The presidents of Movistar Estudiantes, Fernando Galindo and Miguel Ángel Bufalá, and the general director of the club, José Asensio, appeared this morning on the track of the Magariños pavilion to give explanations and acknowledge responsibilities after the historic relegation of the first team to LEB Oro, the third in a decade horribilis, the first to be consumed after two rescues in the offices. “We have the unequivocal and firm will to continue. The institution is not going to disappear. We have done it between bad and very bad, but we have learned the lesson that reality has taught us. Now it’s time to grit your teeth and look to the future, “said Galindo, who focused his speech on four axes, two financial and two sports. On the economic side, he announced his intention to endeavor to obtain institutional aid and to carry out the renegotiation of the debt with the Tax Agency. In sports, there was a “profound change in structure” and, more than likely, also in the playing hall.
“We are going to meet with the Madrid institutions to tell them that we exist. We need the help of the City Council and the Community, and also the Higher Sports Council, as the benchmark that we are in the world of basketball, in Madrid and throughout Spain, “said Galindo before detailing part of the accounts that weigh down the club. “Withdrawing 1.4 million euros per year from the resources that we assign to the first team to face the historical debt has conditioned our capacity and results. It should not serve as an excuse, but it is a necessary explanation together with the recognition of the serious mistakes we have made ”, he continued. “We have reduced the debt by about 10 million euros in these years with two capital increases [de 14 millones a cuatro, unos seis con los intereses], but that annual payment leaves us without a budget. We do not want to be forgiven a single euro, but we ask for time to be able to face it in a longer term, in a digestible way “, reiterated the president of Estudiantes, who advanced the meeting of the board of directors to define the roadmap after the descent and the call of an extraordinary shareholders meeting. “The board has the power to kick us out, but to leave us now would be irresponsible and cowardly. Those of us who are here are the ones who have to face the ascent ”, he stressed.
In the strictly sports field, Galindo drew up a new scheme still to be outlined. “We are going to separate the sports part from the rest of our activities as an institution. There will be profound changes. Perhaps we have focused on solving the difficult economic situation in which we were and we have neglected the sports part in these years. The parade of coaches and players is not normal. We will create a specific structure within the club only for the first team ”, explained the president, who supported its general director, José Asensio, but placed him on the sidelines of this new sports structure that is being proposed in Magariños. “Self-flagellation is necessary because of how we have fallen, but this institution has been in crisis almost from its origin and that has a correspondence in the results,” added Bufalá who, like Galindo, valued the social aspect of the club (in quarry, campus, schools and disability aid) and the return that this implies in the continuity of the club’s main sponsors, as the basis and sustenance to face rearmament. “Students may downgrade, but they don’t downgrade. By tradition and by what we contribute to society, we are an ACB team, we compete where we compete. And maybe this is good to update us, “added Bufalá.
Galindo did not specify the new budget that Estudiantes will have in LEB Oro, nor the continuity of Jota Cuspinera as coach and the few players with a current contract, but he was clear on the objectives. “We only contemplate going up next year. We will be sure one of the best budgets in the category, if not the best, and self-demand goes through returning to the ACB in one season, anything else would be a failure, “he said before talking about the field where the team will play. “In Magariños it is impossible. We will see if it will be at the WiZInk, at Ifema, at the Madrid Arena… ”, he said, associating the location with the result of the negotiation with the Madrid institutions.
“This is sport and the budgets do not determine the results, but they do condition them. Even so, we have been making mistakes for many years, ”Galindo reiterated. “We did not have the adequate structure to make the correct decisions that allow us the stability and sporting successes that we seek,” he continued in his analysis, emphasizing his idea of specifying that new structure rather than stopping to “look for culprits.” “We are going to maintain and strengthen our youth ranks and our hallmarks,” concluded Galindo at the end of his speech, with a message to his fans. “They have always been with us, in health and illness, in successes and failures. Atlético de Madrid that went down to hell had more fans in the Second Division than the previous year. We have not made ours happy in recent years, but surely they are also going to re-engage to get this done “, concluded the president of Students.