According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) referring to the latest revision of the municipal register (year 2020), Alicante is the eleventh city in Spain in terms of number of inhabitants, with 337,482. Despite this privileged position and being one of the main national tourist attractions, in the 2021/22 season your best football club will have to serve in the new Second RFEF.
Reviewing the cities with the largest number of inhabitants, Alicante is the most populated that will not have a football team in the three highest categories of national football next season. The change of the Federation to try to expand the number of professional leagues to three has not been taken advantage of by Hercules, who missed the opportunity not only to promote to Second Division but, at least, to stay in the third competitive echelon.
Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Malaga, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Bilbao will have a team in LaLiga or Primera RFEF. The Murcian capital, with the historic Real Murcia also in low hours, saved the ballot thanks to UCAM.
The presence of Hercules in the catacombs of Spanish football is not only a moral blow to the honor of the Alicante fan, it is also a new missed opportunity to grow economically hand in hand with one of the strongest sectors in Spain, such as football, especially in the “post-pandemic” era, with stadiums welcoming fans again.
The lower income figure derived from the sections of this sport, such as television, ticket offices or player transfers, is also accompanied by a delay that has a direct impact on economic activities in the city itself.
The study “Economic, fiscal and social impact of professional football in Spain” carried out by the consulting firm PwC for LaLiga in 2018 estimates that, in First and Second Division clubs, the average expenditure on match day per person around the stadium in catering and merchandising was 29 euros, the transport and parking of 19 euros and the accommodation, in the case of fans who had to spend the night away from home, 122 euros. Figures that far from professional football are diluted to the maximum expression.
The memory of 2008/09
The current situation of football in Alicante is far from the one that occurred not too long ago, just over a decade. Then, in the Second Division, Hercules and Alicante coexisted for a year, in the 2008/09 season.
That year, Alicante was one of the five cities that had more than one club in professional football, along with Madrid, Seville, Barcelona and Valencia. Not to mention the high point of Alicante football: in 1939/40, Hercules played in the First Division and Alicante in the Second Division. Another era. Another reality for the Alicante fans.
Demonstration: the fans, summoned at 11.00 in Luceros
Today is a key day to gauge the level of dissatisfaction of the Hercules fans with the management of Enrique Ortiz. This morning (11 am) the demonstration is called to protest the bad situation that the Alicante club has been going through in recent years.
The demonstration has been called by four groups (Asociación de Herculanos, Unidad Herculana, Peña Negre Lloma and Peña El Chepa) and will travel the main roads of the city, from Luceros, where fans are summoned to start the protest, to the City Hall .
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.