Interviews

Q&A WITH TINO FERNŃNDEZ

17 May 2018
Deporís president conceded an interview to La Voz de Galicia, he talked of the failures of the season thatís ending and what could be expected from the new campaign with Carmelo Del Pozo on board.

Q: Do you regret for allowing others doing too much in the sporting area? Do you think you should have intervened earlier?
A: I should have intervened more in the sporting area, not so much me, but more people. The model was too individualized, with the bulk of the decisions made around a person [Richard Barral] and an advisor that he had, but I validated that way of working. For the future itís better to work in another way, more people must intervene.

Q: At what point did you realize that you have made a mistake with the squad?
A: That doubt enters from the beginning. We never went well. There is not a day in which you feel that click; you are having the idea.

Q: You have chosen very different coaches, because the six that were named responded to very different profiles.
A: Yes. But neither there are two identical coaches. The idea of what we want to do in the field has to be the club, the coaching staff and the sporting management. What we propose this year in order to compete at Primera was not the best option. We analyze models that succeeded, which for me are the ones that, with money, offer a performance above the expected one. In that sense, the best is the one of Getafe, the one with less that has gone further. Several teams with fewer resources than us bet on more physical football, more muscle, more legs, withdrawal and counterattack, more importance to set-pieces. We bet on another model, and those that have had better results are the others. We, unfortunately, are going to sign a -5, from the 13th salary cap to the 18th spot at the standings. And I say it with the difficulty of making the plans before. Analyzing later is easy. In that sense, nothing to reproach. Now we go to Segunda and we will be one of the teams to beat, where the approach will be another one. It will be the sporting management the one that will shape the new project.

Q: Have the club, and even the fans, failed for not being demanding with the players?
A: Itís certain that this is not the main cause, but perhaps the demand has been insufficient. You have to demand things. Like when you have a child who can get better grades and you have to tighten it. Maybe we could have tightened more, because the level is higher of what they are giving. The most prominent positions are the areas, where the performance has been below expectations. If we knew why, we would have fixed it.

Q: Watching the result, was another mistake to bet everything to Lucas?
A: I donít share that reflection. Lucas was the last operation of the summer. I'll give an example about the goal. The goalkeeper of Eibar [Marko Dmitrovic] was an option for us that the sporting management ruled out, because it didnít improve what we had. Now he is a starter in a team at the middle of the standings. It cost the same as the right-back who played very little [Gerard ValentŪn]. To fire against the signing of Lucas for being the last does not apply on here. Itís not true that a goalkeeper didnít arrive because Lucas was coming, the keeper didnít arrive because those who were offered by the sporting management didnít improve what we already had. Or we could have not have executed any purchase option, or whatever. We thought we were going to take a leap forward.

Q: In January you already lacked leadership, an asset you saw in Seedorf. Was that lack of character one of the causes of the demotion?
A: I think so. We gave too much importance to football aspects, and we lacked that leadership, that charisma of players who pull the group in difficult situations. In that sense, this squad lost things compared to the previous one. We lost a link with the badge, also with the exits. You cannot reproach in all cases, but we lost our love for the badge, which was bigger before.

Q: How do you value the departure of Fernando Vidal from the board?
A: I consider Fernando a friend, I regret that he left. Perhaps he transmitted something that was not good when he left, but we must thank him for his selfless work. We have shared joys and sorrows, and I cannot say anything bad about him. I assume his successes and mistakes as those of all. It was in the sporting part, the most exposed to criticism. He did a great job in base football and it will look over time.

Q: Is his return unfeasible? Did you talk to him recently?
A: Yes, I talked to him and we never talked about that topic. We tell ourselves what we did well and what was wrong. It is a healthy relationship. His departure is one of the bad news of this season.

Q: The payment plan of the debt [around three million per season] has a two-year reduction with the team in Segunda. But what percentage should you pay?
A: It has a reduction of what is amortized in a similar way to the contracts in Segunda, which is the rate of 50%.

Q: When arriving at the presidency, a sector complained that you werenít coming from the world of football, and the criticism continues.
A: That reflection has no basis. I'm trained and the board isnít the one that makes the team, but represents the entity and sets up teams that work. We did that in all areas, except in professional football, because this year things didnít work out. Football is also the base, the B squad and the female team, and we are having successes. There were two relegations before we entered, and within these four years, in two we were never in the relegation zone, and itís in this fourth year when we fall. We are going down with the first team just when we are also seeing the best year in Fabrilís history. But it came out differently and thatís why we are changing.

Q: Have you been personally affected for what happened this season? Have you been insulted at the stadium?
A: From Riazor I will never leave. I started going been 11, I will be 52 and I will continue going. The attacks the first time hurt you more. Then you understand what it is. The voice of Deportivismo is not the only one that you hear at the stadium. I respect it, I donít like it, and nothing else. Suffering comes with the demotion and many fans suffer with it.

Q: Do you regret for having a dialogue with the Riazor Blues, who now become so virulent against you?
A: In all our conversations we always put Deportivo ahead. I have had other conversations that have hurt me personally. But everything I do I do it thinking about what the best for Deportivo is.

Q: If the coaches arrived for the proposal of the sporting management, why was there no harmony between the two groups until now?
A: We should ask them because, except for the case of VŪctor SŠnchez del Amo, all the decisions about coaches had the endorsement of the sporting management.

Q: You insist in making a team that competes, something that sounds like a fighter. But you also say that Depor will be a favorite at Segunda.
A: To compete for me is not only that, itís to adapt to the circumstances, analyze how you compete in each scenario to defeat your rivals. Not how you want, but how you win in each competition. It's not just fighting, where we also have to improve. We used to talk about causes before. There is a shocking defensive fragility. A team that receives 74 goals is doomed to go down in any league in Europe.

Q: Do you like (Juan Ramůn Lůpez] MuŮiz, Del Pozo already said that he likes this coach?
A: I prefer not to speak of names so that it doesnít seem that I think ahead of time.

Q: You announce a busy summer, maybe no more than 10 players would continue?
A: I donít know. The key is to want to be here, as Carmelo said it. We are in Segunda, with all the ambition of the world to go up as soon as possible. But staying for making a favor to Deportivo cannot be the way.

Q: How many do you think will continue?
A: Marcos Senna told me on Saturday that when he knew that Villarreal was going down, he said "I'm staying." That is key. If you have your head in something else, you better not be.

Q: Then in positive, could you say a player at the squad that already counts for you?
A: I prefer not to say any. I have names in mind, but they have to be the ones to say it.

Q: Lucas will leave, itís hard to see that link with the badge alluded to those who decide to stay. Do you have Mosquera yes or yes?
A: It's something he has to decide. He is from A CoruŮa, but I understand all the positions. I know what football is as a fan and as the manager in this industry. They must make a decision and we donít have to reproach them in one way or another.

Q: Did Andone already say that he will pay his clause, which drops to six million to one?
A: I think Andone is not going to continue, but I donít know. Nothing has been talked.

Q: Do you think he wants to continue?
A: For quality I have no doubt that in Segunda he would be important, but the first thing is to want to be in this Deportivo.

Q: Would it be a failure not going up in the first opportunity?
A: The goal is to be promoted as soon as possible, if it can be next year, the better, but anxiety can be an enemy. We are going to put 100% of the work to go up next season. It's a long competition and we cannot go crazy or want to go up in September. We want to be able to do it in May, instead of June, but it has to be intelligently managed in a competition more equal in all kinds of fields and people. We discussed this morning talking about Levante. How could they make 25 points out of 30? We talked about been loose, about all the pressure they had at certain moments. When they released the pressure, we saw a team that with Paco Lopez would make 95 points in a league, projecting their numbers.

Q: That fact makes MuŮiz worse...
A: I donít think so. The configuration of the squad was made with Carmelo and MuŮiz's work. But in the change that we saw there is more psychological aspects than work.

Q: Will more staff come together with Del Pozo?
A: Surely. He included many people in his project, something that we have been adjusting. There will be new people and others who are already here, an important value raised by him. There are people with capacity to continue, but more people will come and some of them will not follow or change their function.

Q: What convinced you about Del Pozo?
A: One set of things: sports relationship model, with the board, with the coaching staff and the base, markets in which you want to work, technology, network of scouts and procedures to operate, knowledge of the market in Primera and Segunda, the hope for the project, his competitiveness... As an anecdote I will say that when we fought with Levante for the permanence, we had the first coffee and he said "you are going down", and at that moment I wanted to wring his neck [he laughs] Heís very competitive and has had an important success. We saw Levante scoring five goals to BarÁa, with Boateng and Bardhi, players that he signed. I hope he has the luck he deserves with his enthusiasm and commitment to this project.

Q: What happened to Cristůbal Parralo?
A: That change invites for reflections, for what happened in other teams. Levante went for the coach of the B squad, at Tercera, Javier Calleja took Villarreal, Espanyol also picked the coach of the B team... Cristůbal was the leader of Segunda B. A priori he was a very good candidate. I have the doubt of why we didnít get it, if all of us around that coach did everything to make things better. I donít know.

Q: After this hard season, what response do you expect from Deportivismo in Segunda?
A: I ask people if they are from Deportivo or Deportivo in Primera or Segunda. I am from Deportivo.

Q: What is your goal for the number of socios?
A: I believe that we would have to be in the environment of the 21,000, even though there is a reduction because some people only go for the show, not for the feeling. Here we have a very high base of feeling and there will be a very good response; and depending on how the season goes, people will be encouraged by the victories.

Q: Do you have already thought of measures to generate enthusiasm among the fans?
A: We have several, and the same socios campaign should it help. We will present it on June 5. If something doesnít fail in this club, it is the fans. There we are not going to fail.

: Do you understand that there is that 6 percent of the shareholders that proposes new elections, as Miguel Otero presented?
A: I respect it and, if we have respected something, it is in compliance with the rules. If these 831 shareholders understand this, it must be respected. We will deal with it and, when the lawyer says itís fine, we will make the statement. I think this has a lot to do with the demotion. The club has a very good management in the institutional aspect, and part of the sporting department, but the demotion affects, and I understand the disenchantment. We believe that the signatures are, above all, of people who had never supported us; and we respect them.

Q: If the minimum of 5% of shares requested by the extraordinary meeting decide to make elections, what date do you consider to vote? June or July?
A: In June it would be too tight. The delegations are not here yet. The legal counsel will make an opinion and we must prepare and convene a meeting, I understand that in July. I think the ideal would be to reach the end of the mandate, because summer does not seem like the best date for a meeting. It is true that football never stops. I got into the middle of this with the franchise player of that season, Culio, sold, and with almost all the money of Culio spent in Salom„o, who was later injured. You play up when you have to play. Summer is not the best time to move institutional doubts out. If we had been twelfth, there would be no request, it is clear that the reason is the result of the team this season. We are following a wrong road if to each poor sporting result we activate the 5%, clause, which we can be activated many times linked to the results. And if in December we are ninth, do we activate it again? Itís important to separate the operation of the institution, which goes well in all planes, from the sporting side, although it is linked. That's why I thought that the best solution is the other. Until this date, there is a high probability that the meeting will be now, as soon as the legal counsel validates that the shares are well presented. We are going to present ourselves explaining what we have done and to rearm a new project.

Q: So, if the shares validates do not reach the 5%, it would convene the meeting in January.
A: If the margin that remains until reaching 5% is scarce, we would call the same to reinforce the mandate. The new project has to come out strongly. But if the request does not make sense, it probably will not be done.

Q: What do you think of Miguel Otero?
A: I'd rather wait. I must separate my president's figure from what I would have as a candidate. Then I would give a broad answer, but now, without having a formal process, it is better not to enter because it doesnít benefit Deportivo. If there is a process, there will be a confrontation, or debates, and I would prefer that for the next stage this be closed, and not like politics, process in which the confrontation permanently continues. Let it be decided what the owners want and it must be respected.

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