A year Marbella Rugby Club would prefer to forget

A year Marbella Rugby Club would prefer to forget
/ Julio Rodríguez
  • The biggest blow was the collapse of the Progame collaboration halfway through the season which led to the departure of several top players

Despite being in the same division, the contrast between CR Málaga and Marbella RC couldn't be greater. The latter, which start this season with the name Andalucía Bulls, has this year suffered two major setbacks.

The first was the loss of income from Grupo Trocadero, which scaled back its sponsorship. The biggest blow, however, was the Progame project fiasco, with a Dutch and South African partner. This group was given the rights to manage the financial and sporting aspects of the first team, part of an ambitious plan to try to quickly gain promotion to Division of Honour A and create an international franchise. Halfway through the season the collaboration came to an end with the departure of several top players.

Unlike CR Málaga, Marbella owns its own pitch, the Bahía de Marbella, beside the Costa del Sol hospital, but this has also been problematic as the club has to pay 30,000 euros a year in IBI tax. However, the club did reach a sponsorship agreement with Marbella town hall for 160,000 euros over four years which will mitigate this headache.

The club has a budget of around 300,000 euros, of which half is for the first team, now in its fourth season in Division of Honour B. It has about 500 members, of whom more than 400 are youngsters in the sports academy, thanks to its work with local schools.

"We were very excited about this season, but it's been wiped out," says president Paco García.

The club has not needed an ERTE, as it only paid some expenses for players and many in management are self-employed.