Athletic Club Presidential Candidates Have Different Outlooks On The Grada De Animación
One of the biggest topics of interest among those who will be voting for Athletic’s new President is the Grada de Animación. The club essentially abandoned the special tradition under Josu Urrutia in favor of selling tickets at a higher price, protecting sponsors, and avoiding the promotion of non-football issues. The fans want it back and both Presidential candidates have already had to address their vision.
Aitor Elizegi, whose campaign has focused on passion for the club and open communication with fans, has certainly put a priority on the Grada de Animación. In an interview with SER Deportivos Bilbao, he revealed that he recently visited England to see The Kop at Anfield and has plans to introduce something very special. He wants to create a section of up to 4,000 fans which has already been met with excitement.
“I have never whistled a player of Athletic or any rival, everyone needs to support the team. I dream of being the first president to create the first Grada de Animación of between 3,000 and 4,000 Bilbainos.”
In a separate interview, Alberto Uribe-Echevarría was more coy with his answer. He admitted that his team are working on ideas for the Grada de Animación, but refused to give any details. At the end of the day, he wants to see the entire San Mamés supporting the team instead of putting the attention and responsibility on one section of the stands.
“The Animación is the responsibility of the whole stadium, not just one area. Athletic needs the support of everyone in the stands, and that section can generate more fear in opponents or the pressure that makes them tremble. We will discuss it, talk about it. We have done things, we have novel ideas, and yes we want to promote it, but we should all encourage it.”
The Grada de Animación could be the deciding factor for many Socios who will be voting on 27 December. As the campaigns continue both candidates will have to address the topic further, among others. In the meantime, Elizegi and Uribe-Echevarría are working to collect the nearly 3,000 signatures needed by the 7 December deadline to formalize their candidacies.