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WHAT’S NEXT FOR DEPORTIVO

29 Aug 2020
Deportivo are pushed to Segunda B, precisely the year in which the third tier of Spanish football is facing a facelift. The present article analyzes what the Galicians will meet there.

Deportivo have only played three times at the third tier of Spanish football; the present article is trying to clarify the doubts that the fans could have regarding the future of the Galicians in this division.

CAN DEPOR RETURN TO SEGUNDA THROUGH ORDINARY JUSTICE?
Yes. It has happened before, actually it just happened in the Basketball league (ACB). A judge can restore the presence of a club in a certain division. Deportivo will present its case, but it will take some months. The club will also present a motion to freeze the start of the season until its case is resolved, but it isn’t probable that a judge will accept it, because that precautionary measure would also affect other clubs’ rights. It’s more likely that it could happen ahead next season.

IS DEPOR FEASIBLE AT SEGUNDA B?
Yes, at least in the short term, because it was just bought by ABANCA and the money available is just enough to be the biggest club in the league in terms of finances. There’s a report saying that, due to the pandemic, all the Segunda B clubs will suffer a lot on this season as they could lose up to the 60% of their incomes (mainly tickets sell). President Fernando Vidal said on Thursday that the club could be forced to make some adjustments, but beyond firing people, these adjustments will be more related to accelerate the retirement of some employees.

SEGUNDA DIVISIÓN B
Segunda División B or Segunda B is the third tier of Spanish football, this name came in 1977 after the Spanish Federation decided to introduce a new tier located between Segunda and Tercera División. This league is administrated by the Spanish Federation (RFEF) and the regional federations and is considered to be a “not professional” league, because not all the players have a professional contract with their respective clubs.

A contract is considered to be “professional” when the footballer who receives a remuneration exceeds the compensation of the expenses derived from the football activity. The RFEF has been trying to professionalize this league, that’s why they request a certain number of players with a professional contract. In the past it was eight players, but since last season this number was increased to ten.

The RFEF announced at the end of 2019 that they were planning to introduce a new tier below the third one, the reason is that they want to increase the requirements to participate in the third tier, the goal is to have a more professional league, one that can sell their TV rights to a third party like Primera and Segunda.

Normally, Segunda B is composed by 80 clubs divided in 4 groups that are created attending to geographical reasons, but for the season 2020/21 the number is increased to 102 clubs. The intention is to have 4 promoted clubs to Segunda, then to have 40 clubs that will qualify for the new third tier ahead of the campaign 2021/22, which will be called Segunda B Pro (This league will have two groups, North and South).

A large group of clubs will stay at this division, but at the same time they will be demoted as they will be part of the fourth tier. And then there will be a certain number of clubs that will be demoted to Tercera, which for the season 2021/22 will be the fifth tier of Spanish football. This means that there will be clubs that will begin the season 2020/21 at the third tier and will directly go down to the fifth tier.

SYSTEM OF COMPETITION
The system of competition remains undecided for the season 2020/21, the reason is that the RFEF was expecting for the guidance of the government regarding the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to decide what to do. The only thing that has been revealed so far is the intention of having ten groups, eight will have ten clubs and two will have eleven.

Each group will have their participants playing a two-round tournament, it means a short tournament with 18/19 matchdays, the first four places will earn the pass to the promotion playoff, instance that remains undecided regarding its structure. It isn’t known also what will happen with the remaining clubs that won’t earn the pass to the playoff, apparently they will play a permanence playoff in order to stay at the third tier for the campaign 2021/22. It’s expected that the RFEF will clarify these issues on Monday.

THINGS STILL TO DE DECIDED
The Spanish Federation will have a meeting with the regional federations on Monday, it’s expected that it is the key day to decide the full details of the system of competition for the season 2020/21, which includes dates, composition of the groups and additional rules.

What’s known for now is that the first matchday of the first round should be played between October 7 and 14. The initial proposition is that Deportivo will be in a group with another Galician club plus teams from Castille & León, Guijuelo and Zamora.

IS POSSIBLE TO WATCH THE GAMES ON TV?
The RFEF doesn’t have any contract with TV companies, so the rights belong to each club and they are free to negotiate according to their interests. In Galicia, TVG normally transmits all the home games and some away matches of the Galician clubs (free on the Internet). There’s also Footters, which is a streaming platform that allows the clubs to transmit and sell their games to the viewers, they even have monthly plans (€6.99) and yearly plans (€69.99). Deportivo is a very attractive product, so it is highly probable that all the league games will be online.

VAR
No, Segunda B isn’t using the VAR system. For now, this technology is only applied at Primera and Segunda División.

HOUR OF THE GAMES
There aren’t matchdays on midweeks at Segunda B, the reason is that several clubs have players that need a main job and therefore they aren’t available on those days. There are exceptions, like holidays and postponed games. The matches are played on Saturday and Sundays and take place at noon or early in the afternoon, because the teams make their trips on bus and the clubs have an agreement to not schedule games at night for safety reasons. There are some exceptions when the distance between the rivals is short.

WILL DEPOR PLAY THE COPA DEL REY?
It isn’t known, because the RFEF hasn’t released the rules for the new edition. But if they keep the same criterion of last season, then Deportivo will play the Copa Del Rey as it was part of Segunda on the previous campaign.

THE COMPOSITION OF THE TEAM
The third tier of Spanish football presents a very different scenario compared to Primera and Segunda División.  Since this tier is administrated by the RFEF, there are no salary caps as there isn’t a financial control of the clubs. Each team can only inscribe 22 players, 6 of them must be U-23 players and 10 of them must have a professional contract. There are no restrictions on the number of foreign players (without EU passport), but they must have their legal residency in Spain. Another curiosity is the transfer window, there’s only one as it goes from the summer to January, but the RFEF hasn’t clarified yet if this measure will be applied this season.

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