Club news

REVIEW 2013/14: TWO PRESIDENTS IN ONE SEASON

18 Jun 2014
For the first time in 26 years the club had two presidents in one single season. The reign of Lendoiro ended, criticized, but applauded the day of his exit. Tino Fernández is now commanding a club in reconstruction.

It was a difficult season in an organizational sense, the administration case of Deportivo pulled Augusto César Lendoiro to a difficult situation, pressed by the creditors, the administrators and the shareholders he had to give up to the re-election and instead allow the arrival of a new president.

The season began with Lendoiro under fire due to the latest relegation and the financial problems surrounding the club, so the former president spent more time defending Deportivo in public than planning the new season. At the end of June he was denying any possibility of suffering a demotion due to unpaid wages with the players, ”We won’t witness the relegation of Deportivo due to administrative issues. For a long time we have told people about this. For now the president of the board of directors is in charge, for good or bad and period.” He said

Beyond the conflict with the players, the true is that the creditors and now an important group of the shareholders were no longer supporting Lendoiro. The creditors, through the club’s Bankruptcy Administration (BA), made life impossible to him; to the point that Lendoiro was close to leave the club on July 31.

July 31 was probably the toughest day on the season; it was the deadline to solve the unpaid wages with the players. An agreement was reached late at night, but before the creditors pressed Lendoiro to see him resigning. It was also an historic day as, for the first time in 26 years, the president accepted that the day of his exit was close to happen, but he also complaining of the pressure put by the creditors, ”We won’t be a drag, but you have to look at things calmly. We will not sign our death sentence, at some point it seemed something similar to a coup. “

The situation was calmed in next days; the team started to compete at Segunda and Lendoiro continued to say that he was living, ”We aren’t resisting. We spent twenty-five years on here, in some opportunities enjoying success and also with bad moments. We won’t allow that the interests of the board of directors can be above the Deportivismo. We have decided to leave, but won’t allow them to threw us out, that’s a military coup. The only ones that can threw us out are the shareholders, the others don’t. We are conscious our time has come, but it will be made with tranquility, without pushing, without backstabbing and without hurries. We have heard of sexual abuse, working abuse and now we are facing the bankruptcy abuse.” He said during a press conference.

However, a couple of months later he changed his mind and presented his candidacy for the re-election. Other three candidates emerged for the chair and for the first time in more than two decades there was a real race for the presidency of Deportivo. One of the candidates was Constantino Fernández Pico, a successful entrepreneur in A Coruña that was having an important support by some of the biggest shareholders at the club, including himself.

Tino became the favorite since the beginning, which was reaffirmed during the shareholders meeting held on December 20. That night was the worst moment for Lendoiro during his 26 years at the club, for the first time the shareholders voted against him and the financial reports were rejected.

Lendoiro admitted the defeat, "We must congratulate the candidacy of Fernández. Now we must prepare January's elections. I won many times and also lost many times. Nothing happens. I am more worried as only 20 days are left for the creditors' meeting.". Meanwhile, Tino Fernández said that, ”We need fairness and transparency. We will search for any possible legal way to see the exit of the current board of directors. Deportivo need a change and we are that change."

And Lendoiro understood the message, because on Christmas Eve he resigned to the re-election. During a press conference he said that, “We will stay in order to negotiate a deal with the creditors and will stay in order to give tranquility during the elections. We must accept it and understand that, after twenty-five years, people want a change. The participation was near the 50% during Friday’s meeting and, with all the divisions, it tells you that a change is wanted and you cannot block it. We don’t need divisions. There has been a primary election, people have responded and we have to abide by the will of the majority. You want the toy, well here you have it, enjoy of it and please be responsible.”.

For the first time in 26 years, the club was going to have two presidents in one single season. It was the year 1988, another complicate year in the history of Deportivo at Segunda, on that opportunity there were three presidents in only one month as Luis Carlos Morato and Andrés García Yáñez preceded the arrival of Lendoiro.

Despite the fears, January was a calmed month at the club, first Lendoiro didn’t face any problem during the creditors’ meeting and the club signed the route to pay the debt (some of the details, like the final deal with banks remain unsigned) and later assisting to the elections (January 22). After a dirty campaign, it was a day for reconciliation that included an outstanding ovation to Lendoiro and with Tino Fernández winning the presidency receiving the support of the 72.09% of the shareholders that were present during the meeting.

Fernández admitted the difficulty of the challenge, as he stated, “We have important challenges ahead, you all know them. Nothing more. We are going to win the next game and must fill up the stadium. I am content and will work hard as I’m now replacing a myth, Augusto César Lendoiro. We are going forward and are going to win this game.”

One day later Lendoiro wrote an open letter in which he said good-bye to the fans. For the first time he admitted that he committed mistakes during his presidency, ”In all these years in the presidency we have also made mistakes. We have never denied that there have been mistakes. And we apologize for them, but we assure you that everything was always done with the firm objective of seeing our Deportivo as high as possible. At some point we did it and that's something we're proud of.”

With Tino on board it’s possible to say that the situation has been “more normal” the pressure from the creditors was more “friendly” and more importantly the relations with public institutions, like the Spanish Treasury and the City Hall of A Coruña, were reestablished, the club even restored the relation with the ex-players association, who were finally recognized by the club as part of the indoor league competition.

Tino Fernández has only spent six months as the club’s president, so it’s too early to talk about his job. For the moment he’s facing the big challenge of building up a strong team to compete at Primera División, rebuild the economy of the club and at the same time he already begun the reorganization of the chart, which is based in the delegation of the tasks, something that should be one of the bigger differences with Lendoiro’s area. Just to point out that now there’s a sporting advisor, Fernando Vidal, who’s responsible for the market moves and the relation with the players.

ARCHIVE NEWS JUNE/14

ZAPPING

Related news

SEASON REVIEW 2013/14: COACHING ANALYSIS


Back to Club news