Interviews

RICARDO GONZALEZ: �I AM NOT BUYING DEPORTIVO�

11 Aug 2008
Ricardo Gonz??lez is the man on everybody’s mouth on these days, he was saw with Lendoiro during the Venezuelan tour and it was speculated that he was trying to buy the club, but now the entrepreneur is talking with Depor Sport and saying that he only wanted to give strategic support to Deportivo.

Q: Are you buying Deportivo?
A: No, negative.

Q: How is your relationship with Lendoiro and the club?
A: Augusto and I are friends since a long time ago, all started because of my father, who is Galician, he was already friend of Augusto. So this friendship was translated to us, his sons. I, as a Galician, feel compromised with Galicia and Depor. What we have always tried to do is to help according to our possibilities. But since that point and compared to all that has been said in Spain… I am not a tycoon, we aren’t buying Deportivo La Coru?±a… different is that maybe a Venezuelan corporation is interested in sponsorship the club. Why not to help Depor to achieve a Venezuelan sponsor if the matter is on my hands? However, we haven’t talked with any Venezuelan group in order to buy Deportivo.

Q: Have you been an intermediary for Lendoiro in meetings with other entrepreneurs?
A: The intention is to help. Everybody in the city knows that A Coru?±a doesn’t have five million inhabitants nor an stadium to host one hundred thousand people, but in a certain way, we need to work and search for the financial resources. This in order to keep the level of a club like Deportivo La Coru?±a, especially now we are playing the UEFA cup, we need additional incomes. If Venezuela is able to help, I’m ready to work 24 hours in order to help Deportivo.

Q: Buying shares?
A: It isn’t part of the plans. We already have a big number of sits in the stadium and a VIP zone at the Riazor with a corporation we own over there. I think there are a lot of ways in order to help. It’s possible to help in terms of publicity without the necessity of buying Deportivo’s shares.

Q: In a Coru?±a people say that you are a millionaire. What do you do for living?
A: I have bingos and casinos on here. My name has been mentioned because they say I’m president of the South American Chamber of Bingos, which is true. I have been the president during five years, but not any more. Besides, the fact I was the president didn’t mean I was a Tsar of the bingos in Venezuela. I was simply the president of your sector, of your zone. They also say I am a strong link of Hugo Chavez’s government, which is not true. I am just an entrepreneur and off course, as long I was the president of the Chamber, I was the one that negotiated with the government all the problems and projects that came out. During my period, in Venezuela they were promulgating a law for the bingos & casinos, that’s why I participated in the dialogue with deputes and all the ministries involved. Then several reports of my meetings with them came out. Maybe that’s why they see me as a close man to the president, but it isn’t true, neither I’m against him, I’m just a private entrepreneur and I am not involved in politics.

Q: Are you concerned for all the expectation generated in A Coru?±a?
A: I think it was a misinformation and that’s why I’m trying to rectify it. People can write what they want. On these days, you enter in Internet and find a lot of things about some people. Its part of what you must paid in this life.

Q: Then, you simple came here in order to help Lendoiro.
A: Just like that. In fact, I was on vacations in A Coru?±a with my family and I decided to travel with Augusto, because it wasn’t fair to see the team playing in my land without having me there. I was able to help the club with several things in Venezuela, because I know the country really well; that was the intention. I didn’t come with the president just for the pleasure; I traveled with Deportivo in order to show them about Venezuelan people.

Q: How were the meetings in Venezuela?
A: I believe that well. That was what I told to the club’s officials when we were at A Coru?±a: that the Galician emigrants feel more passion for Depor than the ones living in Galicia. Maybe is for the distance, for the feelings you have in the inside (morri?±a). There was a strong feeling because their club was coming to Caracas. The Galician colony knows me, because we are always supporting sports. We have a new club named Real Sport Club and our youngsters come out from the Galician brotherhood. We also want to see Deportivo learning about the level of the Venezuelan football and how things have improved lately. The pretensions are that in a few years, we won’t only have an Arango playing in Spain, but thirty or forty players. The intention is to help both countries as brothers.

Q: What kind of meetings did you have?
A: We had some kinds of meetings with corporations; the plan was to search for a sponsor for Deportivo. There are four or five strong Venezuelan corporations that export a lot of merchandises to Spain. The gola was to probe if those corporations were interested in Depor as we already know what happened with Fadesa. Nothing is clear yet. The president is doing what he must do, today it was Venezuela and tomorrow it could be Argentina or Switzerland.

Q: And the names of those corporations?
A: I prefer to not give names. It’s isn’t difficult to find those names if you look for the Venezuelan corporations that are exporting to Spain.

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