Athletic Club President Josu Urrutia Announces He Won’t Run For Re-Election, Voting Will Be Held On 27 December
One of the major topics surrounding Athletic Club this season has been the looming Presidential elections. Current President Josu Urrutia has repeatedly hinted that he will no be running again and on Wednesday he appeared before the media for a press conference. The 50-year-old began by revealing that he has made his decision to not run for a third term.
“I want to begin by sharing two things. First, I have informed my board that I will not put myself up for re-election. Secondly, the voting will take place on 27 December. For 8 years I have had many interactions with the fans and I believe that we have done well. My heart and my head tell me that it’s best to not continue. I have tried to convey my vision of Athletic. Anyone who comes forward for this role is going to have my help in any way that I can.”
The elections were originally set to be held at some point in March of 2019, but Urrutia stated that his reasoning for moving it up to 27 December is to give the new board the chance to make their own decisions in January. He believes that changing the date is the right decision and has a clear conscience in that directive.
“We believe that the best thing for Athletic is for the elections to be in December. Our responsibility and honesty led us to this decision. The incoming board will have January to do what they deem appropriate. I want to sleep well. The sporting results have gone rather bad lately and there have been other bad times too. I want to have a clear conscience and I do.”
Urrutia’s plan to give the next board the opportunity to make their own decisions in January can seem as though Eduardo Berizzo’s job is safe until the new year. Indeed the President did have words of praise for the current manager, but also said that he will still make any difficult decisions if he has to over the coming weeks.
“I’ve been with Berizzo for a short time. I talked to him yesterday. The results have not been good, but I have very good feelings about his work. Berizzo is the best I’ve had as either a player or a manager. Our responsibility will be until the last day. Amorrortu has a contract until 30 June and then he will leave. He will give those who come in his point of view and inform them of what they need. If I have to take action or make any decisions before 27 December, I will. If I have to make decisions for the club, I’ll do it. That’s how I’ve always done things over these years. I’ll do it naturally.”
In closing, Urrutia said that it has been a privilege to serve as the President of Athletic Club and that he will always be involved with the Zurigorri family. He doesn’t know what he will do moving forward, but hopes for the best for the next President and the years to come as Athletic move into a new era.
“For me it has been a privilege. I have been fortunate enough to play and be President, but I’m not leaving Athletic. I will finish this stage and try to live normally. I am thankful and happy. I don’t know what I will do next. I’ll take some time to rest and reflect and then reintegrate myself into the Zurigorri family in a normal way and help the club in any way that I can. I don’t know if anyone from my board have any plans. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I think we have succeeded with our intention of protecting the club’s values. We are in a world of football where there are no absolute guarantees, but our identity is one of them.”
Over the next few weeks new Presidential candidates will be working to share their ideas, plans, and goals if they are elected. There will be very difficult decisions to make moving forward with several players in need of new contracts and the potential for a coaching change. For now Josu Urrutia will continue to serve as President until the new President is elected on 27 December.