Dutch Clubs Visit Spain To Study The Growth Of LaLiga

February 25, 2020

LaLiga has become a reference for other sporting competitions that want to study how the league and its clubs go about their business. Given its desire to support the global growth of football, LaLiga has an open policy towards sharing its methods with competitors. The latest example of this was a trip by clubs in the Netherlands’ first and second divisions and from the KNVB, the country’s football federation, to LaLiga Santander clubs SD Eibar, Athletic Club and Real Sociedad.

KNVB Expertise, a research centre and consultancy group in Dutch football, organises a trip every year for a selection of clubs for them to develop and become even more professional. This year’s trip brought them to Spain’s Basque country, which despite being one of the country’s smallest regions boasts four LaLiga Santander clubs.


To help explain Spanish football’s off-the-pitch trends, Octavi Anoro, head of the LaLiga Global Network, gave a presentation on international strategy and Andrea Oriol, a LaLiga Global Network representative, spoke about the LaLiga initiatives in the Benelux market.

“The general feeling was very positive,” Oriol explained. “The group visited three Spanish clubs that are all based in a relatively small area, clubs that all have their own identity but that also share pride in their Basque heritage. Members of the expedition were really interested to hear about the clubs’ strategies for engaging with local communities and for standing out as unique. That’s something many clubs aspire towards.”

SD Eibar’s international growth
The group of Dutch directors began the visit at SD Eibar, which is currently taking part in its sixth consecutive LaLiga Santander season despite being one of the smallest club’s in the competition’s history. The delegation spent time at the club’s Ipurua Stadium to learn how Eibar has been able to defy the odds and establish itself at the top of Spanish football.

Among the standout topics were the club’s international expansion and sustainable investment. “The clubs were most surprised by the evolution we’ve had since we reached the top division, with the investment we’ve made to ensure the stadium is adequate for modern times and modern needs,” said SD Eibar’s director of communications Unai Artetxe. “The story of our capital increase in 2014, which led us to the point where we now have more than 11,000 shareholders from 69 different countries, also surprised and impressed our guests.”

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