Interviews

LENDOIRO: "FINALLY WE HAVE A SPORTING PROJECT"

14 Mar 2006
Hours before the crucial game in the Copa del Rey, president Augusto C?sar Lendoiro talked with sportpaper <i>Marca</i> about several issues. His relationship with Francisco V??zquez, the work of Caparr??s and the project with the youngsters were some of the themes discussed.

Q: How do you value the season that Deportivo is realising?
A: We have been going through some difficult months with the long-term injuries of players like Valer??n, Andrade and Taborda. It has been a strong blow to the squad. But our global analysis must be positive, because we are playing in order to enter Europe via the Copa del Rey, and we are maintaining our struggle in the top places of the table. That demonstrates that we have enough in the squad.

Q: And the first season of Caparr??s in La Coru?a?
A: I believe that he's doing a good job and he's trying to obtain the maximum yield of this squad, he has also given illusion to our younger squads. We are creating Depor's future. It's only his first year, but I think that the city has adapted to his style of working.

Q: Is his arrival a change in the philosophy of the club?
A: We are betting on the future and it's clear that Caparr??s is a guarantee for us. Not only for the youngsters that have debuted, but also for the ones that will arrive. We had coaches of a good level and also great results, but this is the first time in which Deportivo presents a project, one that's based on young people and on the possible incorporations at the highest level.

Q: It seems that you have a lot of enthusiasm with the youngsters...
A: It's normal. In Argentina, Brazil etc they are giving the opportunities to the youngsters, our obligation is to do the same. We will bet on them. We want to give them the confidence to find success and give them the option of being successful. It's the great bet of Deportivo. All the players that want this must have the clear idea that at Deportivo, they could have the opportunity. We want to demonstrate that age isn't an obstacle in order to be a successful individual in this country.

Q: What does the departure of the ex-major Francisco V??zquez to the Vatican represent?
A: I see the future with optimism, because the people want to see the two most important institutions of the city - Deportivo and the city council- working with normality. The mayor has left us for four years without accepting us, so I think that the relationships between both entities will improve, because it's impossible to make them worse.

Q: But the mayor has said that this is one of the few city councils that have helped the local teams alot, and if that meeting never happened, it is because you never requested it...
A: He can't say that because we have asked in an active and passive way, I can show you the letters with the seal of the city council receiving our petitions. This meeting never occurred for the simple fact that the mayor didn't want to talk with me. I denounced some things a while ago that he didn't like and that's the motive he had. I wish him luck in his new job and I'm hoping to see a good relationship with all the institutions, because Depor is what really unifies all the people from La Coru?a.

Q: So, Deportivo is the big loser of the conflict between the mayor and you?
A: I think that the loser has been the city of La Coru?a. After that, the city council and Deportivo equally and maybe the mayor and myself equally in a personal view. What can't continue is the same situation that we have been living up until this point. If you were against the mayor you would face the opposition of all the groups that share the power, and that's precisely what we have to break.

Q: Do you see yourself as the winner of this 'battle'?
A: No, I feel sorry because Deportivismo doesn't deserve this treatment. It’s impossible to be as arrogant as he has been. The mayor said before that he wouldn't abandon his position, and suddenly he has done it. He should know the motives, the rest can be deducted.

Q: Is the return of Lendoiro to politics a near fact?
A: If Deportivo is treated with normality, I don't see why I should return, I still have a lot of things to do here. I don't have any politic aspirations. I resigned from the congress and the senate, for that reason I don't have any illusion. I will only think about it if Deportivo continues to face injustices. If the ex-mayor were in the same position, I think that I wouldn't have any other choice.

Q: How is the process for the increase in capital going?
A: The money recollected so far is very little. If the institutions are wishing to support a project, the big industrialists and the financial institutions will get behind it. Because what's good for Deportivo, is good for La Coru?a and Galicia. Right now we are ready to begin the third phase, it's the phase where all the people can buy shares, but we don't have a fixed date to begin.

Q: And the debt of the club?
A: We always said that we could face it in the long-term. During the last six years we have made great investments in Depor. I believe that the club will have a tough financial situation, but that's because we have grown a lot.

Q: Will you make a tribute to the figure of Superdepor in the centenario celebrations?
A: The club has said that we will have a special celebration with Superdepor and it will be in this way, we only have to know when.

Q: Do you see yourself as champions in the Copa del Rey for the third time?
A: If we don't win tomorrow's game, I don't think that we deserve to play the final. But it's also true that if we reach it, we are specialists in finals and it will give a special sparkle to our centenario.

Q: There's racism in Spanish football?
A: What happened with Eto'o is an unpleasant issue, but it isn't caused by racism, that happens not only in Spanish football but also in Spain. I believe that we must think carefully about this theme and we have to educate the people. Not only for these kind of insults but for others also.

Q: What's your opinion about the figure of Piterman?
A: I have a concept of football that’s the opposite to his view. That's because I don't know who will play and I never make suggestions about the lineups. But he's the owner of the club and could take any decision that he thinks is the right one. Another thing is that like him, I don't hear the fans, but it seems that the people don't realise that the clubs are now companies.


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