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The bet of Jorge Sánchez, participant in the salvation of Oviedo in 2012: “With us, Carso would have saved 18 million euros”

That council had a specialist in each field. The numbers were Jorge Sánchez’s thing. Fidalgo’s trusted man who embarked with the avilesino for the second time in the task of helping Real Oviedo. He acted as the council’s economic advisor and spent the entire process, successful in the end, balancing numbers.

How do you get on the council?

–Toni (Fidalgo) calls me and tells me that he is going to meet with the Mayor (Caunedo). I tell him, “be careful, they are going to offer you to enter Oviedo”, and he tells me no, that it will be something else. I told him that it shouldn’t even occur to him because he knew the financial situation of the club, he had analyzed the accounts, that if he accepted that he would not count on me. Within hours he calls me and says: “Jorge, we’re inside!” The world was falling on me.

How bad was the situation?

-It was horrible. As soon as we arrived, we saw that there were 4 million to be paid, 3 of them to public bodies. But it is that we had to face at the end of July a payment of 400,000 euros in promissory notes to the footballers of the previous season. And that was an urgent payment, because if you didn’t make it, you couldn’t sign up the new ones. 550,000 euros were also owed to suppliers.

–It was only saved with an enlargement.

–We started by visiting the institutions, through Toni. The City Council always supported us. They were willing to put 200,000 for the promissory notes, but there was a debt from the club with the City Council and that aid could not be closed. On September 14, Toni gave a press conference explaining the situation in detail. I think one of the secrets was the transparency with which we acted at all times.

–And the capital increase arrives.

It was the last resort. We did not dream of a 2 million investor, no. Our idea was humbler. “How are we not going to find 10 businessmen from here who put up 400,000 euros?”, we said confidently. It was impossible. They closed many doors on us, we got some disappointments. The situation was limit because we closed the first tranche of the expansion with only 64,000 euros. A failure.

“I remember the queues at the Tartiere offices from day one. It was very exciting. And the flood of foreign shareholders thanks to the role of Sid Lowe. Those were magical days”



–Everything exploded in the free section.

-There was something else. I remember the queues at the Tartiere offices from the first day. It was very exciting. And the barrage of foreign shareholders thanks to the role of Sid Lowe. Those were magical days. We managed to add almost 30,000 shareholders from 86 different countries, crazy.

Let’s go back to the businessmen. What went wrong?

–I think that many were inhibited because they had business at the regional level and if they invested in Oviedo they thought that Sporting might ask them for the same. But those outside did not respond either. I met with 14 groups from outside Asturias and none took the step. The only one who bet big was Pina, who promised a million.

–Until Carso’s appearance on the scene.

–It was a very intense week, exchanging documentation, being in my office at 3 in the morning to talk to them about the time difference. With Carso we were also transparent from the first contact. I think we conveyed confidence.

–How did Pina take the outcome?

-No good. On the last day of the extension, two of his lawyers came to the offices, they wanted to talk to me. They tell me that Pina knows, through direct channels with the Slim family, that he does not intend to invest in Oviedo. There was a slight fear, because we had an email from Carso confirming the investment of 2 million but the expansion was closed on Saturday and as it was an international transfer it would take a couple of days to be effective. But we took his word for it and it went well.

“We knew how to handle misery. We inherited the club with losses of 1.8 million and we made an austere budget of only 240,000 euros of deficit, which we thought to regularize with the Cup”


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Why didn’t that council last with the new owner?

–Carso did not bet on us and it was a shame. I am sure that with the advice of Toni Fidalgo Carso he would have saved 18 million euros at Oviedo, which is what he invested in subsequent years to cover the losses. We knew how to handle misery. An example: We inherited the club from Alberto González with losses in the previous course of 1.8 million. We made an austere budget of only 240,000 euros of deficit, which we thought to regularize with the Cup.

–I had already had other previous experience in Oviedo.

–And I would like to vindicate that experience. Between 2005 and 2007 work was done for the future, with the council chaired by Juan Mesa. There we reduced the share capital, we made a capital increase of one million that was covered. Without that experience, what happened in 2012 would not have existed.

What do you think of Pachuca?

It is important that they are managers. And that they have people in Oviedo, that they do not try to lead from a distance. It is a group that knows how to manage football clubs and that seem to have things clear.

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