In this post I’ll be detailing how our facilities currently stack up, what the financial situation is and outline what the board is expecting us to achieve this season.
The facilities at the club were one of the things that attracted me to it in the first place. I’d spotted during my dealings with Vitória whilst at Stirling that it was a club capable of producing some very promising young players. Looking at the quality of our facilities on my first day as manager, I don’t have any complaints at all.
The club boasts superb training facilities, which gives our senior and youth players a great environment to better themselves. It can be improved, but it’s a great level to start at.
The youth facilities are great. This influences the quality of the players we’ll get through the clubs youth intake. Again, it’s a great starting point but there’s a bit of room to improve them. When the finances allow, I’ll be looking to.
Our juniors, pre-intake young players, receive excellent coaching. This influences the quality and quantity of training they receive before joining the club as youth players through the intake.
Our youth recruitment is established. The club operates in a competitive region in a competitive country. The best players currently want to play for Porto, Benfica or Sporting, and especially in the north, Porto are closeby, along with Boavista and Braga. We should be looking to max this out as best we can to attract the best youth players we possibly can.
Our data analyst facilities are currently basic, leaving a lot to do to improve these to an acceptable level for how I want the club to operate.
The Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, named after the first king of Portugal who is claimed to have been born in Guimarães, holds just over 30,000 fans. It ranks 6th out of the 18 Premeira Liga clubs in capacity, behind Benfica, Sporting, Porto, Belenenses (now playing in the Estádio Nacional) and our rivals, Braga.
It was renovated for Euro 2004, although it only ended up hosting two matches. Vitória’s current average attendance is the best in the country after that of Os Três Grandes, I’m hoping that continues under my management.
The club has no debt to note, which puts it on a sound footing. Rare in the footballing world of today. There’s £2.4m in the club bank balance, which hardly makes us cash rich but the situation isn’t dire either. I’ll be looking to do all we can to cut unnecessary costs and eventually earn the club some money to boost the balance.
One area where the club is earning money is via sponsorships. There’s a main kit deal worth £900k per season which runs until next summer. The club’s individual TV deal is the other key area of income. There’s a 10 year deal in place lasting until 2028 which sees us earn £18m per season. It’s not something I’ve ever come across before, so I’m speculating as to whether an additional one can be added on top of that? Or whether that’s our maximum until 2028. Either or, right now, it looks like a decent sum to earn each season.
It’s lucky I’m largely happy with my squad really because there’s a transfer budget of just £270k for me to dip into on day one. Moreover, the wage budget approved by the board is £103k per week, of which we’re already overspending by £5k. Unless I’m able to make moves to change that, I doubt they’ll be much transfer activity coming into the club any time soon.
The £110k scouting budget is more than enough to fund the senior and youth packages covering Portugal, with our scouting knowledge gained from our new scouting team and affiliates giving us 25% world knowledge in total.
Talking of those affiliates, there’s already a few links set up with some very good clubs across the world, and at home. Two of those are Cruzeiro and PSG. Both of those clubs aid us with their scouting knowledge, and vice versa. I may see what I can do about negotiating with both of them to potentially include sending us some players on loan in the future.
A club we can sign players on loan from with ease is our league rivals, Porto. I don’t see this being a long term link, as I one day hope to usurp them at the top of Portuguese football. For now though, I have to appreciate they’re far more reputable than us and I can use that to my advantage in securing short term deals for some of their promising or unwanted players. The deal sees us hosting an annual friendly too, which is scheduled for the end of pre-season, and also share scouting knowledge.
The other interesting affiliate is Titus Pétange. It’s a tie in which gives us first option on players from the Luxembourgian club. At the current time there isn’t any players of real quality I’d want to take a closer look at, but that could change in the future.
There’s four other clubs we’re affiliated to from the Portuguese lower leagues. We can send players on loan to them, but due to the level they’re currently playing at it’s unlikely I will.
As the club grows, I’ll be looking to add more affiliates to enable us to easily attract players from and increase the clubs reputation in different countries.
The club is coming off the back of a 9th place finish in the 2017/18 season. My personal aims are higher than this for this season. I’ve tweaked the board minimum expectation from another mid-table finish to a top half one. This gives me a little bit more legroom financially and still gives me a chance to overachieve as I’m aiming for continental qualification. The transfer and wage budgets are up to £302k in total and £108k a week with those changes. Putting us bang on in terms of current spend per week versus the wage bill.
At the time of writing, the bookies have us at 8-1 to win the league, and see us finishing in 5th place. That would see us qualifying for the Europa League second qualifying round, depending on the winner of the Taca de Portugal (Portuguese Cup), which the board expects us to reach at least the sixth round of. While in the Taca da Liga (League Cup), it’s a third round minimum expectation. A cup win would be incredible in my first season in charge, but I won’t be specifically targeting it. As strong a finish in the league as we can manage is the priority initially.
We’re the 5th on the reputation list for the country, sitting with a national status and three stars. The aim is to eventually overhaul our rivals Braga plus Os Três Grandes to sit atop this list. It’ll be tough, but that’s football.
You’ll be pleased to know that’s my first day at the club over and I’m about to properly embark on my managerial career at Vitória. Let’s go.
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