Club Deportivo Jávea has been in existence in one form or another almost 90 years, serving as a community football club for all the people of Javea. Its continued existence is very much down to a small but dedicated group of volunteers who give up a huge chunk of their spare time to run this semi-professional football club for no reward other than seeing the rojiblancos remain a mainstay in the community. As that community has become more international over the last few years, the club harbours hopes of bigger things in the future with an immediate target of a return to the Third Division level to be followed by a longer term target of regular Segunda Division B football for CD Javea. And then? Well, who knows? Clubs like Villarreal CF and Getafe CF have lifted themselves into the limelight in recent years, clubs with no previous experience playing in the upper echelons of the Spanish football league. It may be a mere pipe-dream but CD Denia were recently promoted to the Segunda Division B and, with the right determination, there is no reason why the rojiblancos can’t do the same one day.
CD Jávea has rarely sampled life outside of the Valencian Regional Leagues (in all their different forms) but did have two short spells in the Third Division in the late 60s and the early 90s. The rojiblancos last came close to claiming a Third Division spot in the 2002-03 season when they finished runners-up behind Hércules CF ‘B’ in Group IV of the Regional Preferente but lost in the promotion play-offs to SD Sueca. Two seasons later CD Jávea finished fifth, four points adrift of the play-offs after a late surge brought the club to within a whisker of the top three.
CD Jávea had a brief run in the Copa del Rey, a competition normally dominated by clubs from the upper echelons of the league pyramid but with a few token places in the preliminary rounds for clubs from the lower reaches. The rojiblancos met Villarreal CF in the First Preliminary Round but lost over two legs to a side that would rise from the depths of regional football to the Champions’ League is barely two decades.
In 2005 the club’s first international supporters’ club was formed under the banner of the Peña Javeamigos, a focal point for all the communities of Jávea to learn more about their local football club.
In early 2006 the club played ‘in exile’ in Dénia whilst a new state-of-the-art artificial pitch was installed at the Municipal Stadium in Jávea. Later that year, the club was on the point of self-destruction as promising manager Alberto Araujo was unceremoniously sacked by the board of directors and players threatened to walk out club over unpaid wages. After recording almost three months without a win, the rojiblancos slipped down the league table and would eventually escape relegation by the skin of their teeth, thanks to a last-day 4-2 win over CD Polop in front of some 800 noisy fans at the Municipal Stadium.
In the summer of 2007 local businessman Mark Catlin received the majority vote from the club’s socios to take on the role of President and handed the task to create the foundations to take the football club into a new era. The last 18 months have been crucial for that progression to take place; time-frames have been adjusted in acknowledgement of the economic crisis that swept across the globe in 2008. There is less money about and the rojiblancos are no exceptions. In 2009 the club proposed big cuts to the 2009-2010 budget in an attempt to reduce an overall debt of some 110.000€ The proposal was accepted by a majority vote at the club’s AGM in August 2009 and the Junta Directiva was charged with hauling CD Jávea into a more stable future.
However, the ship was steadied just momentarily. The 2009/10 season began well with two wins and eight goals putting the ‘rojiblancos’ into a comfortable sixth position. But then coach Kenny Brown opted to join English Conference side Grays Athletic as assistant manager to his close friend and former West Ham United colleague Julian Dicks and the ship began to rock once more. Some key players left the club, one or two to chance their luck in England with Brown. The appointment of popular former player José Luis suggested some salvation but just one win in his first eight games as coach saw the club plummet down the league table. The mood changed rapidly as financial concerns continued to plague the club and, citing broken promises made by the local council with regards to funding, president Mark Catlin eventually decided to chuck in the towel in October 2009, taking up a position as commercial director with English League Two club Bury just a few days later. The future looked decidedly gloomy for the club and its dwindling support.
In November 2009, a group of local businessmen, many with former connections to the club during its brief heyday in the Third Division, came together to form a caretaker board, desperate to keep the club afloat. Cuts were made, with the emphasis placed on local talent to fill the ranks of the senior side, yet the side continued to struggle at the wrong end of the table. Relegation was ultimately avoided but it had come close for a few weeks during the late winter.
The 2010/11 season has brought little respite from the turmoil, although there have been moments, particularly comprehensively beating league leaders Elche Ilicitano at home. But one of the worst starts to a season in living memory saw the ‘rojiblancos’ rooted to the bottom of the table for much of the opening few weeks until a great run of just one defeat in twelve games lifted the club away from the wrong end of the table. CD Javea are still not out of trouble, both on and off the pitch, but the future appears to be a little clearer.
Football at this level is in a very fragile position, not just in our region but across Spain as a whole. As local government funding is reduced, a traditional form of income for many years, more and more provincial football clubs are finding it difficult to keep their heads above water. It is a double-edged sword for many that often causes irrecoverable damage and CD Jávea has been no exception in having to make the right decision for the future: do the directors ‘go for broke’ and live beyond the club’s means to achieve short-term objective or do they work to create a stable financial platform on which to build for the future?
For 2011/2012 CD Jávea will be playing in Group III of the Valencian Regional Preferente, the fifth level in Spanish football and are hoping for a successful season.
The other club in town is CF Mediterraneo de Xàbia who won promotion at the end of the 2010/2011 season and now play in the Primera Regional. The club is just five years old, having been formed in June 2006, and it has seen a lot of changes that culminated in the very successful campaign last season. With a strong squad and even more determination, the future for CF Mediterraneo looks ever rosier and we wish them all the success during the 2011/12 season.
If you want more information about CD Jávea then please visit www.javeamigos.com.