Alberto Uribe-Echevarría vs Aitor Elizegi: The Race For Athletic Club President

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Former club Accountant Alberto Uribe-Echevarria (AC)

The stage is set. After weeks of confusion, uncertainty, and chaos there will finally be an election. Alberto Uribe-Echevarría and Aitor Elizegi have officially announced their candidacies for Athletic Club President and will be presenting their Board of Directors in the coming days. They will also begin sharing their platforms and ideas with the public which will be deciding factors in how the Socios vote on 27 December.

Uribe-Echevarría served as the club’s Accountant under former President Josu Urrutia and has led Athletic to the most secure and stable financial situation in history. The former Board had always planned on presenting a continuist candidate and after seeing Javier Aldazabal, Genar Andrinua, and José Ángel Corres all turn down the offer it was Uribe-Echevarría who stepped forward.

Elizegi is a famous chef and businessman in Bizkaia and a well-known Socio who has long dreamed of becoming President of Athletic. He has a loyal group of fans who have urged him to run and he’s been working with his group over the last few months to prepare his candidacy. He initially announced on Wednesday that he would not run, just one day after reports said that he had decided to present himself, but on Friday he changed his mind. In an official statement he said that the conditions were right and he had received so much support over the past 24 hours which led him to officially announce his candidacy.

Aitor Elizegi

Famous Chef and Socio Aitor Elizegi (EC)

Now that there are two candidates the electoral process can continue. Other potential candidates have until 7 December to submit their applications but, barring any unforeseen changes, no one else will be stepping forward. Uribe-Echevarría and Elizegi now have until 8 December to formalize their candidacy which requires collecting signatures from 5% of Socios who are eligible to vote. This would be somewhere around 2,000 signatures. Additionally, Elizegi would have to pay the 5% budget fee of approximately €19.3 million if he wins the Presidency, for which he has been guaranteed the financial support. His opponent is exempt from this due to serving for so long on the previous Board of Directors.

If both are able to collect enough signatures they will be officially presented as candidates on 12 December with the voting scheduled to take place on 27 December. If one is unable to collect enough signatures, withdraws from the elections, or decides to join his opponent there will be no need for voting and the remaining candidate would be sworn in as Athletic Club President on 13 December.

Two very different candidates have stepped forward and Socios are excited that there will finally be an election. After so much uncertainly over the past few weeks the members will get to vote in December and decide the future of Athletic Club. Will it be the brilliant economist Alberto Uribe-Echevarría or the passionate entrepreneur Aitor Elizegi? The race for Athletic Club President has begun.

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