Established in 1926 and having spent 38 seasons in La Liga, challenging for titles and qualifying for the UEFA Cup in the 1990s, Real Oviedo have endured terrible times both on and off the pitch over the past 12 years. This era has included a drop to Spanish football's fourth tier and a constant battle against financial ruin due to mismanagement and local politics.
The club now sit in the third tier, Segunda B, and is currently going through the worst time in its 86 year history. Oviedo's youth system has produced some wonderful players over the years - recently including the likes of Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata and Michu - but this production line is set to end unless something drastic happens in the next two weeks.
So how can the common football fan help? Well, the club has launched a share issue to help raise funds and this is open to one and all - anyone in the world can get involved. Buy 1 share or 100 shares in Real Oviedo, it will all go towards helping the club to secure its future.
The official website provides a summary of the crisis:
Now, Real Oviedo tries to avoid its nemesis and November 17th is the deadline, the supporters try to prevent their beloved club from uttering its swansong. Please, step ahead and become a hero: contribute to Real Oviedo’s dreams of a better future to come by buying even just a single share (€10.75). Then, as this traditional supporters’ chant goes, ‘We shall be back in First Division, once again’.
I was aware that Real Ovideo had been struggling since their initial financial implosion in 2003 but only discovered how critical the current situation was last week and my first thought was with their fans as I asked myself "What if this was happening to Tottenham?". There are many football clubs with huge amounts of debt for a variety of reasons but it's rare that fans can make a difference themselves and the global football community seems to be rallying for this cause. I've made a share purchase of my own and will have my fingers crossed ahead of the deadline later this month.
If you're interested in playing your part and owning a piece of football history, you can buy a share here:
You'll find further information via the FAQ here: