Valencia, historically one of the most successful clubs in La Liga, even enjoying a stint as one of the best in Europe during two back to back appearances in the Champions’ League final, in 2000 & 2001, losing to Real Madrid and Bayern München respectively. More recently, however, they have been forced to sell just to survive. Nothing indicates this more than the half built Nou Mestalla, begun in 2007 but left abandoned since 2009 as the club ran out of money to continue the project. Star players were forced to leave, with club legends such as David Silva, Juan Mata and David Villa all sold, just to balance the books.

When Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim took over as majority owner in 2014, it was supposed to signal a change in fortunes. However, since his arrival the club have continued to struggle, illustrated spectacularly with the failed appointment of Gary Neville as manager for 3 months during the 2015-16 season. Other appointments have also failed, such as Cesare Prandelli who resigned after just 10 games in charge, or Pako Ayestarán who was sacked after just 12 games in charge, losing 8 of them. During that time, players have continued to leave to balance the books, with talents including André Gomes, Shkodran Mustafi and João Cancelo departing for big money (although there have been a few big money incomings too over the last decade). And while rumours circulate the club may finally be heading to their new stadium, with work set to continue, speculation is also rife that Peter Lim is looking to sell the club. This summer the club invested nothing in the playing squad, while losing Rodrigo, Ferran Torres and Geoffrey Kondogbia all for big money, which has only fueled the speculation further.

Football Manager 2021: Loving the slick new look….

With the arrival of Football Manager 2021, initially on beta release, this seems like a perfect time to iron the shirts, dust off the notebooks, fire up the Excel analysis sheets and give something back to the Valencian public. Here goes…

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Massive technology geek Former runner looking to rediscover two working knees Ex Personal trainer currently looking to escape self imposed fitness exile Manchester City season ticket holder until 1998 & again from 2002 to present Atlético Madrid season ticket holder 1999-2001 & still follow from afar Love creative writing, and former journalist for Opta Soccer, Planetfootball & Sky Sports Former games tester, researcher and designer for Gremlin Interactive, Infogrames & Dinamic Multimedia

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