x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Granada made in Italy, but envied in Spain

Udinese have a stake in over 100 players, and Granada provide a high-level environment to try those. The fans are not complaining from the parent-feeder relationship.

Granada's back-to-back promotions, which saw them reach Spain's top flight for the first time since 1976, were achieved with a team consisting almost entirely of loan players from Udinese.

The Italian club were once provincial nonentities, but have been praised for their scouting network which identified emerging talents such as Alexis Sanchez.

Udinese finished fourth in Serie A last season, and qualified for the Champions League play-offs, but most of their contracted players were out on loan at other clubs, including Granada.

Under their deal with Granada, they agreed to take over their debts, and a parent/feeder relationship was established.

Granada benefited from players, such as the Spanish winger Dani Benitez and last season's top scorer, the Swiss striker Alex Geijo.

Udinese have an ownership stake in over 100 players and Granada give them a high-level environment to try those players. Granada fans are delighted, and have brushed aside accusations that their identity has been weakened.

The waft of envy is relevant among rival teams who don't think it is fair because their wage bill is subsidised by the Italian parent club, but whether they have enough talent to stay up is the question.

Granada lost their opening game at home to Andalusian neighbours, Real Betis, and look like they are set for a relegation battle. Another Andalusian derby beckons on Monday when they travel to monied Malaga.

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