More than 40,000 members –specifically, 40,257– are called to the polls today to decide which Athletic they want for the next four years. The candidates for the presidency, Jon Uriarte, Ricardo Barkala and Iñaki Arechabaleta, have focused in recent weeks on transferring their economic, social and sports projects to potential voters and above all on trying to differentiate themselves from their opponents, with their own rhythms and strategies. And the moment of truth has come.
The elections, which will be held for the first time in San Mamés, come at a transcendental moment for Athletic because they will have to face a very complex scenario in all areas. A new context that will make it necessary to balance the accounts, to return to Europe so as not to lose weight compared to the teams in the League that are constantly growing and to guarantee the self-sufficiency of soccer players through youth work in the face of a prohibitive market and with a very limited.
Until the coach for whom the applicants have opted was known – Ernesto Valverde, in the case of the Bilbao businessman and the head of the Port Authority, and Marcelo Bielsa in that of the executive from Ustoarra – the dance of names has been constant for the bench.
The candidates announced their latest moves yesterday. Arechabaleta bets on Perarnau as sports director and Bielsa’s methodology for Lezama. Barkala announced that he will pay the 22 million from Osasunist Moncayola and that he will do the same with Nahikari.