Athletic Club’s General Assembly Narrowly Approves Proposed Budget for 2019/2020
The first General Assembly of the Aitor Elizegi era was held on Sunday at the Euskalduna Palace with several topics being addressed. Promoting the Grada de Animación, strengthening Lezama, and growing the women’s game were all spoken about in length. The club also presented a financial report for the previous season, as well as the proposed budget for 2019/2020, which were then voted on by Socios in attendance.
“The economic health of the club is impeccable”, explained the President. “We have reinforced the Provisional Fund to guarantee the future and for the club to continue to be updated. With the reservation we made from the first months of this directive we believe that we have reinforced the next five years, that there is nothing missing so that our professionals remain they best.”
The Board confirmed that they had to use €20 million of the €76 million Provisional Fund in order to balance the books, but were also able to contribute to it as well. Approximately €60 million of the transfer fee for Kepa Arrizabalaga was added to the fund which now totals €116 million. Accountant Jon Ander de las Fuentes shared that the expenses last year were €158 million, with a €24 million surplus, with the proposed budget for 2019/2020 being set at €132 million.
Socios were then given the opportunity to vote on three separate topics. First, the annual accounts for 2018/2019 were approved with 53.5% of votes in favor. A total of 321 out of 590 votes were in approval with 240 voting in opposition. The final 19 votes cast were either null or blank.
Secondly, the proposed budget for 2019/2020 narrowly won the vote with 47.3% (284) in favor and 46% (276) in opposition. At first, club Secretary Fernando San José shared that there must be a consensus of over 50% to approve a budget, but later corrected the issue and explained that isn’t actually the case.
The confusion was due to a misinterpretation of the statues of the club. In fact, the club had already announced that they would call for an extraordinary assembly to address the budget but that will not be needed with the slim victory enough to approve the proposed budget. Looking back, Fernando García Macua’s proposed budget in 2009 was approved with 49.67% votes in favor.
Finally, a vote of 68% in favor approved the plans to open a process for modifying the Bylaws of the club. The corresponding commission responsible for drafting the Statute Reform Project has been appointed. Gorka Cubes and Josu Arteta were voted to be in the the Commission by Socios while Ana Urquijo Elorriaga and Aner Uriarte Codon have been appointed by the Board of Directors. Aitor Elizegi will also serve on the Commission which will soon start the process for drafting the reform of the bylaws.
In addition, the club will also be forming a commission of Socios, independent of the Board, which will be given access to financial records in order to create more transparency and accountability. A vote was not held regarding the Grada de Animación and will instead take place at a later time.