Athletic Club’s €116 Million Extraordinary Fund Now More Valuable Than Ever
Five years ago former Athletic president Josu Urrutia shocked fans when he announced that the club had set up a €76 million extraordinary fund. As a club without debt, setting aside the money was meant to protect Athletic’s financial future. Although Urrutia and his Board of Directors never could have foreseen the pandemic that the world is facing at the moment, the fund that he put in place has now become immeasurably valuable.
The coronavirus outbreak will have a massively negative impact on the global economy and football clubs are sure to suffer. Clubs like Barcelona are already considering drastic measures such as asking players to temporarily lower their wages to combat the financial loss. With so much clubs in Spain already battling debt, the football stoppage could result in major setbacks moving forward.
“When the time comes we will evaluate the damage this has caused,” president Aitor Elizegi said during an interview last week. Fortunately for Athletic, Urrutia’s extraordinary fund will put the Basque giants in a much more manageable position than other clubs in Europe. Considering that Elizegi added to the fund back in October, increasing it to €116 million, Athletic have a large sum to protect the club if the need arises.
While it’s encouraging that players like Yuri Berchiche have openly said they are willing to lower their wages, the club will have the capacity to continue operating normally as long as the pandemic doesn’t extend further than current projections. Being prepared has never been more important and Josu Urrutia’s commitment to planning ahead cannot be understated.