Interviews

Q&A WITH FERNANDO VIDAL

29 Oct 2020
Fernando Vidal conceded an interview to Sportpaper Deporte Campeůn, the president of Deportivo affirmed that the project of the club is based in the academy, and reaffirmed the idea that the club will be dead if it was it for Abanca,

Q: How about after this atypical year, with the demotion, the COVIDÖ is everything already assimilated in the head, and how is the year?
A: We have no choice but to be realistic, we have been in office for ten months and it has been tremendously hard. Due to the situation in which we accessed the club, both socially and sportingly, it was a red alarm. In December we, had two feet in Segunda Division B and we tried with all the hope of the world to reach the club, lend a hand, give it an economic sense and provide incentives on a social level, which was very divided. And, above all, in the sporting field trying to do a feat of staying at Segunda, given the situation from which we started. Before the exit of the previous board the team had 12 points, with the bard resigned, they beat Tenerife, 15 points. In the second round, Deportivo had ups and downs, but the numbers say that, with Tenerife, they were the best team in the second round. It was not worth us to achieve the permanence. In a year in which, curiously, the relegation was tremendously expensive, we went down, sportingly speaking, to go down to Segunda B with 51 points, it says a lot about what was done in the second round. And from there, the process of the last matchday, our fights with La Liga, what we consider and continue to consider a tremendous outrage against the club and Deportivismo, which is there. The courts will decide and, in the near future, we will know who is right or wrong. Now we are aware that we are in a super complicated Segunda B, the most complicated in history, because itís transitional, in which there are 102 teams and only 4 are going up. With a competition system that leaves much to be desired and few guarantees, which leaves a lot to surprise. We have to go step by step, we have started the competition and we are working on it.

Q: We have witnessed only two matchdays, but how are you seeing the team? Is there disenchantment with how the beginning has been or was it already expected that it could be so complicated?
A: I think I know the league well, because the last years as a director Fabril was at Segunda B and it is no surprise. The entire board knows that the league is complicated, that it is not going to be a triumphant ride and that the games have to be won on the field, fight them and that nobody is going to make it easy for us. What's more, I think Deportivo will find it more difficult than anyone else, it is the rival to beat, therefore we have to make that double effort. We havenít started well. The team has had a long pre-season, with a lot of workload and I think it will improve in the coming matchdays, I have full confidence in the coaching staff and in the players. Therefore, we will be patient and thereís room for maneuver, because they are adapting to the league and many of them had never played in it.

Q: How is the situation with Fernando VŠzquez? He recognized that he considered not to renew, because of how everything happened, that traumatic demotion, did you play a fundamental role in making him stay?
A: No, I was very worried about him, because he had his doubts, he must be respected, and in the end he solved them in a satisfactory way for everyone. The position of coach has a responsibility and heís a very club person, very of this club, and the relegation has traumatized us a bit. The decline of the club, when we all had the hope of the permanence... We really didnít generate the situation, we tried to save the situation, we were not able to do it for very small margin and that very little margin has lowered our morale. But heís already reactivated and is an important figure for us. It must be remembered that Fernando arrives with us with the entry of the board into the club, so heīs a fully trusted coach, I have full confidence in him and he has enough experience to get back on track.

Q: Should we then send a message of tranquility and that the team is going to go up as the days go by?
A: I don't believe in expectations, you have to always demonstrate them on the pitch. I donít think that we should send a message of tranquility on the second matchday, itís true that our football commitment, both in the first and in the second game, has not been what we all want or expect from the team, at the level of results we would all want to have six points, but we have four and from there we have to grow. You need to have confidence in the people who have the tactical knowledge, which is the coaching staff, and then the experience of many players on the squad. It is a very powerful squad for the league, with a lot of experience and we can only go up been all together and united.

Q: How is the situation economically?
A: You don't have to be a lynx or have a master's degree in economics to know that, without Abanca's entry, the club at this moment would have disappeared with the level of income we currently have. If we have 20,000 members at 50 euros, plus the small reduction insurance that there is and all the reduction in income, we would not even pay the debt, not no mention the competition: the female team, Fabril, the academy, the structure of the club, the first teamÖ We would have to close the doors in August. I thought the same before the COVID, because the financial situation of the club was very low, but the COVID already confirmed by much the economic difficulties of the club.

Q: On an economic level, is there a margin of error if you don't get promoted?
A: The Abanca project, in the board we know, is not short-term. Itís a project based on a fundamental pillar, which is the academy. It is to become for the first time, it is a process that will not be short, in a academy club. Depor, perhaps in the future, will have other difficulties to play higher, although the ideal intention is for the first team to be in professional football and in the medium term return to our natural category, which is the Primera Division. But we are at a time when, I have always said, our objective is not to stay, it is to get to Segunda, if we donít succeed it will be a sporting failure, but I think the club would make sense and viability, surely. Otherwise, with a less sportingly ambitious project, because in the current circumstances an ambitious project cannot be maintained for many seasons. It would be one more project in the medium or long term to be able to be up. This is a difficult year to get promoted, but we have to try, there is no other objective for us than the first team, which is the one that pulls the car, of the rest of the club's teams, at the level of income generation, therefore it is essential the return to professional football.

Q: You speak of a Depor linked to the academy, the first cases are clear, the arrival of Valerůn and Fran, but whenever we talk about academy we must ask for patience. What are the deadlines
A: The deadlines will depend on the circumstances. When we joined the club in 2014, I was in charge of the academy, which was highly criticized at the time. Fabril was strengthened in an important way, they became a great team in Tercera, they were promoted to Segunda B and we also made a great team there to compete, which was very close to promotion to Segunda. Very interesting players came out of the academy. Depor has never been a selling team of academy players. We had the sale of Edu Expůsito, now we have players with significant potential even at the first squad, who are going to increase their value. Mujaid is settled in the first team, ValŪn will now have important opportunities to prove his worth due to Eneko's injury, Gandoy as soon as he has minutes, he has always done well, Juan RodrŪguez is training with the first team and the other day he played an important game with Fabril and important players come from behind. What happens is that the academy work of the last year has been weak, the recruitment has failed a lot and the result will be seen in a year and a half, this always have a certain delay. But, I do have patience, because the ultimate goal is for the player to reach the first team and nurture it with the maximum number of players. A model that I would to copy is Athletic Club, but thatís a utopia for us, even in the long term. It would be a Real Sociedad type model, with many players from here, from the academy, I am not saying they are players from A CoruŮa, but from Deporís academy and then touches of players from abroad that matches the level. That is our project, but to get there we need time.

Q: How is the situation with Mujaid? He didnít renew his contract to be transferred...
A: He didnít leave because the club, if there was no proposal to improve what he had here, was not going to let him leave to be in a Primera or Segunda team without playing minutes. We are in good tune, I have hopes of extending his contract, I don't know for how many seasons, and looking for a sporting exit, because he is a player who has to go up, if he thinks it is with Deportivo, great and, if not, he is a great asset of the club. I wish we had like Mujaid, ten or twelve players who could give us life. The club needs players to survive, one of the important assets of the club, apart from the income it may have from season tickets, when everything is normalized, is the sale of assets to continue working the academy and reinvest.

Q: In this long pre-season, did many extra-sporting issues arise that made it difficult to work alone on football?
A: Yes, it was a weird pre-season. The match against Fuenlabrada was played on August 7. It was longer, it started late and there were issues involved that took us out of football reality, which is normality in a club. Nothing has been normal since we took over the club, excluding the first months, until March. Then with all this issue of the COVID it has not been anything normal. Getting out of difficulties constantly and that's what we have to do, we have to fight, not lower our arms and even if things go wrong, we have to get up and keep fighting.

Q: That phrase of continuing fighting all together was seen thanks to the limited capacity in the game against Salamanca, although with the new restrictions it will be reduced...
A: Yes, the help of the 3,400 people was very great, especially at the end. Without an audience, surely that game would have been tied. It is what it is, we have to get used to playing without an audience, as long as the sanitary conditions donít allow the opposite and from there we have to super motivate ourselves to win the games. We will try that the matches that are played at the Riazor take place with the maximum limit that we are allowed.

Q: Facing Coruxo, for example, will you have 300?
A: Let's see at that moment how many can enter, maybe they won't allow 300, only 150. I am in favor of having an audience at the Riazor, we will look for the formula, but 150 is better than no one, at least it makes more noise.

Q: How do you manage 150 to enter with a social mass of 20,000?
A: We will look for the solution, you are not going to satisfy everyone with solutions of this type, but itís much better to have 150 than no one, because those who are going in will support the team, itís better than closing the stadium for not looking for a solution, which is complicated . Whatever you do, putting in 3,500 is also complicated because there are 16,500 left without being able to watch football. But the situation is what it is and itís complicated in everything, not only in football: in work, everyday life, in everything. And from what you are seeing, this is not coming here to leave tomorrow and it will be a little long. You have to be patient.

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