Granada Football Club
Granada Club de Fútbol, formerly known as Recreativo de Granada, is a Spanish football club based in Granada city. Founded in April 1931, their first president was Julio López Fernández. In the season of 1941-42, Granada became the third Andalucian football team (after Sevilla and Real Betis) to compete in La Liga (Spanish first division). Their home matches are played at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes, which seats up to 22, 500 spectators.
Upon their foundation, the club's strip consisted of white shorts and a shirt with blue-and-white vertical stripes. After the Spanish Civil War the club owners went to Madrid to find a new strip, but as blue was the colour of the Republican flag, it was not allowed; the only colours available were red-and-white stripes (the colours of Franco´s Nationalist flag). So, by default, that became their official strip. At the end of the 1970s, it was decided that vertical stripes would be exchanged for horizontal ones, to disassociate the strip from the country´s turbulent political history. After the initial change, the strip swapped repeatedly between horizontal and vertical stripes, with officials unable to reach a permanent decision. Finally, in 2004, it was agreed that horizontal stripes would be used.
Granada's first football match was played against Deportivo Jaén, on 6 December 1931, which Granada won 2-1. The first goal of the game - and of the club's history - was scored by Antonio Bombillar. That season the club went on to win the Tercera Regional - Región Sur championship.
After several promotions, in 1941-42 the club made its La Liga debut. From here until the '80s, they alternated between La Liga and Segunda División. In 1959 Granada was runner-up of the Copa del Generalísimo under General Franco´s rule (later Copa del Rey), losing to FC Barcelona in the final. In the '70s the team achieved eight top-flight seasons, including two sixth positions (1971-72, 1973-74). In the 1980s, they made brief appearances in the Segunda División A, but spent most seasons in Segunda División B. From the early 2000s, their situation became more and more precarious: in 2002 they dropped down to the third division; due to financial troubles, the club were unable to pay their players.
By July 2009, after five consecutive seasons in the third division, the club had reached such a financial nadir that they were on the brink of closure. Then their saviours arrived: ex-Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz, and his son Francisco; at last, in the season of 2009-10, the side was promoted. The solution had been a partnership agreement with Italian side Udinese Calcio; members of Granada´s side were contracted to the Italian club, and in return Granada would receive youth players and reserves from Udinese. At the end of the 2009 -10 season, Granada CF were top of their group, and as such were promoted in the playoffs. This promotion marked their return to the second division for the first time in 22 years.
In the 2010-11 season they finished fifth in their league, securing their place in the promotion playoffs. On 18 June 2011, the club became the first winner of the playoffs by narrowly defeating Celta de Vigo and Elche CF. Thus the current season (2011-12) marks their spectacular return to La Liga for the first time in 35 years, although most of the players are still on loan from Udinese Calcio. These are exciting times for Granada CF: watch this space.
Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes,
Calle Pintor Manuel Maldonado s/n.
Tel: 958 25 33 00
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