Squad news

THE TRANSFER POLICY AT DEPORTIVO

17 Jul 2012
It has called the attention the fact that Deportivo has four loaned players coming from Sporting CP; it’s just the latest twist in the transfer policy of the club; always depending on the financial situation at the Galician club.

The twenty-four years that Lendoiro has spent at Deportivo have witnessed the different transfer policies that have depended of the financial status at the club. Right now it calls the attention the large number of loan spells that have been negotiated (five), mainly as four of them were negotiated with Portuguese club Sporting Clube de Portugal.

The key for this is not the club that’s releasing the players, but the intermediary: Jorge Mendes. Deportivo is landing at Primera División after a season at liga Adelante, its large debt, combined with the money lost with the relegation, is limiting the money that can be invested in new signings, so the president opted for the only way to get the players that can assure a certain level: negotiate loans/final transfers with football investment funds.

And the master in this business is Mendes, who by the way is an old ally of Lendoiro. Many fans don’t like this new policy, because they thing it brings instability as the club is forced to make major shifts each season, always depending of a third party. The point is that Lendoiro already tested three different transfer policies since his arrival to the club in 1988, all of them brought different results; many were positive; others were negative.

The first transfer policy of the president was used in a club without a large debt, but at the same time almost broke. The formula was to nurture a recently promoted club to Primera with valid players without a room at other clubs, it’s quite accepted that the “Super Depor” was born from the “remains” of clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona.

In this sense the club signed players like Luis María López Rekarte coming from FC Barcelona or Adolfo Aldana from Real Madrid. Other players like Donato and Alfredo Santaelena found a spot at Depor after ending their stages at other big club (Atletico Madrid). This first policy also consisted in searching for players in regions that were unknown at the time, mainly the Balkans.

For this reason men like Bulgarians Atanas Kirov, Georgi Slavcev and Ilian Kiriakov, plus Serbian Miroslav Đukić arrived to Deportivo at the beginning of the 1990’s. The true is that only Đukić succeeded at Depor. Still, the club insisted with these kinds of signings and Bulgarian Emil Kostadinov plus Russian Dmitri Radchenko arrived a the middle of the decade. Both failed to adapt and Lendoiro forgot this market since that day. Radchenko was probably one of the biggest failures at the club as Depor paid €2.3 million for him.

The switch to the second policy begun some years before with the arrival of Bebeto and Mauro Silva. Lendoiro had finally found a balance in the economy of the club, which allowed investing money in players. Bebeto was the first big signing made by the club as the Galicians paid the record fee of €2 million to Vasco Da Gama for the striker. It looks insignificant, but it was a fortune in 1992, especially taking it mind that it also paid €1.6 million for Mauro Silva.

From that point Deportivo moved to the big leagues investing heavily in new players until reaching the peak of €65 million for the season 2000/01. And it’s that almost all the players that helped to concrete the golden years of Depor in the UEFA Champions League meant important investments, starting with Sergio (€18 million), so far the biggest signing made by Deportivo.

Other big transfers of this era were Rivaldo (€7.4 million), Naybet (€1.6 million), Coinceicao (€5.2 million), Djalminha (€9.5 million), Pauleta (€5.3 million), Roy Makaay (€8.6 million), Víctor Sánchez (€7.6 million), César Martin (€7.4 million), Valerón/Capdevila/Molina (€21.5 million), Diego Tristán (€18 million), Jorge Andrade (€12 million) and Albert Luque (€15 million).

This wealthy era ended as soon as Deportivo could no longer afford the big signings, the debt was pressing the economy of the club, so it gave a step backwards and it started to search, once again, for free transfers. It was the year 2005 and the situation wasn’t the same that Lendoiro met fifteen years before, because many clubs have been imitating this policy and it was hard to get good players for free.

So, he launched the policy of ‘haunting’ at the B squads of other clubs, the idea was to combine these promising signings with the youngsters already living at Abegondo. It was the so called ‘third lesson of Lendoiro’. In this way players like Cristian Hidalgo, Filipe Luis, Joan Verdú, Álvaro Arbeloa and Ángel Lafita landed in A Coruña.

But Lendoiro didn’t forget of the big signings and the club completed a few ones: Andrés Guardado (€7 million) and Diego Colotto (€2.5 million). The big problem of this third policy is that it was hard to get the lads at big clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona, they were aware of the value of these youngsters and Lendoiro faced tough negotiations that ended in complex loan deals with multiple clauses; the best example is the case of Lafita, which led to an endless legal battle.

For the season 2010/11 Lendoiro was still insisting in this policy, so Michel, Rubén Pérez, Urreta and Knut Rindarøy arrived to the club in loan deals. They were joined by experienced men like Desmarets, Claudio Morel and Pepe Sand. It was the last season of the third transfer policy, the formula didn’t work and it led to disaster as Depor ended at Segunda. Just the place where Lendoiro received the club when he arrived to the presidency. Now, after a transition year, the president is launching this fourth way of making signings for Deportivo. Actually, it already started last year with the arrival of Bruno Gama and Diogo Salomão.

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