Spain: Racing de Ferrol wants a stadium worthy of great results

source: La Voz de Galicia; author: Miguel Ciołczyk Garcia

Spain: Racing de Ferrol wants a stadium worthy of great results It is not often that a newcomer dominates the entire league, yet the team from Galicia is 2nd in the Segunda División, and fighting for direct promotion to EA Sports' LaLiga. The obsolescence of the stadium is an obstacle, but the club is planning an ambitious upgrade not only of it, but of the entire infrastructure.


Is this season a breakthrough in Racing's history?

Racing is a small team from Ferrol, a town in Spanish Galicia that has never tasted the Primera División and was promoted to the 2nd tier of the competition the previous season. It entered LaLiga Hypermotion competition with momentum, winning 10, drawing eight and losing only four matches. After 22 rounds, only Leganés are ahead of the Ferrolans.

This has fired the imagination of Racing fans, who have begun to dream of a first promotion to the top level of the competition in the club's 104-year history. These dreams are grounded in reality, as direct promotion is assured by finishing 1st and 2nd, and even in the play-offs between the teams from places 3-6 Racing would have a very good chance.

Will the stadium be an obstacle to historic promotion to LaLiga?

There is one hitch. As club president Manuel Ansede has admitted, the team has already been conditionally admitted to the Segunda División due to Estadio de A Malata inadequacy, and Cristina Valiño, who is in charge of the stadium, not infrequently gets warnings from the competition's representatives due to shortcomings. All the more reason for the facility to be unsuitable for EA Sports' LaLiga.

The hasty upgrade carried out in the summer, which improved the state of the electrical system, ventilation and security systems, won’t help. Neither will do the roof renovation announced in October by Carlos Mouriz, the general manager. If the club wants to play in the Primera División, a modest 12,000-seater is not enough.

Estadio de A Malata© Mark

The solution is simple, but also costly

In this situation, Grupo Élite, the majority owner of the club, is in no doubt - an urgent modernisation must be carried out. The outline of the project was presented by President Manuel Ansede at the Annual General Meeting, announcing the allocation of an impressive €11 million. For comparison, Racing's budget for the 2023/24 season is €8.5 million.

The redevelopment will cover many aspects, but the main focus from the start is to be on the floodlighting and the quality of the pitch. As the spectator sections will be expanded to increase the number of seats, plans for the roof renovation have also been changed - the canopy is to cover the first rows.

Stadium renovation alone is not enough

But the stadium is only half of the ambitious plan to adapt the team's facilities to play at the highest level. The second pillar is to be the construction of a new sports town, because today Racing de Ferrol only has one training pitch with a natural turf measuring 93 x 58.5 metres, which makes practising difficult, as matches are played on a pitch with the typical dimensions of 105 x 68 metres.

Ferrol Town Council has already made plots of land available to the club for the new sports town, where work is currently underway to see if the land is suitable for development. If all goes according to plan, training pitches will be built there in the summer of 2025, followed by the gradual handover of buildings and other facilities.

Estadio de A Malata© Mark

The investment will be costly, but there is no better option

The Racing authorities have already presented the plans for the investment to the Ferrol City Council, the Provincial Council and the Galicia Council and are hoping for a quick process and, of course, funding. For a small club just entering professional football, €11 million is a fortune and a big risk.

In this situation, however, either the club will put up the money for A Malata and risk losing their financial liquidity, or they will miss out on a historic opportunity to gain promotion to the Primera División. It is also worth noting that the Ferrolans value their stadium, where they have not lost a single game in 2023, transforming A Malata into a true fortress.

A Malata, inaugurated in 1993, must undergo a major renovation at some point, and circumstances suggest that now is the right time. It remains to be hoped that the Ferrolans will maintain their good momentum, get into LaLiga EA Sports and show that the money is worth it.