x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Valencia have grounds for optimism for the future

Stadium developments mean it is not all bad news at present for the Primera Liga side.

It was not Valencia's fault that they started a grandiose plan to leave their old Mestalla home and move to a new 75,000 seater stadium just as Spain's construction and housing market collapsed, but the ensuing mess nearly sent them under.

With continual changes in the boardroom as officials tried to wrestle with selling the old stadium, it was lucky Valencia managed successive third-place finishes in the league and develop so many world-class players.

Credit then to Unai Emery, the coach, who is still scandalously under-appreciated by many of Valencia's 45,000 faithful. Emery was criticised again last week after Valencia's limp performance at Chelsea saw elimination from the Champions League. And again at the weekend after a surprise 2-1 loss at hopelessly out of form Real Betis.

Despite the results, everyone in Valencia is smiling. On Monday, a bank agreed a deal which will see work resume on Valencia's half built stadium after 1,000 days of inactivity.

A bank will now own the Mestalla land and doubtless profit from its excellent inner city location in better economic times, while the Nou Mestalla will be finished, hopefully for 2013/14.

As well as being one of the best stadiums in world football, there are expected increases in crowds, sponsors and corporate facilities. Fans hope that translates into not selling future David Villas, Juan Matas and David Silva.

Here's to a brighter future. Spain needs another heavyweight to challenge the big two.