The team with the biggest budget this season in the Liga 123 was Barcelona B and their 47 million euro budget, a side who were relegated last week with just one round of fixtures remaining in the campaign. This annual budget was not just the highest in the league but surpassed that of many top flight clubs including the likes of: Leganés, Eibar and Girona and is on a par with that of Getafe's, a team who were on the cusp of securing a place in next seasons Europa League. The budget is put into context when compared to those of both promoted sides: Rayo (12,3) and Huesca (5,7) respectively.
The failure of the B team is greater when studied in detail as it reflects poorly on La Masia model, the academy from where the likes of Víctor Valdés, Puyol, Piqué, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi emerged. It would be naive to expect a bumper crop of talent every year and with Barcelona winning this years Youth League, it would give ground for optimism about future emerging prospects within the system. However the current Barça B side heavily features signed players and in fact 57 signings have been used by the B team in the past three seasons which has finally culminated with relegation to Segunda B.
Real Madrid Castilla model
The situation at Real Madrid's B team is not dissimilar with the current Castilla side featuring six local players and 14 foreign players as part of the current team who only managed to finish eight in their Segunda B group and missed out on the play-offs. Their playing budget was eight times higher than that of recently promoted Rayo Majadahonda. For some time now I've felt that a lax approach to clubs youth systems is a major error and over the years we've seen so many excellent local players emerge from a youth system where the players grow up under the guidance of their parents with one or two exceptions such as Del Bosque and Iniesta. Both Barça and Madrid seem to have decided against this model with a scatter gun approach of signing talented young players from everywhere and the current results from both 'B' teams would suggest that their are flaws in this model.