The Covid-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the salary of La Liga football clubs. At a virtual press conference earlier this month, La Liga President Javier Tebas named Valencia as one of the clubs who would be taking the biggest financial hit in terms of salary due to the pandemic. But the current financial strain has not hampered Valencia’s determination to pull through.
In a virtual press conference with reporters this week, Valencia Executive President Anil Murthy revealed details about ‘Project Academy’ and said that the ongoing health crisis has presented an opportunity to the club to build academy players and grow them into first-team footballers.
“I know I am speaking some lofty and big ideas about opportunities. This issue of financial problems gave us an opportunity to do something we wanted to do for a long time that is to try and build a team fueled by the academy to give us a strong identity,” Murthy replied to a question asked by Hindustan Times.
“To bring up young boys in the pipeline who could make it to the first team, keep sustainable, and not overspend that we used to do. We used to spend too much money not planning how are we going to pay next year,” he added.
Murthy further added that the Covid-19 has exposed clubs such as Valencia who were overspending each year. He added that the Spanish club is now in control of the narrative.
“What Covid has done is exposed which many clubs including us Valencia in what used to do. Today, we are in control of this narrative and hopefully we will grow into something very successful. It depends on us whether we can make this happen. We are trying very hard to do so,” he said.
La Liga football has taken a massive increase in popularity over the past few years. After the return of football in July this year, La Liga has reportedly seen a 72 per cent increase in viewership in India. But the fan following in India is largely limited to Barcelona and Real Madrid, while other clubs still unable to develop a fandom in the country.
But Valencia president revealed that growing a cultural base in India is definitely something he has his eyes on. “We know that India is an emerging market for LaLiga. It’s a market for us to discover, and one that could be key in the future,” Murthy replied to Hindustan Times’ question on the subject.
“As a club, we have the obligation to have a global perspective, and naturally we have our eye on how audiences and interest is growing in that country, thanks to the agreement between LaLiga and Facebook for the broadcast of matches,” he further said.
Meanwhile, Valencia suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid on Saturday in La Liga.