06/24/2022 at 01:15


    This Friday, 43,425 members are called to the polls to choose between Ricardo Barkala, Iñaki Arechabaleta and Jon Uriarte

    Athletic Bilbao faces a decisive summer in its future. The current president, Aitor Elizegi, will leave his post after a presidential election in which Ricardo Barkala, Iñaki Arechabaleta and Jon Uriarte are running for office. The three have a clearly differentiated profile between them and each one has brought a replacement for Marcelino García Toral on the bench with a candidate betting on Marcelo Bielsa and two others by Ernesto Valverde.

    What the three have promised is that the characteristic philosophy of the club will be maintained, which establishes that “footballers born or educated in Euskal Herria can play in Athletic, traditional denomination that includes the current autonomous communities of Euskadi and Navarra, as well as the French Basque Country”. Once the relevant presentations have been made, we will analyze what each candidate offers and what Athletic members can expect from these elections.


    For many, the official candidate of the PNV. The businessman, current head of the port of Bilbao, has tried unsuccessfully to remove that label after having held some important positions in the Basque nationalist party. His sports bet is to bring Ernesto Valverde back and sells experience after having been vice president at the time of Josu Urrutia. He defends a change with the previous directive, but without fanfare so that Athletic never loses its essence.


    He is a media entrepreneur (where he has been closely linked to the Vocento group for three decades) who also sells experience and management. His card is Marcelo Bielsa, who already successfully led the club in a first stage a decade ago. The appearance of the Argentine showing his commitment to the candidacy gave him many points, although everything will depend on the exciting signings that he has promised and that, surely, could leave Real Sociedad.


    It represents the youth movement. Sold a ticketing company for 150 million euros to Ebay, so he is a well-known and respected character in Bilbao at just 44 years old. He promises a great modernization in the club and also has Ernesto Valverde closed in case he wins the elections. His candidacy presumes independence, although he suffered a setback recently after the resignation of Carlos Aviña, his sports director, who made a series of unfortunate tweets a decade ago.

    This Friday, the club that, together with Madrid and Barça, has never set foot in the Second Division, decides the future path it will take for the next four seasons. The club has quite healthy accounts after the pandemic and everything indicates that they will be one of the great entertainers of transfer market once the elections are resolved. Watch out for Athletic.