Real Club Deportivo Mallorca, S.A.D. is a Spanish football team based in Palma, in the Balearic Islands. Founded on 5 March 1916 it currently plays in Segunda División, holding home games at the Iberostar Stadium.
Team colours are red shirts with black shorts and black socks.
The oldest club in the Balearic Islands, Mallorca was originally founded in 1916 by Adolfo Vázquez, a republican engineer, who named the club Junta Directiva del Alfonso XIII FBC after the then Spanish king. The first stadium, called Buenos Aires, was inaugurated on 25 March 1916, with a 0–8 loss against FC Barcelona. In 1917, the club changed its name to Real Sociedad Alfonso XIII, a denomination which remained until 1931 when, for political reasons, the team was named Club Deportivo Mallorca. In 1949, it was granted royal patronage, thus adding the Real prefix.
In 1931, Mallorca started competing in the national categories. On 22 September 1945, Es Fortí, the club’s new ground, was inaugurated, and the team first reached Segunda División in 1959, and La Liga just one season later, going on to appear in the top flight a further four times until 1975.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Mallorca bounced back between the top and the second levels, returning for good in 1996–97, after finishing second to champions CP Mérida. In 2002–03, under Gregorio Manzano, the team finished ninth in the league, also winning the first Copa del Rey trophy in its history, five years after the last presence in the final, defeating Recreativo de Huelva 3–0 in Elche; previously, in 1998–99, it reached the final of the last UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, being downed by Italy’s S.S. Lazio 1–2.
On 22 July 2008, it was announced that 96% of Mallorca’s shares had been purchased for over GBP50 million by controversial English businessman Paul Davidson. In November, it was revealed that Davidson was unable to complete the deal due to lack of finances, raising questions as to whether his interest was little more than a publicity stunt. On 15 January 2009, Spanish businessman Mateo Alemany purchased the club from the Marti-Mingarro family, returning to the presidency three years after leaving.
In late May 2010, Mallorca declared bankruptcy and applied to the courts to enter voluntary administration with debts estimated between £42.5m and £51.3m. It was announced on 28 June 2010, that a consortium led by former club manager Lorenzo Serra Ferrer that included tennis superstar and Mallorca native Rafael Nadal had bought the club, and the sale was completed on 9 July 2010.
However, due to the poor financial situation at the club, UEFA decided on 22 July 2010 against granting Mallorca the licence to play in the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League, after the team had qualified to the competition after finishing fifth in the league. Despite the off-field upheavals and financial struggles, Mallorca managed to stay afloat in its 14th consecutive season in the top division, under new manager Michael Laudrup.
Despite that, in the 2012-13 season, after Laudrup’s departure, they were relegated after 16 seasons, ending their tenure in La Liga.