Athletic President Josu Urrutia Hints That He Will Not Run For Third Term In 2019 Elections
Josu Urrutia could be living his last days as the President of Athletic Club. Elections are set to take place early next year and the 50-year-old has yet to reveal whether or not he will run for a third term. Urrutia has been at the helm since 2011 and has enjoyed immense success, especially financially, and during Monday’s General Assembly he gave a speech that hinted that he will not run again.
While discussing the identity of the club, which Urrutia calls the fundamentals, he seemed to say goodbye in what would could be his final General Assembly. “The future will not be decided by the secondary things, but by the fundamentals”, he said. “It has been a pleasure, the time has come to finish. We have felt very supported because we have known how to agree on the fundamentals. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m focused on closing something and we’ll see if I decide to open something new or not, but we must not get ahead of ourselves. I’m trying to close an eight-year commitment so whatever comes next we will see.”
Urrutia went on to praise his father, his brother, and his right hand man Andres Arana, calling them “three examples of life and what is means to be Athletic”. He then discussed why he ran for President in the first place back in 2011, highlighting his desire to help Athletic find cohesiveness and unity in the essence of what the club is at the deepest level.
“I introduced myself [as a candidate in 2011] because I saw certain incoherences and disunity beyond the results. I wanted to make sense of the club and to see a clear orientation beyond successful or failures on the field. The main objective was to be clear about what Athletic is. It’s essence, is much more than football, it’s a way of live and a way of competing differently beyond winning and losing. Our players are the best because they are the ones from home. We are part of a society that moves in a direction contrary to the identity of Athletic. Our greatest challenge is to preserve our essence and protect it from adversity. The commitment to Lezama is clear. We take risks, but are completely convinced in how we do things. We are confident and patient. The road is not easy, but it is our way. We will gave the difficulties with our own people.”
Josu Urrutia gave a similar farewell speech before making the decision to run for his second term several years ago, but this time it feels different. The President hasn’t openly stated what his plans are for next year’s elections although it does seem that he will not be running. If that is the case, the two most well-known candidates at this point are José Antonio Jainaga who is the President of steel producing company Sidenor and Mario Fernández, the son of the former President of Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa.