If the 1980s were a decade of excess, then the 1990s were a decade that brought about reform. Isn’t that a bit highbrow for a website dedicated to the history of Spanish stadiums? Well, I’m talking about football in Málaga. What did you think I was on about? You see, Club Deportivo Málaga had led the high life in the 1980s, but by the start of the 90s, things were falling apart. Relegation from La Primera and a failure to immediately return to the top flight saw the club rack-up debts of over 200 million pesetas. The club’s directors took the decision to register the reserve team, Club Atlético Malagueño, as a separate entity, thus ensuring that football could continue in Málaga should the first team fold. The inevitable end came on 1 July 1992, when CD Málaga was declared bankrupt. So with the former reserves now the first team, the club needed a second string. They turned to Sociedad Deportiva Malagueña, a team founded in 1990 who had just won promotion to the Primera Categoría Regional.
The initial relationship with Club Atlético Malagueño, was for Sociedad Deportiva Malagueña to act as an affiliate club, but this was formalised on 1 July 1995, when the club became the official reserve side and took on the title of Málaga Club de Fútbol B. The club won promotion to the Tercera in 1996, and collected its first Tercera title in 1999, but lost in the playoffs to fellow Andalusians, Dos Hermanas CF. By now, the First Team’s upward trajectory had taken them to La Primera, and before too long, Málaga B was following suit. Whilst promotion to Segunda B in 2002 was as a result of Granada CF’s demotion, Málaga B took full advantage of the opportunity, finishing second in Group IV of Segunda B, then seeing off the challenges of UD Atlético Gramanet, Real Unión Club and UD Lanzarote in the playoffs. Suddenly, to the delight & disbelief of all at Málaga CF, the reserves were in the second division and playing at a higher level than any other reserve side in Spain.
Up to the start of the 2003-04 season the club’s training ground, the Ciudad Deportiva El Viso had hosted reserve team fixtures. However the basic surroundings of the training ground did not meet La Liga’s criteria, so Málaga B’s home fixtures in La Segunda were moved to La Rosaleda. Their three season jaunt in the second tier saw two seasons of narrowly avoiding relegation with 15th & 17th placed finishes, before being cast adrift in 2005-06, finishing 21st and 15 points from safety. Worst was to follow in 2006-07, with the club playing against a background of uncertainty, Málaga B suffered a second successive relegation, amassing a measly 14 points and finishing bottom of Group IV in Segunda B. There followed 11 seasons in the Tercera, seven failed attempts at promotion via the playoffs, and a name change to Atlético Malagueño, S.A.D. in 2009. Finally, in 2018, the curse of the playoffs was lifted with a third Tercera title and promotion to Segunda B thanks to victory over Yeclano Deportivo.
Atlético Malagueño has played at the Ciudad Deportiva de la Federación Malagueña since 2012. Situated around 5km south west of La Rosaleda, it is a “no frills, take it or leave it” sort of enclosure. You will find it at the bottom of a slip-road, surrounded by roundabouts and with just two constructions of note; A single-storey changing block on the east side of the pitch, and a full-length open terrace on the west. Its only concession to comfort is a line of 18 blue seats perched on top of the central section of terracing. Welcome to B Team football…