Mateu Alemany to Aston Villa?
As MOMS reported recently, Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow had promised Villa supporters that the owners and club would be going “bold” in the summer, based on the progress that Unai Emery has already made. The first step of this seems to be the appointment of outgoing Barcelona director of football, Mateu Alemany.
Alemany had been contracted until 2024 to Barcelona, but the club announced yesterday, that he will officially leave them next month on 30 June. it’s believed that Aston Villa’s financial package was significantly higher than Alemany’s current deal at the Nou Camp.
Having been at Barcelona for the past couple of years, the 60-year-old has been behind the restructuring of Barca, after their free-spending ways threaten to cripple the club. In the face of that, he’s been given a prime mover behind building a squad to win this season’s La Liga. As the below club statement issued last night suggests, Alemany’s task there was building a team to win La Liga despite financial firefighting. Alemany has certainly demonstrated acuteness in the transfer market with clever loans and free agency to add the required quality level, yet balance the books.
Ironically, he’s the man that sold Philippe Coutinho to Villa, so will his first job be to offload the Brazilian again?
Last night Barcelona issued the following statement:
The FC Barcelona director of football, Mateu Alemany, will end his time at the Club on 30 June to begin a new professional project.
Despite having a contract until 2024, Mateu Alemany has informed the FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, of his intention to take a new path in his career but at the same time assuring that he will complete the summer transfer market with the Club.
Therefore, despite formally leaving the Club on 1 July, thanks to an informal agreement, Mateu Alemany has committed himself to completing the first team’s transfer business this summer, even if it should be at the final moments of the transfer window.
The incorporation of Mateu Alemany into the first team’s structure following Joan Laporta’s victory in the presidential elections has allowed FC Barcelona to complete operations that appeared impossible and provide the coach with a competitive team within the confines of the ongoing financial problems. President Laporta has accepted this departure due to Mateu’s commitment to conduction the summer transfer business until the last moment and to be able to be consulted by the Club whenever necessary.
FC Barcelona will shortly announce changes in the football executive structure once Mateu Alemany’s departure is announced.
Mateu Alemany’s Pedigree
While his time at Barcelona is the glitzy headliner grabber, it is perhaps his work at Valencia though that is most attractive to Villa. Between 2017 and 2019, he helped the coach then, Marcelino, transform a lower table La Liga team to two top four finishes and the Copa del Rey title in the second season.
Alemany learnt his trade pretty much at Real Mallorca, having spent two decades at Real Mallorca split between acting as a CEO and club president. While he was CEO of the Catalan team between 1993–2000 and then during his first spell as the club’s President, after getting them promoted after several seasons in Segunda División, they broke into the big time with a couple of third place finishes in La Liga, that led to them playing in the Champions League in the 1999/00 and 2001/02 seasons, with the likes of Samuel Eto’o and Jovan Stanković in their ranks.
There has been previous Premier League interest in Alemany, prior to his move to Barcelona. Most recently, Alemany was being lined up for a sporting director position at Newcastle United by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, when they were initially interested in Newcastle.
Alemany ended up at Barcelona, the zenith of Spanish football, so something may have happened backhand the scenes to trigger his move away, besides the financial package that Villa have offered. A factor, that will no doubt have contributed to him saying yes, is the Unai Emery factor and his Spanish backroom staff – even Villa CEO Christian Purslow can speak a decent level of Spanish.
Villa Barca Expectations
While some Villa fans will fall over them selves over Alemany’s potential arrival, mainly due to the Barcelona connection in his CV, like in the case of Adama Traore, let’s judge him on what he actually does for Villa. After all, it’s your 15% rise in season ticket and match day ticket prices that will be covering his salary.