Presidential Elections Could Negatively Impact Athletic Club’s Manager Search
In just a few months Kuko Ziganda will no longer be the manager of Athletic Club. In his debut season the Lions have taken a significant step backwards and the fans have been calling for a change for months now. In public President Josu Urrutia has stated that he doesn’t know what is going to happen this summer, however Athletic have been hard at work over the last few weeks looking for a new manager to take over when the season finally comes to a close.
Thomas Tuchel, Eduardo Berizzo, and Asier Garitano have been the most consistent names linked with a move to the San Mamés and the rumors are constantly evolving. Last month it looked certain that Garitano would be taking over, but then Tuchel rejected Bayern Munich and Athletic quickly made him a serious offer. With stiff competition for the German it now looks like Berizzo is the favorite to replace Kuko Ziganda but there is still plenty of time for things to change.
Fans are excited to see so many promising candidates being pursued for the soon-to-be coaching vacancy, but there is one issue that isn’t really being talked about. The club’s Presidential elections are set to take place next summer and that means that Urrutia will likely only be able to offer a one-year contract to a manager. It is true that this unwritten rule has been ignored in the past, but it has never worked out well. With managers always looking for job security and the club wanting structure in place, only being able to offer a one-year deal could deter someone from accepting the offer.
A large group of fans have actually called on Josu Urrutia to move the elections up to this summer in order for the club to be able to circumvent this issue, but it isn’t that simple. Due to this season’s failures many fans are not happy with Urrutia and he could view moving the elections up a year as a danger to his chances of winning the vote. Likewise, rushing the elections would make it much more difficult for potential opponents to put together a campaign in time to have a serious shot at winning.
It certainly isn’t ideal but Athletic’s Presidential elections just come at a terrible time and there doesn’t appear to be any way around it. It is still possible that Urrutia could offer a new manager a longer contract, but that is very unlikely. For the time being the club will continue to work on their plan for replacing Ziganda and there are options that should have fans excited. The disappointing season is finally drawing to a close, and with it will come change.