Mendilibar and Fran Garagarza will continue at Eibar

Jon Ander Ulazia, CEO of the Gipuzkoan club, confirms that the coach and the sports director are working on preparing the squad.


José Luis Mendilibar and Fran Garagarza will continue at Eibar next season, according to Jon Ander Ulazia, CEO of the Gipuzkoan First Division club. The manager confirmed on Wednesday that the coach (Mendilibar) and the sports director (Fran Garagarza) of the Barça team are working on preparing the squad. Thus, Iván Ramis (he will hang his boots), Charles Dias and Sebastián Cristóforo (he was on loan from Fiorentina), who have ended their contracts, will not follow. It is still unknown what will happen to Pedro León Sánchez and Pablo De Blasis, whose contractual relationship has also ended, such as that of the aforementioned Mendilibar and Fran Garagarza. Before, after June 30, Fabián Orellana and Gonzalo Escalante left, who staged a 'scare' in the absence of 6 decisive matches, and without having achieved permanence.

Ulazia appeared in the Ipurua press room at a virtual press conference, in which she answered questions asked the day before by journalists who regularly report on Eibar. "Mendilibar and Garagarza have been working side by side since the objective of permanence was achieved and the scenario was clarified. In the coming days there will be news about both. The club has not stopped having a coach and sports director. Their work has not stopped. They have a contract until July 31. There has been no power vacuum at any time. There will be news about them in the coming days, "he announced.

In a "weird coronavirus-marked season," which stopped the league in March and sparked a two-month confinement at home, Jon Ander Ulazia has praised the squad's behavior. And it is that after the competition resumed, Eibar played 11 games in 5 weeks between June 14 and July 19, a marathon pace, in which in many cases the Barça players did not even enjoy 72 hours of rest between a duel and another. Despite this, they performed better than before stopping the league tournament. They showed their involvement with the club and that they were psyched to fight for a common goal. "I show my gratitude to the squad for having achieved permanence after two months of confinement at home, and for the titanic effort that the footballers have made, whether or not they are still in the team. The circumstances have not been easy after two months in home, with many games in a short time, and the work they have done has been impressive, "he said.

The most critical moment was when Orellana (top scorer) and Escalante (captain) left Eibar after finishing their contract on June 30. Unlike them, they did agree to extend their stay in Ipurua for one more month, or until the end of the 2019-2020 season, other 5 players (Iván Ramis, Pedro León, Charles Dias, Pablo De Blasis, and Sebastián Cristóforo) who were in the same case, as do the members of the coaching staff headed by Mendilibar and the sports director, Fran Garagarza. "The footballers who finished their contract on June 30 were made a unique proposal, all of them the same, and there were two players, Orellana and Escalante, who did not accept," explained Ulazia to refer to the 'Orellana-Escalante case', two athletes who already had tied a contract for the next campaign with other clubs. In addition, he denied that the representatives of both players asked for an exaggerated amount of money for each extra match after the end of their contractual relationship.

Asked if the 5 men who extended their contracts obtained a financial amount for it, Ulazia said that "the contract was prolonged, and the salary." He also confirmed that Eibar did not insure these 5 footballers to receive financial compensation in case of injury in the 'overtime' (the month of July) in which the competition was extended. When asked if Orellana and Escalante are going to collect the full premium for staying in the First Division (they left without having achieved the objective) or only the proportional part for the competition played (6 games were missing when they left, that is, the sixth part of the league tournament), the CEO, who is a lawyer, replied that "the bonuses are collective, and will be paid to the staff based on what our legal advisers tell us."

Appreciated the 'gesture' of the squad, since in April, during the league break, both the footballers and the technicians agreed with the club to lower the salary by 15% if the league was not resumed by COVID-19 or a 2 % if the competition was held again behind closed doors, as it ended up happening in the end. Untezia, Fran Garagarza, and the technical secretary (Mikel Martija) joined this entente. The 2% salary reduction of the staff allowed the Barça club to avoid an ERTE (Temporary Employment Regulation File) that could have affected the 200 Eibar workers. "Thanks to the pact we reached with the players, along the same lines as other clubs, this made it possible for the rest of the group of workers, who collect normal payrolls, to have their salary guaranteed even if there had been a brutal drop in income if would have suspended the competition, "he stressed.

Lower budget due to lower income

Professional football does not escape the world economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. Eibar's economy will have to 'tighten its belt', like the rest of First Division clubs, because less money will come from television rights, membership, and ticket sales. They will also lower the economic items for advertising, because companies accuse the world economic slowdown.

"There will be a drop in income, mainly with regard to audiovisual rights. But other types of economic items may also fall due to the economic crisis we are experiencing. The club is trying to retain the majority of companies that have been with the club, and at the moment the forecast is being good. The income figure has been reduced by the COVID-19, and we will adjust the forecast of remunerations that we had. We will adjust the expenses to the money that enters the 'box' of the entity "he explained.

Before the break, Eibar had anticipated profits of 20 million euros in the 2019-2020 campaign, coming from a similar figure of extraordinary income, from 4 transfers made in the summer of 2019 (Joan Jordán to Sevilla, Cucurella bought back by the Barcelona after having been loaned out at Eibar, Rubén Peña at Villarreal, and Pablo Hervías at Valladolid). "The money from the transfers is there, but other income has decreased," he clarified.

The club estimated that 15 million fewer would enter the 'box' if the league were suspended, or a figure of about 3 million if the competition resumed without an audience. "We are closing the accounts to find out how the condition has been for playing behind closed doors. We have had to return part of the fees to the subscribers, and the money for audiovisual rights will drop." The club association (LaLiga) has asked the clubs to provide a 10% reduction in television rights in their accounts for the next financial year, which affects Eibar as this is its main source of income. "Television accounted for 88% of income in the 2019-2020 campaign budget. Next season we continued with a similar trend, so it will affect us significantly. The regular income item of the 2019-2020 budget It was 54 million. We are now working with a cash inflow scenario of 50 million in the 2020-2021 budget, "he said. The budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year was 52.9 million, so the decrease would be more than 7% .

The Eibarresa entity transferred 4 footballers last summer, but the situation has changed for COVID-19. Thus, Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, has warned clubs not to make millionaire signings, and has recommended that they look for players on loan or who have the quarry. The Barça club is more interested now in keeping its troops than in selling them off. "Eibar does not need to sell players to balance the accounts, due to the patrimonial situation that we have. Another thing is that we get an opportunity and it seems adequate. Eibar will adjust to the income that it can generate for any financial outlay," he warned.

The entity from Eibar will make an effort so that the subscribers affected by an ERTE or unemployment, remain linked to their social mass. For this reason, he has returned the money for the matches played behind closed doors of the 2019-2020 season, and would do the same again if in the 20202-2021 campaign the matches were initially played without spectators. Eibar wants no member to withdraw due to financial problems while the coronavirus crisis lasts, and will do everything possible to care for its faithful subscribers.

The sports city project in Areitio continues

Ulazia spoke about the sports city in Areitio, in Mallabia (Bizkaia), a project that has not yet started. Despite the economic crisis, Eibar continues with a key issue to enhance its quarry, with the construction of 5 soccer fields. "It is an investment that cannot be foreign to the current economic situation. But one of the advantages of the chosen project is that its execution can be modular or phased. If the situation allows it, we will go ahead with the initial plans to carry out the work. once, if not, we would go to do it in phases. Last week we were in the Mallabia town hall. We already have the basis of what the urban modification has to be, and we will present it in September for initial approval and submission to the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. We hope to have the excavators up and running by the time this year's Eibar general shareholders' meeting is held, "that is, at the end of the last quarter.

He took stock of the 2019-2020 campaign that has just ended. "I value the remarkable season, with the men's first team remaining in the First Division (the next will be the seventh consecutive season) and the promotion of the women's team to the highest category, the First Iberdrola. It is an enormous merit for a club that represents a city of 27,000 inhabitants such as Eibar ", sentenced.

Asked about the agreement with the Royal Society, a club that with the help of the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council has sports agreements with almost all the entities in the province (except Eibar and Antiguoko, which has just joined Athletic Club), was categorical. "Regarding the Gipuzkoa grassroots agreement there have been no news lately. We two years ago made the decision to separate ourselves from Gipuzkoan football. The framework of Gipuzkoan football has not adapted to the fact of having two provincial clubs in the First Division ( referring to Real Sociedad and Eibar.) Before this only happened in men's football, but now the same thing happens in women's football. There are two clubs in the province that make investments in youth football, which has to be seen as an opportunity for the territory by the institutions ".

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