javier Arismendi free to Mallorca
Cata Diaz €1m to Atletico Madrid
Pedro Mosquera loan to Real Madrid Castilla
One to Watch: Miku