Well funded youth academy, regular European football and smart player transfers, the key to Villareal FC ´s sustainability

Translated from an article by Jabier Izquierdo  ( El Confidencial Newspaper)
16/01/2024 – 13:55

Three decades at the helm of Villareal FC – The ‘Roig model’ for Villarreal FC: Europe and youth as a ‘must’.

Fernando Roig, who has owned the club for 27 years, sold a 2.4% stake in the supermarket chain Mercadona to pay off the team’s debts after its relegation to the Second Division in 2012.

Fernando Roig is one of the longest-serving Presidents and owners of a European football Club. In May 2024 it will be 27 years since he acquired Villarreal CF, the team from a town of 50,000 inhabitants.

That traumatic 2011-2012 season that ended with relegation marked a before and after in the “Roig model”, a method of managing a professional club with very clear guide lines. The Castellón entity has just returned to profit, after three years in the red, due mainly to the pandemic. And they are the only team in LaLiga with a reserve team in the Second Division.

First of all, we have to regress to the summer of 2012. The club was relegated to the Second Division in a year in which it was competing in the Champions League. That season it had a turnover of 68 million euros.The owner invested almost 49 million euros, according to data extracted from 2Playbook Intelligence, the data and market intelligence unit of 2Playbook.

He sold 2.4% of his shares in Mercadona to his brother, Juan Roig, for 71.6 million euros.

 

He also transferred some of the club’s assets “to balance Villarreal’s results, so it is now a fully healthy club without any debt,” Roig said at the time. On the pitch, he sold various footballers for €50 million.

Villareal then created a new team to get promoted a year later. He achieved this, at a 58 million euro loss between the year of relegation and the year Villareal returned to La Liga. This is the time where the Roig model begins, which in brief signifies that every investment must end up with profitability or “break even” in that four-year period.

One of the keys to the Castellón club’s economic model is that every four years it has to return an accumulated ‘break even’

If the year of return to the First Division (2013-2014) fulfilled the owner’s mandate with his his son, Fernando Roig Negueroles, CEO of the club.

The academy is one of the most important assets in the Yellows’ philosophy. There are not many players from the region in the first team, although there are exceptions, such as Pau Torres, but the academy tends to bear fruit every season.

Pau Torres, Samu Chukwueze and Nicolas Jackson learnt their trade there. All three left the club in the summer, heading to top European clubs and raking in over 90 million Euros.

In addition, Villareal FC have gained a reputation of signing players at a low price and sold for a considerable profit. As an example, Cédric Bakambu, signed for €7.5 million from Bursaspor (Turkey) and sold for €40 million two and a half years later to Chinese BJ Guoan in the middle of the Asian giant´s football bubble.

Villareal paid 5.7 million euros to RCD Espanyol for Eric Bailly and transferred him, a year and a half later, for 38 million to Manchester United.

Diego Forlan, discarded from United, who signed for 3.2 million and after impressing was sold on a permanent move to Atlético de Madrid for 21 million.

With the Roig model youth academy model, Villarreal has a budget of 144 million euros for 2023-2024 and already close to 25 million euros in commercial income. In terms of sustainability and the future: net financial debt of less than three million, Villareal are one of the Clubs that are punching above their weigh in the highly competitive LA Liga.

Sol Sports Invest is delighted to announce that we can offer your business sponsorship opportunities at Villareal FC and be a part of La Liga.

Contact rpe@solsportsinvest.com or +34 607 375 234 for further details for an informal chat.

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