Football responds badly to doubt, apathy and division, three debilitating elements for any club that seeks to solve their problems. In this situation is Athletic after a year and a half characterized by the dramatic situation of the team. He finished 15th in the previous League, the same position he occupies this season, but with the anguish multiplied by the sharp decline of his best players. The panorama is aggravated by the absence of relief in decisive places: not peeking, not by far, a promising striker in a team that barely produces goals. It is the most serious problem, but not the only one. His veteran midfielders seem devastated and the defense accuses fear with a deadly average of errors. The team has entered the surviving mode. He grabs the matches as he can, tainted by terror.
The serious situation of Athletic has prevailed in the recent elections, characterized by the lack of ideas of the candidates and the general slackness. Seven years ago, the candidacies of Iosu Urrutia and Fernando García Macua registered 23,000 votes, 62% of the members. On this occasion, only 46% voted, a sign of discouragement or disinterest of the members in a club that seeks to distinguish itself by the strong links with its people. Some of that distance is observed in San Mamés. The new Athletic campaign is very rarely filled, disturbing symptom of the cold relationship of the fan with the team.
If the low participation in the polls has been as disappointing as the performance of the team in the field, the result of the elections invites concern. Aitor Elizegi won with 9,284 votes, 85 more than Alberto Uribe-Echevarría (9,179). However kind the statements of collaboration between the two parties, Athletic has never been so divided, the factor that the team least needs, in considerable danger of descent, exposed in addition to the exhausting murmur about the convenience of modifying the old model and signing foreign. This question, which only appears in the bad moments, is promoted in a low voice, with more opportunism than anything else. Nobody has ever appeared in the elections to defend a bare Copernican change in Athletic.
It is true that the Athletic supports with many difficulties the generational changes in the team. Every 10 years, more or less, the team turns to drama. It happens now and it happened 50 years ago, when foreigners were not allowed in the League. Since then, the team has experienced some seasons of maximum alert, interspersed with moments of success or reasonable satisfaction. In fact, the Urrutia period (2011-2018), so alarming in recent months, has been the best of the Athletic -champion of the Spanish Super Cup in 2015, two Cup finals, a Europa League final and repeated participations in Europe – since the 80s, with the typical derivative that usually generates success in certain teams: good income by subtraction of quality. Athletic has won 230 million euros in the last six years for the sale of players like Kepa Arrizabalaga, Laporte, Javi Martínez or Ander Herrera, with the logical negative impact on the team.
The current conditions of the Athletic – poor classification, unsettling future, social atony, difficult fit of the model in the Bosman era – deserved much more than the verbiage that has dominated the electoral period. If there is a club that deserves and needs to be rethought, it is Athletic. Now he is in a critical situation, that exceeds the sports plan. He can not afford disenchantment and low-level populism. It is time for leadership, meticulous work and greatness to overcome challenges that only Athletic finds.