Mikel San José “There Is Nothing From The Club Regarding My Personal Situation”
The coronavirus pandemic has cast the sporting world into uncertainty. As players are quarantined at home no one knows when or if the football season will resume. There’s been constant talk about possible dates to begin training again or scheduling matches, but nothing concrete. Regardless, Athletic midfielder Mikel San José says it’s still necessary to try to figure out what can be done.
“The situation is critical and serious for everyone,” San José told Radio Euskadi. “Some of us cannot leave home, others suffer from the virus, and other have not stopped working to try to stop this. Football is in the background, but it’s the reality for many athletes. There is nothing clear about whether the season will be played or not. Talking about hypotheses is superfluous but also something that has to happen.”
In light of the current situation across the globe, San José is hopeful that everyone will learn from what’s happening. The midfield says that people can now really see what is most important in life.
“I want to think that this situation will help us all to realize what we have in our daily lives every time we go out on the street which is something we can’t do right now. There are many things that we should value more and aspects in which we have to come out stronger because of this. We can only get out of this by being strong together.”
The Athletic players are optimistic that the league season will return, although the Copa del Rey final is the biggest priority. “We have hope for that opportunity around the corner,” says San José. “We have to be prepared. We don’t know if fans will be able to attend when it is played, but we have to be ready. We are taking care of ourselves to be in the best shape for the end of the season.”
Although the idea of playing the Cup final behind closed doors has been mentioned as a possibility, neither the Spanish Football Federation nor Athletic are considering it as an option.
“I can’t imagine a Cup final with empty stands, not at all. It wouldn’t be good or logical to me. I don’t think there are options for that to happen. It should be postponed until it can be played with fans. It remains to be seen when it will be played and it’s true that there is a European place at stake, but it has to be played with the fans.”
The European championship was postponed in hopes of giving domestic leagues extra time to finish their seasons. However, scheduling games into the summer creates a problem with players like San José and Beñat both out of contract on 30 June. “It’s an unusual situation,” he admitted. “For the first time in my life I have a contract that is ending and it’s during an exceptional situation like this.”
For now there is no word on how expiring contracts will be handled if the season does extend into July. In San José’s opinion, the simplest thing to do is extend contracts until the seasons are completed.
“We don’t know if the season will be completed and if the contracts will be extended or not. For what is at stake, the logical thing is that the expiring contracts continue until the season ends, but neither the club nor we control the legal issues. Authorities like FIFA and UEFA handle those things. Whatever decisions is made must be followed, but it would seem unfair to not be able to finish the season.”
Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta has already explained that the club would be analyzing the performances of San José and Beñat this season before making a decision about their futures. “There is nothing from the club regarding my personal situation,” said San José. “I have no news. I’m waiting for them to tell me something. At the moment there is nothing.”
The expectation is that both Mikel San José and Beñat will leave Athletic at the end of the season, but no decisions have been made. For now, the 30-year-old midfielder is solely focused on finishing the campaign and doing everything he can to help the Lions lift the first Copa del Rey title since 1984 and take out La Gabarra.