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SEASON 2014/15: TOUGH YEAR FOR THE BOARD

04 Jun 2015
The first complete season for Tino Fernández and his board of directors, and it was among the toughest ones in last decades. Three coaches that were fired and a there was a social breakdown

Few seasons will have the same discharge of pressure than the one that has ended. President Tino Fernández and his board of directors lived their first full season commanding the club (they arrived in January of 2014 and with the team in course to clinch the promotion) 

Truly the comparison with former president Augusto César Lendoiro has always bene present, but the first five months were calmed, with the team securing the promotion to Primera, but the honeymoon didn’t last too much, because in the following months there board had to make several difficult decisions that divided the fans.

Just after the season ended several of the academy trainers were fired, the board justified the decisions on the fact that the club needed full-time trainers starting at the point. But the first big bomb came with the dismissal of Fernando Vázquez.

The real reasons for his exit where never public, the trigger was related to the coach’s declarations regarding the signings as he was heading a public act with a peña in Arzua. What he said was, “The first option might be a bomb, but the true is that we always end getting the option number six or seven. We never get what we want to sign, it is the problem. Clearly this year we have some money to spend, totally different to last year, time we had to get players on loan. “

The board didn’t like the suggestion that they were failing to sign the targets for the Primera season 2014/15, and also that the same coach stated that there was money to pay for transfers, two days later Vázquez was fired in what turned to be the first big polemic decision made by the board.

During a press conference Tino Fernández tried to explain the decision, “For the interest of Deportivo, and after the words of Vázquez himself, I will offer a deeper explanation.  The exit of the coach was agreed between the members of the board of directors; all six of them. I don’t think that someone involved in the project can make those comments. The motive of his exit is the lack of confidence. You have it or not. A member of the club cannot make those declarations. The journalists that were there and the club’s officials understood what he said.”

 “The declarations made in Arzúa were the stroke that broke the camel's back. I guess everybody will be upset if your future boss says that you are the sixth or seventh option. He also said that we’ll have more money. Off course we have more money, but the difference is that now we are competing at Primera, not at Segunda. He wasn’t fired for the declarations made in Arzúa, but for a lack of confidence and his latest speech contributed to lose that confidence.” He added.

Throughout the season there was a big debate about this decision, especially since his successor, Víctor Fernández, never fitted into the fans’ hearts and was fired before the campaign ended after the team was caught in a negative dynamic that was paving the way back to Segunda. Many fans liked the fact that Fernando Vázquez was fired as there was the opinion that he, despite achieving the promotion, was also failing, but at the same time they didn’t like the choice to replace him.

This time the decision to fire the coach didn’t cause an earthquake, but still it was a delicate move as it was made with only eight games remaining in the schedule. On April, Tino was trying to explain why the club was firing a third coach is less than a year, “It was professional failure, but in a personal sense he was a gentleman. I wish the best for Víctor Fernández, because I think that he deserves ten points.” He said at the time.

But the biggest earthquake of the season came with the death of Jimmy in Madrid. Just days after announcing an important phase to increase the club’s capital, a member of the Riazor Blues died before the game against Atlético Madrid in an incident that still has to be clarified by the police.

The reaction from the LFP was to blame the ultras. Also Tino Fernández was against the ultras and just hours after the incident he expressed the will to eradicate the Riazor Blues, “The person that died wasn’t a socio of the club, but he was it in the past. Within the last two years Jimmy wasn’t a socio, but it was it in the previous three years. As soon as we could identify the responsible ones then they will be expelled. In terms of the group [Riazor Blues] I don’t know. We must see who are responsible for this incidents and how they organized this. I cannot rule out the option of eliminating the Riazor Blues.” He said.

Some reports suggest that Fernández was acting pressed by the LFP. True or false, big part of the public didn’t like the fact that campaign against the Riazor Blues was coming from the same club, especially after further reports demonstrated that the group had nothing to do with a supposed and planned fight arranged before that game.

Tino paid a price for it and it was noticed with the broken relationship with the federation of peñas, which leaders resigned at the end of the season, and also on the field as the games at the Riazor turned into real tortures with chants against the board. The situation was only normalized until the end of the season, with the team fighting to survive at Primera. In recent months the president has softened the speech regarding the ultras, but the criticism continues.

The board was also under fire due to the composition of the squad, the failure to sign players like Bojan and Mitroglou, plus the signings of Postiga and Borja López, the latter never debuted with the team, put the job of Fernando Vidal on the spotlight. There was a hard criticism coming from the media about the failed negotiations to sign the players and about the errors committed signing players that never met the expectations.

There were many errors, but the board can hold on thanks to the fact that the first team clinched the permanence no matter it was achieved in a dramatic way on the last matchday. Truly Lendoiro lived all kind of stuff in his 25 years at the club, but surely he didn’t face as many problems as Tino lived in one single year.  Now the board enters into a second year in the job hoping that things will be much calmer this time.

ARCHIVE NEWS JUNE/15

ZAPPING

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Q&A WITH TINO FERNÁNDEZ
REVIEW SEASON 2014/15: THE COACHES


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