Club news

THE LAST GAME WITH LENDOIRO

16 Jan 2014
Sunday’s game against Las Palmas means the last game with Lendoiro as the president of Deportivo. He’s leaving the club after almost twenty-six years in the job. Starting on Wednesday the club will have a new president.

The extraordinary shareholders meeting that will elect the new president of Deportivo is scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, therefore Sunday will be a special day as it will be the last match with Augusto César Lendoiro as the president of the club.

In these dark days for the club there’s a big debate about the legacy that Lendoiro will leave at Deportivo. The administration process is menacing the existence of the club and will always be linked with the gesture of the current president, so he will be remembered according to the outcome of this complex process.

What cannot be denied is that Deportivo lived its best days with Lendoiro on board. With him sitting on the president’s chair the club disputed 1,244 official games (987 in liga, 139 in Copa Del Rey, 6 in the Super Copa and 112 in European Competitions), but most importantly the club became one of the main actors in Spain crowned with one liga, two Copa Del Rey trophies and three Super Copas.

Depor became a respected club in Spain and was also admired in Europe; it didn’t win titles playing in the continental competitions, but the Galicians clinched resounding victories in the UEFA Champions League, it worth the applauses of crowds and also the envies of other clubs.

THE HISTORY
June 13, 1988. Those were dark days for football in A Coruña. Deportivo have just escaped the relegation to Segunda B in a dramatic final matchday against Racing Santander. The club was dragging a debt of 600 million of pesetas (€3.61 million) and was playing at Segunda after an exile of fourteen years from Primera.

A drastic change was needed and the figure of Augusto César Lendoiro showed up to lead a new project. The crisis was so big that Depor had four presidents during the season 1987/88 and was desperately searching for a fixed project; some shareholders encouraged Lendoiro to present his candidacy. He was coming after been the president of football club Ural and, more importantly, after helping in the foundation of HC Liceo, the successful hockey team in A Coruña. A group of shareholders thought he could do the same at Deportivo.

On June 2, Lendoiro admitted in a letter that was sent to the major of A Coruña that he was wanted to be a candidate for the job, twelve days later he presented 1,601 signs asking to accept his candidacy, one day later it was confirmed that he was the only candidate that have presented at least 577 signs, the minimal in order to be accepted as a candidate.

So, by June 13 it was already known that he was going to be the president. Four days later, on June 17, Lendoiro assumes the presidency of Deportivo La Coruña and immediately started a campaign in order to increase the number of socios to 12,000, the so called “Deportivo camina o revinta” [Deportivo walk or burst]. He also renewed the contract of coach Arsenio Iglesias, who was going to be a keystone in the following years.

Lendoiro based his campaign in controlling the expenses and touching the heart of the fans in order to increase the number of attendees to the stadium. A Couple of years later the debt was erased and three years after his arrival, Depor were already back at Primera División.

Then the golden years began, the most successful period in the history of Deportivo, with the team fighting at the top of la liga for more than a decade, from the teams of “Super Depor” to the “Euro Depor” era. A successful run that including conquering one liga tournament, two Copa Del Ret trophies and three Supercopas, plus the countless good memories watching Deportivo competing in the UEFA Champions League. Until this day Deportivo is the only Galician football club with titles.

Things began to fall apart in 2005, Lendoiro lost control of the debt and the weight of the financial problems reduced the quality of the team. The worst part has been witnessed within the last three years, with Deportivo suffering twice the relegation and with the club going to administration in January of 2013.

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/14

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