José Julián Lertxundi “The Philosophy Of Athletic Club Is Untouchable, There Are Sweeter Forms Of Suicide”
Athletic’s Presidential elections are in full swing as both candidates are working to collect signatures by Friday’s deadline and sharing their visions with the Socios. One person who knows the club as well as anyone else is former President José Julián Lertxundi who recently spoke with A Diario and said that the club is in a worrisome situation.
“Athletic needs a shock treatment. Being at this point, in the relegation zone, is a worrisome situation and I would dare to say almost dramatic. Unsuspected, unexpected, unheard of. It’s a very worrying concern. For me, Berizzo was already dead when Kepa left, Herrerín was injured, and Remiro was annexed. Can you imagine Clemente, Jupp Heynckes, or Luis Enrique accepting this situation? Then Unai Simón comes out, does very well, and when Herrerín has recovered the coach says he will play him because of hierarchy…Txopo!”
Several questions have been raised in regards to the club’s philosophy which Lertxundi says shouldn’t be touched. The 25th President of Athletic made reference to the fact that any candidate who tries to change the philosophy would be committing suicide.
“As far as the philosophy is concerned, there are sweeter ways to commit suicides. The one who aspires to lead the club and think of changing the philosophy is not a candidate for Athletic. We cannot continue to point to the philosophy when things are going badly. With the philosophy we have been in the highest level of competition for 120 years. The philosophy is untouchable and it makes us different and unique. It’s a religion.”
Above all else, the Lertxundi wants to see Lezama improved. He doesn’t believe that the academy is producing as many top players as it should and hopes to see Athletic stop spending money for players outside the club. The former President is happy that the club is in such great financial standing, but isn’t happy that it has come by losing several top players.
“Lezama must be restored. The academy is fundamental but there are problems between managers, coaches, systems, methods, and production. Little is being produced and it isn’t good. We have the capacity, instruments, and money to be the enemy of Alavés, Real Sociedad, Eibar, and Osasuna when players are young. We can’t miss any of them. It’s wonderful that we have €300 million, but it has come because of the loss of our most important players, all of them internationals. I may be wrong, but I don’t believe in spending so much money. If Athletic spends €40 million on a player it may not work out well. Even if it does we are still fattening the coffers of our neighbors.”
José Julián Lertxundi has already put his support behind Alberto Uribe-Echevarría and was in attendance as the former accountant opened his electoral office just a few days ago. Both Presidential candidates have received enormous support and it will be up to the Socios to determine the future of Athletic Club on 27 December when voting will take place.