Racing de Ferrol’s fairy tale: The club challenging for a back-to-back promotions

The club from Galicia sat fourth in their group in the third tier in February of 2023, but now occupy fourth place in Segunda and have the chance to reach Spain’s top flight for the first time. 

Racing de Ferrol are hoping to make history in the second half of the 2023/24 season. The club from the Galician city of Ferrol, with a population of just 65,000, are currently fourth in Segunda and chasing what would be a first ever appearance in Spanish football’s top tier.  

That’s not the only reason why a promotion would be historic for Os Dianos VerdesThe Green Devils. It would be a back-to-back promotion if Racing Ferrol can finish in the top two positions or progress through the playoffs, as the Galician outfit only just came up from the third tier. This time last year, in February of 2023, they sat fourth in their group, before a superb end to the campaign, with five wins and two draws from their final seven games, meant they finished first and earned a ticket to Segunda. 

It was a dramatic promotion and it was secured in a Galician derby on May 27th of 2023, when the club’s cosy home ground, A Malata, was packed for the visit of RC Celta’s B team. Racing de Ferrol knew that a win would bring them their first season in the second tier since 2007/08, and they did the job. A brace from striker Jardi earned a 2-0 victory and one of the most euphoric nights in the recent history of this 104-year-old club.  

But, more nights of glory could be just around the corner. Racing landed in Segunda with momentum and, after getting off to a good start by going undefeated through their first five matches, they’ve consistently picked up points and been inside the top six since mid-November.

Back-to-back promotions are, of course, rare, but there are two recent precedents for Racing de Ferrol to draw inspiration from. In Spain, it has happened twice in the past decade, as Eibar achieved the feat in 2014 and Mallorca did so in 2019. Five years on, Racing Ferrol could be the latest team to achieve a miracle rise to the top.

The keys to Racing de Ferrol’s success: Coaching, ownership and a passionate fanbase 

Whenever a sporting success story like this emerges, there are usually several factors contributing to it. That is also the case here, although coach Cristobal Parralo deserves a lot of credit for the team’s rise.  

Hired in February of 2021, he brought a wealth of experience to the dugout of A Malata, having played for clubs such as Barcelona, Espanyol and Paris Saint-Germain during his own career as a right-back, having represented the Spanish national team and having coached several clubs around Spain, including Deportivo de La Coruna. This is a man who had played alongside Ronaldinho, been coached by Johan Cruyff and managed talents such as Angel di Maria, Pablo Aimar and Fede Valverde before arriving in Ferrol.  

When he arrived, Cristobal was able to organise the team and install a winning mentality. But, he also benefited from some smart scouting. In recent years, there has been a lot of change in the club offices, especially with the arrival of Ignacio Rivera and Grupo Elite as the new owners in 2017. The Galician businessman, who is known for directing the company which brews Estrella Galicia beer, overhauled various departments and, perhaps most importantly, brought sporting director Carlos Mouriz to the institution.  

Following the promotion in the summer of 2023, Mouriz was promoted to become general director and he spoke to La Liga about the club’s lofty ambitions, saying “We are a club with more than a hundred years of uninterrupted history and this is a legacy that we always keep in mind. We want to position ourselves as a modern and competitive company, one which is strongly identified with Ferrolterra and one which has been able to adapt to the new times without giving up its essence.” 

At the same time, those in charge at the club understand that Racing Ferrol must maintain its identity and connection with the fanbase. Ferrol is a city that has suffered greatly from unemployment, making the football club an increasingly more important part of the community. The fans have always been behind the team, and that only makes this recent success even sweeter.  

As Mouriz added: “For us, it is essential to maintain and fan the flame that the love for the team has awakened in this city and region. While promotion was the definitive boost, it’s clear that a tide of support for Racing Club Ferrol has formed independent of sporting success. Racing Club Ferrol transcends sport. Racing Club Ferrol has to be the project of all Ferrol citizens.” 

This project is certainly proving to be a success so far and, even if promotion remains a distant objective, just consolidating their place in Segunda is a step in the right direction for this newly promoted side. 


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Tags La Liga Racing Ferrol Segunda
La Liga - Club News