Interviews

Q&A WITH LENDOIRO

30 Mar 2009
President Augusto Cesar Lendoiro gave an extensive interview to Depor Sport, he talked about several issues including the future of Lotina, the youth system, the renewals of players and the sponsorship of Estrella Galicia.

Q: Let us start with the renewals. Publicly, Joan Verd?? is clearly the player who has left the door open.
A: At this moment, the most difficult case is De Guzman, who has not allowed us to speak on the subject. He refers to his agent and the agent is just giving excuses, there is no possibility of been talking with him. In recent hours, I have talked to Richard (Moar) about it, to at least have a reunion and to hear from him that there's nothing to do. They are in their right, but we do not know it, tough we are guessing it. Moreover, in the winter market, it seemed they had a chance to leave and were anxious to leave, but ultimately no chance appeared. This also makes you think that maybe, they don’t have as many solutions as it sounds, because if not, he would prefer to wait and go free in June. Perhaps that’s the most difficult case. So far we haven’t even spoken on this issue because they haven’t allowed it. When they said they had come to La Coru?±a and that I hadn’t received them because I couldn’t, that's a lie. The one that made the offer in order to have a meeting was Richard and the representative said no. He said that he didn’t come for that. It’s the only subject in which we weren’t able to talk, because they haven’t wanted, and we intuited there was something.

Q: Did you held meetings with all the other players?
A: We have spoken several times with Antonio Morales for Manuel Pablo, also with Tamargo for Pablo Alvarez, with Magico (Diaz) for Verd?? and we have talked a couple of times with Avelino (Gonzalez) for Sergio. With Pablo Amo and with Mun??a, we have not discussed the matter at this point, but let's wait first for the official renew of Lotina. I think on this week we will speak with I?±aki Ib???±ez, I do not know whether in Madrid or La Coru?±a.

Q: In order to close it?
A: I do not know whether to close it or to advance in the subject. Initially, whenever you meet someone, you are thinking is going to be closed that day.

Q: What influence has Lotina in the current project of Deportivo?
A: All. Lotina is really the backbone of the project. The people who will be staying and the people who can come will depend on him. It is a key and, furthermore, everybody is working on the same line.

Q: Have you offered one more year or two?
A: Initially, we are talking about a year or the figure of one year plus another one more with a minimum of objectives.

Q: It wouldn’t be better to attach him for two years?
A: The problem is that the coaches are not like a player, they feel more motivated for what it can represent for the fans. I think it's good to go year after year. With Arsenio and Irureta, who have been here for many years, we have always done like this. What I am in favor of is to be renewing one year plus one more, fulfilling minimum objectives.

Q: Do you think Lotina will be here many years?
A: Yes, I see him as a coach who may be at Deportivo for many years, because that's what we always liked. He is a man from the club, very discreet, loving, hardworking, honest and, above all, a good coach. Moreover, not only is a good coach, but a great leader of his group and each time they are working better and is more involved with the youth teams. All of that without much striking phrases, just doing things right, with discretion.

Q: Is the club planning the season taking in mind the renewals are still in a dead point?
A: Now we’re in that key moment of the season in which in a short space of time, we will know whether we will renew all, few or none. We are already in that last-minute situation. Now we’ve to make decisions, because there is no more space-time, in other words, to want it or to not want it. There will be different circumstances, but we must plan ahead. Then there are also strategies practiced by everybody and that neither the player nor the agent are going to discover or uncover the club.

Q: Do you plan to lighten the squad?
A: Yes, the concern is at the position of the striker, because we have a major excess of players, who are all good, but perhaps not �cracks�. They are good players who have traditionally been giving the place to the other. It's where we need to reduce the squad, because the rest of the places are very tight. We now have eight forwards and with the half we are fine.

Q: When the third lesson was starting, you said it was something in the long term. Were you surprised to see the team entering to Europe so soon?
A: Is still years away, but if we move in time, we can advance the hopes of having a good team around affordable costs. That is the illusion. We have not yet reached the levels that we think, but you have to switch those players from the B squad, young players that are a little more made, which are important economic bets. In a couple of years, we must manage a budget of around 40 million Euros and we have to reduce more in number than in quality. This is not to lose quality by lowering the budget substantially, but reducing the number of players. Now the media was obsessed seeing us without a sponsor. And it was more dangerous to have an excess of forwards or goalkeepers. It was more important to reduce that number than to not have a sponsor, infinitely more important. If we limit the number of strikers to four instead of eight, we would reduce two or three million Euros in the budget, something the sponsor could never produce. In that matter, people don’t have well taken the concepts of things. Apart from the old contracts that you are reducing and that may continue at the club, whether is Sergio or Manuel Pablo, is much more important to reduce those players who don’t have the needed performance due the excessive number of men at their position.

Is there something exciting for next year?
A: Exciting for people, because the members of the squad are going to be young players, and with projection. I don’t say all because there must also be a component with some seniority, but broadly the line of the club is to maintain the sense of being young, with projection, with excitement and quality. It can produce two completely different circumstances. One is to have a few renovations and many new players, many players have been observed and with whom we have good vibes. But it can be too that the club may not have any new player. For example, if Manuel Pablo is renewed, you do not need a right-back.

Q: Are there any offers for any of the important players?
A: More than concrete offers, there are explorations, but the players of Deportivo at a high level, they would leave at a very expensive price or will not go out. If there’s a very important offer, we need to plan it, view it, study it, and decide.

How is the issue of Fabricio? Can he skip the things signed?
A: He can, but he shouldn’t. In general, it is exactly the same contract that all the other colleagues who have signed, whether Laure, Lassad, Alex or Piscu. We are also awaiting him to take the decision to sign, which I think they should do. We shall try by all means to do so. There is an important background on this, as the case of Otero, who was a player of Celta and Atletico Madrid, who at the moment, almost his entire career, was paid by Deportivo. At least a good part of it. Perhaps, between interests and the delay that is taking, we are talking of amounts in excess of one million Euros. Players often do not realize about things, they are advised wrongly, and then they are the responsible ones. In the case of Otero, surely Celta or Valencia promised to him that nothing would happen, and now he must take the consequences. And the same can happen to Fabricio, because we talk about agreed compensations upon in the event of failure to sign, and I think they are superior to the six million Euros.

Q: With this in mind, even less is understood...
A: It’s the topic of bad advisers. One player, however good he is, at the age of 20, he is just starting his career and the priority of his agent must be to see him playing. A footballer who says, as Fabricio has come to tell to coach Lotina in front of witnesses: 'I play at the Bernab?©u, but I will not play more. " It's something truly unexpected. It makes no sense and we must try by all means to see Deportivo pursuing its rights, because it would be unfair regardless to the other team mates. What has brought with this? To disappear. Despite all the extraordinary attitude of the club, which has not taken any action against him in any aspect and has allowed him to continue training with the first team. While I think he, at the bottom, must believe that he’s a second team player.

Q: He has failed to meet his obligations...
A: He has failed to meet his obligations in a serious way. No one can understand. A boy at his 21, to whom we've given every opportunity, and today, if there’s something in Spain, is to have great young goalies. At the moment, for example, De Gea is joining the U-21 team, who is only 18. I also think of Adan from Real Madrid, Roberto, Manu, Fabricio, Cuellar from Atletico de Madrid and that’s currently at Sporting... There are lots of young goalkeepers at a very high level and when you have the chance to play and to succeed in football, to see you reacting in that way, it is very sad, but the world of football is like this and people have to start knowing the avatars of what’s bring with this.

Q: Hope remains alive with the Xacobeo.
A: We have secured the tie. The illusion that I had at the time of Quintana and Touri?±o; I also have it with Alberto N???±ez Feij??o, but I would not want anyone thinking from a partisan point of view, not at all. I have always believed that Deportivo didn’t deserve such treatment from Galicia, neither from La Coru?±a city, and therefore I feel sad. I was secretary of sports in Galicia, in the year 90/91, the first secretary of the government of Fraga. He gave much more money to Celta than to Deportivo, because Celta was at Primera and Deportivo at Segunda. And I was president of Deportivo.. Interestingly, in La Voz de Galicia it was printed in La Coru?±a that Celta was receiving more money than Deportivo, but in Vigo it wasn’t printed that Deportivo was receiving less money. We speak of 90 years and I suffered intensely this double standards.

Q: What can you tell us about the agreement with Estrella Galicia to sponsor Depor for the remainder of the season plus the next one?.
A: That decision is very good for Estrella Galicia, very good for Deportivo and especially good for society. It is the greatest example that can be given to the citizens in La Coru?±a and the Galician ones about what we can do together if instead of being so traditionally unsupportive as we are, we were solidarity with what we want. What will the public want more than to see the union of Estrella Galicia and Deportivo?

Q: That beer company is also sponsoring Celta.
A: We are not at all exclusive. We want that, if that's what's good for Estrella Galicia, to see them doing it with other Galicians clubs. We never asked Citro?«n to put money at Deportivo. They have never given a dime and we neither said to the fans to not buy a Citro?«n because they are not sponsoring Deportivo. They are free to do so.

Q: Before reaching the agreement with Estrella Galicia, the club suffered some criticism from the media for the lack of sponsor.
A: It should be asked to the whole media: 'Why your media is not having as much publicity as five years ago?. There are many papers that have chosen to give newspapers or advertising for free, but we have maintained our level, with many economic difficulties. Perhaps as much as others, but we are not giving for free the Depor Sport and we won’t do it. Everyone should know that if you do not have advertising, it’s because the advertising that’s offered to  you is not worth it. That would be soiling the shirt somehow, because it wasn’t economically profitable and not only would not be profitable at the time, but would not be profitable for the future.

Q: Meanwhile, the project with the youngsters continues
A: For we, the ones coming out of the youth system, the ones that have been raised in modest football, we feel a great satisfaction. Besides, you know that’s very difficult. It’s a culture and we are just starting. We are almost near the prehistory of the youth system culture, and we’ve to make a big effort to accelerate that pace. To be able to maintain the levels we have now, this in order to pull up each day more players.

Q: So, you are hoping to have a much more Canterano squad for the future.
A: Within ten years, we would realize that actually, we have a culture of youth teams and that every year a player is coming out, two or three players that are joining the first team, as starters, substitutes or as loaned players. In general, we think that in eight or ten years, we will have a team produced at the youth teams, at least in a 50%.

Q: Meanwhile, Fabril is fighting to survive.
A: It would be a shame to go down, but players of quality are emerging from any division. You do not need to play at Segunda B to, if you have quality, go up. I remember what happened with Amancio as he passed from been playing at La Granja, with the modest, which was not far from Third Division to play at Deportivo and be the best manta the squad. That happened in thirty days. Why? Because he was Amancio.

Q: There is also some concern about the debt.
A: It's one of the big lies not only by La Voz de Galicia, but from other sources. Deportivo's debt is important since some years, but it has been expanded in the years of maximum level, because it is derived from the major signings and major investments, such as the Sports City (of Abegondo), acquire the Playa Club, the availability of thousands millions at the Riazor stadium, which is not ours. Interestingly, when the debt of Deportivo reached the 178 million Euros in 2002/03, we won the Copa of Centenariazo in 2002 and 2002/03 is the prelude of the best years of Champions (League). Not now when it is occurring. It occurs as the team grows, with the growing of the investments, when people promised things that weren’t fulfilled, and also speeds up because the players have contracts and you're no longer in Champions (League)

Q: And you continue to receive criticism.
A: Here is an amazing self-righteousness. There are media sources that in one hand, brand you as a club with a high debt, and then, they say that you have to sign big players and solve this problem regardless to be again the big Deportivo. That is true self-righteousness. It is like squaring the circle. Let's see, if I can not borrow more and have to try to reduce the cost of debt that you criticize me constantly, making life impossible for anyone trying to help me, financially, by advertising, by any institutional point of view, and to not allow the smallest share of public debt. Now, with all that in mind, you want to see Deportivo making big signings. So someone explain to me what is this double yardstick that La Voz de Galiciahas, for example.

Q: Valer??n is ending contract on next season.
A: Valer??n will make at the club whatever he wants to do. For me he’s a very special case. I've always said and maintained it. At Deportivo, he will always be in the position he wants to be. He’s unique. Another thing is what he thinks. He will have to make decisions that he believes, but for me he’s a very special person in the world of football for all the concepts, not only for how he plays and as he is, but for the concept that he has of football and life, and what he can provide not only to the young players, but to the veterans.

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