Club news

FERNANDO VIDAL SPEAKS OUT

18 Apr 2020
The president of Deportivo, Fernando Vidal, talked of the situation of the club and how la liga is planning to return to competition.

Fernando Vidal offered a virtual press conference. The president of Deportivo talked of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected football and the Galician club. He also talked of the players’ status and that all the clubs are wanting to return into the competition. The following is a summary of the main things he said.

General situation at Deportivo: “Difficult times will come, for Deportivo too, but together we will go out of this. We want to thank the sponsors for keeping their support.”

Agreement with the players: “Today, Deportivo closed an economic agreement. The reduction of salaries of the first team under two scenarios. Whether the games are played or not. In addition, players agree to keep their contracts until the end of the season.”

How to handle the training sessions “We work on the basis of the document that La Liga is preparing, it isn’t a final document. It’s a strict document, prepared by highly prestigious doctors. First of all, to safeguard the health of the players, coaching staff and all people involved.”

How to end the liga: “The only scenario we are considering is to end the league, with very strict protocols. The other one we are studying it. There are teams that would be interested in finishing the League as it stands right now, others would not be interested... it’s complicated to make promotions and relegations when there are eleven games left to play. For financial resources, especially television interests, if any League can be played it is the professional one. The rest of the leagues would mean a great risk, when the final draft of access to professional sports activity is public, you will see that it’s impossible to be fulfilled by non-professional clubs. Due to the number of tests, confinement in Abegondo, in a closed hotel.”

Is Depor in relegation? “I doubt that the competition will be suspended. I have no doubt that it will be resumed. All teams don’t think about anything else. At that point, we would have to assess any possibility. And any decision made will be subject to lawsuit.”

If Depor are relegated using the current standings, would you go to court? “Any decision of this type that damages the interests will be contrasted by us. I hope it won’t happen. I hope it can be played and we save ourselves. From the club we will put everything to work so that this does not happen.”

Amount of money that Depor would lose by ticket sales, other atypical income such as Deportienda: “We have all the data. The forecasts of what would be the day of the club, ticket offices, shops and everything that’s generated in a game. This loss is valued, the issue of the proportional part of the season subscriber. There are different questions. The subscribers who paid a membership, it’s already paid, and another thing is what you stop billing. What you stop billing, you will obviously lose. The other, we will try to channel it with loyalty agreements, to whoever wants to do it. They are entitled to claim what they paid and the money will have to be returned, but at the moment you have to see what happens from now on. The most important thing is to play the matches and that Deportivo is saved.”

Players who extend contracts, it has been commented that you might end playing in September, does it matter when the season ends? “A player with a contract ending on June 30, even if he commits himself, can stop playing if he wishes. But he can't play on another team until the next season begins. The season is extended, the players will play for a longer period and the next season will start later. This was not a topic of discussion with the players, let's hope we save ourselves. We would not play playoff so we would finish earlier. If we start at the end of May, we can end at the beginning of August, that’s the perspective. Every day things change, we have to see how the health alert goes. Football doesn’t have a regulation apart from the rest of companies and businesses.”

La Liga behind closed doors, does the club plan to return the amount of the subscriptions to the members or will reduce the price on next season? “When that scenario is done, then we will know that matches are going to be played behind closed doors, which is not desirable for any of us. No one is going to take risks right now, that would lead to multiplying infections. We will discuss with the club subscribers what measures will be taken. We will try to retain all subscribers and do so in future seasons.”

How will la liga manage the trips? “Measures will be taken so that they can move, we will have to use private air travel. Two trips are shorter, Oviedo and Miranda de Ebro, others to Alicante, Malaga and Tenerife. It will be necessary to use the model of Almería for the exclusive use of the people that must make the trip. We will avoid exposing to the maximum any person who has pathologies. All measures will be taken, taking into account the assessments of the club's medical services.”

Deadline for return to training: “It isn’t possible to speak of a deadline, this has to be approved by the government of Spain. Before starting to train, all the staff, technical staff and assistants who are in the mini concentration will be tested. There will be large controls. Around two or four weeks of training, there will be small groups. We have a sporting city with many fields to be able to divide the work into groups, individualized. We have many changing rooms, to accomplish everything. And it will be exclusively for the first team, to comply with the strict code they have sent from La Liga."

Depor Ladies: “Parallel to this competition, the women's soccer clubs are evaluating whether they can continue playing or not. I see it complicated. But the economic conditions of the players will not be affected. I understand that Liga Iberdrola will be suspended, Depor will be in fourth place. Especially seeing the level of demand, with a tremendous need for resources. To think that this ends as well as possible."

Tere Abelleira: "That is the big question. We cannot compete with those who quadruple our renewal offer. We work in that field, Tere is the first option. Many teams look at our players, that speaks highly of the good work that the coaching staff has done. It is to congratulate them."

Salary reduction of the first team: The predisposition has been extraordinary. The captains were sensitive to the situation. I will not give percentages, because it’s private. But we are one of the few clubs that contemplate a reduction in the event that we end playing behind closed doors, also if it’s suspended once it’s resumed. This is important to solve problems that could come later.”

Salary reductions at Fabril and Depor Ladies: "They are exempt, with the gesture of the first team and the club's technical staff, we avoid other measures for the remainder of the season. I am not a supporter of the ERTE figure, and less in the world of football. The players realize, just like when the television part increases, they are the most benefited, now it's time to do it the other way around. It is a solidarity measure, we have a staff with fantastic people on a personal level. I hope that, in addition to being good people, they can achieve the permanence."

The club’s employees: "Deportivo is one more company. No company is safe from doing an ERTE. We don’t know when the stores can be opened, consumption will drop. We are all hanging on a thread. Any measure we can take cannot be guaranteed. Right now. I can assure you that we are not going to use the figure of the ERTE until June 30. We will start from July, even if the League is disputed, the economic scenario of the club could change. We must plan the scenario as it happens."

The market: “The coaches have a lot of time to see players, to probe. It’s a complicated scenario. I foresee few movements. In transfers, I see very few at the SmartBank league. There will be an exit of players but little else, with the big problem that’s around the corner. We have to watch players, plan the squad, we have a block already made with the signings made in the winter window. We have key positions well covered. Some who are on loan may be or may not be... we'll see how those games end.”

Is Cebrián out of Deportivo? “It’s false that he is out of Deportivo. He's still an advisor. Those hoaxes lead nowhere. You have to be very cautious to give that news. They must be confirmed. His relationship with the board is extraordinary.”

Capital increase: "It has been a setback to have to postpone the call. The hope is to carry it out on time. I have full confidence that this extraordinary meeting will be held and that it will be able to approve the points that were in it. With the coronavirus crisis, everything has been postponed in time. If we do it before June 30, I think it will be feasible to do it. If the economic situation was complicated, with the coronavirus it is even more so.”

Given the current situation, is ABANCA keeping the commitment to capitalize the debt? “ABANCA maintains the commitment, we send a letter to notify of the postponement, as soon as normality is established, we will call the meeting again. We are working with budgets, we recently sent the financial statements to La Liga, which will need adjustments at the economic level. You have to be clear about the values you need to have. I see a transfer market that will be the lowest one in history, for sure. People are going to play the conservative measure, there are no resources.”

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