The new merged club in Menorca’s second city will be known as Ciutadella Club Esportiu after a merger was agreed by three of its clubs.

Atletic Ciutadella, UE Sami and Dosa CF have all agreed to join forces in a historic agreement, following a majority vote of the 105 partners that make up the three groups.

The new club will launch on July 1st, once their application has been rubber-stamped by the Balearic Islands Football Federation.

What has been said

“It is a historic day for football and sport in Ciutadella, something unimaginable not long ago. It was the best option that could happen.

“One of the main reasons is to put football back in the place it deserves in Ciutadella. To once again have a competitive first team, in the national category in the long run and to once again encourage people to go to the field; as well as a youth team, a cadet team – in the Balearic League if the Dosa ends up rising – and a heavyweight women’s team with a competitive base.

“We have all the resources to end up being a benchmark on the Island and in the Balearic Islands and this would be our great challenge. (But) we are far behind other clubs.”

Atlètic Ciutadella president, Esperança Juaneda: “Right now it is what it is, the union between clubs is a project to improve the state of football in Ciutadella, which has been very depressed for some years.

“It has been years since we have had a club in Ciutadella that competes as God intended.”

Three clubs, not four, in the merger

By joining forces, instead of competing with each other for players and diluting their quality, the one club hopes to compete at a higher level, with the aim to make a return at senior level to the national divisions (Tercera Division).

It is not the first time clubs have merged in Ciutadella, indeed some 68 years ago CD Ciutadella and Minerva merged in the city. Both of those clubs played in the third tier of Spanish football for two seasons each.

Atletic Ciutadella played 17 seasons in the third tier, and they last played in the national division (Tercera) back in 2009/10.

However, what remains unclear – at least to us on the outside – is why Penya Ciutadella are absent from the merger.

When news of the merger proposal first broke in January, Penya were included. However, they have made no further mention of the merger on their channels and are not part of the new, merged entity.

Their own make-up is a little confusing – it would appear there were two separate boards, one controlling the regional (senior) team and the other on youth development. Although president Siscu Cavaller was said to be one of the driving forces behind the merger being put on the table, discussions triggered multiple resignations from the club’s board, leading to the apparent u-turn.

So that means there will still be two competing clubs in Ciutadella. Albeit, Penya had the best facilities and Atletic Ciutadella, UE Sami and CF Dosa all played next door to each other anyway, so their joining forces makes the most sense.

Turning Ciutadella in to a force

Penya were the last team to represent Ciutadella in the national leagues, playing five seasons in Tercera from 2012 to 2017.

The three Ciutadella clubs all finished in the bottom half of the Menorca Regional league in 2023/24, with Penya finishing the highest in 7th, winning six of their 20 games.

UE Sami won just three games, finishing second bottom, while Atletic Ciutadella finished rock bottom on minus three points, losing all 20 games and conceding 86 goals. They played their final games as those entities earlier this month.

Dosa, who share a ground with Atletic, do not have a senior team and instead focus on the development of junior players, with one of their teams on the cusp of promotion to the Balearics Cadet League.

The Ciutadella clubs have barely competed at the top for much of the past decade, with the exception of Sami who have occasionally threatened the top places.

It is thought that the new merged club would not be able to be promoted to Tercera Division until 2026/27, even if it was to win the Regional league in 2024/25.

There of course remain doubts over whether the merger will be successful. Menorcan football history is dominated by the failed merger of UD Mahon and CD Menorca in the 1970s, which instead of creating a strong super club, effectively resulted in the creation of a third club to further divide the city. Although Sporting Mahones did enjoy some success, representing the island at its highest level, it also went bust.

Atletic Ciutadella and Dosa CF have existed at the same ground for several years and not been able to join forces, and some have questioned how clubs that have not been able to work together in the past are now able to come together.

But the merger makes sense for a lot of reasons too. A stronger Ciutadella CE, inevitably now competing with Penya Ciutadella, should hopefully see Menorca’s second city be able to put up a fight with the Mahon clubs.

Both cities may look enviously at the progress made by the island’s other clubs, the likes of Mercadal, Alaior and Migjorn, who are the strongest clubs on the island despite not coming from its more renowned locations.

Some fans also point to the success of the island’s basketball team, Hestia Menorca, as an example of how the best solution for the island would be to unite under one team to be as strong as it can be.

Over the coming months, more information will be released about Ciutadella CE, including new team colours and a new team crest.

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