Introducing Potential Presidential Candidates For Athletic Club’s December Elections

Josu Urrutia

President Josu Urrutia and Secretary Javier Aldazabal (AC)

It’s official. Josu Urrutia’s tenure as President of Athletic Club is coming to an end. During a press conference on Wednesday he announced that the elections will be held on 27 December and that he will not be running for a third consecutive term. The Zurigorri have seen massive successful, both on the field and financially, since Urrutia was voted in back in 2011, but at the end of the year someone else will take over as President.

One of the first thoughts on everyone’s mind is who will be the candidates up for election in December. At this point it is difficult to predict who will run, but there is already one person who has announced his intentions. José Antonio Jainaga, President of steel company Sidenor, has already stated that he will run for President. Sources have claimed that he has been working to put together his board over the past few months, with some even saying that he wants to make Rafael Alkorta the Sporting Director.

Another outsider who has been rumored as a potential candidate is Mario Fernández, the son of the former President of Kutxabank. Some sources claim that Fernández wouldn’t be the one running for President, but would rather be putting together a group to back a specific candidate. So far he has not publicly stated any intentions.

José Antonio Jainaga

José Antonio Jainaga has already announced that he will run for President (MD)

With Urrutia stepping down it should be noted that there are several members of his current board who could emerge as strong candidates. Alberto Uribe-Echevarría immediately stands out as a possibility. He’s served as the club’s accountant under Urrutia and has played a big role in helping Athletic achieve financial stability since 2011. He has been the one to share the yearly financial statements with the public and appeared before the media along with Urrutia when the pair announced the formation of the €76 million provisional fund last month.

Club secretary Javier Aldazabal could also be a potential candidate. He has always been a gifted public speaker and has done a great job of organizing Assemblies. He’s done a lot of the behind the scenes things, but is very highly respected among the current board. Vice President José Ángel Corres is another name to watch. He was once the President of the Bilbao Chamber of Commerce and has played a big role in special projects at Athletic, including the constant improvements of the Lezama training facilities.

As things stand right now these are the names to watch, although it is important to note that it is impossible to predict who will come forward now that the election date has been set. Rumors have suggested plenty of other potential candidates such as Javier Clemente, Julen Guerrero, and others but there is nothing suggesting that those stories are true at the moment. With less than two months until voting takes place candidates will have to act quickly because there won’t be much time for planning and campaigning.

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