Javier Clemente Working With A Group Who Plan To Run For Athletic Club President In Next Year’s Elections
Javier Clemente is one of the most decorated and accomplished managers in the history of Athletic Club. After spending his career at the San Mamés he went into coaching after retirement and enjoyed a successful spell from 1981-1986 where he led the team to a Copa del Rey title in 1983 followed by the league double in the following season. Since then he has gone on to coach many different teams but still has a special place in his heart for the club he calls home.
Now Clemente has come to the forefront of Athletic news once again after discussing next year’s Presidential Elections will Telebilbao. The 68-year-old revealed that he is currently working with a group that are planning to put forth a candidate for the office and want him to run next year.
“I’m talking with a group that want to run in the elections. We are talking about sporting things and the group is young and well-prepared. They have been watching Athletic closely over the last three years and in one of the first meetings they talked extensively about the Athletic brand. It caught my attention, that’s true. We have been an impressive brand but not lately. We haven’t talked about the game or those things, but about the club. The importance of the club being strong because that is how you find success. I don’t really see myself as a President but I am listening to their ideas. They want to strengthen the structure of the team and made Athletic more successful.”
Clemente went on to say that he believes the club has lost part of its identity and said that Athletic must get back to challenging for titles to remain an important team. He would like to see an improvement on promoting youth players and taking advantage of the economic strength of the club. Interestingly, he also admitted that he would like to see Fernando Llorente return to Athletic.
We have lost part of our identity. If we had not won leagues and cups against Real Madrid and Barcelona in the past then not as many people would know us right now. We also have to improve the way that players arrive to the first team from the reserves. We have great options like the left-back, the 10, and the striker (Speaking of Andoni López, Iñigo Vicente, and Gorka Guruzeta). I would bring back Llorente, although I don’t know how is doing right now. Athletic can be a serious club because of the economic future that we have and we need people with the knowledge to make that happen.”
As of right now Josu Urrutia has not discussed whether or not he plans to run for office again. In the past he has said that he believes he has served a healthy amount of time, but the club has found success under him and he could change his mind. So far the only candidate that is confirmed is José Antonio Jainaga, President of Sidenor, who announced his campaign in February. Others who are current members of the board, such as Accountant Alberto Uribe-Echevarría and Secretary Javier Aldazabal, are also options, while there is a belief that a group is trying to convince Julen Guerrero to enter the race as well.