Bielsa unrepentant in Bilbao row

Marcelo Bielsa has issued a statement via Facebook in response to Athletic Bilbao’s apology to a construction company.

The Athletic Bilbao Coach criticised the work being done at the club’s Lezama training ground last week and had a heated row with the site manager, after which President Josu Urrutia replied with a public apology on behalf of himself and his board of directors.

On Friday the club contradicted Bielsa’s account and said the work was developing normally, resulting in a board meeting on Friday night after which there were on official announcements.

However, Bielsa – nicknamed El Loco or The Madman – has reiterated his version of events and, despite saying he will continue as boss at San Mames, maintains his relationship with the board has now been altered.

The full statement is as follows:

“Regarding my statement on July 5 and Athletic’s on July 6 concerning the work being done at Lezama, why did the club and I see the same things the opposite way when both parties are working together towards a common goal?

“My opinion is not subjective with regards the quality of the work, its degree of development, control and completion.

“I can prove everything I said was concrete and verifiable, but the board disclaims responsibility for its implementation and control.

“I think the resources implemented to warn of any possible errors and avoid them were not employed adequately.

“If nobody is wrong why has the first team not been able to make use of the facilities in the agreed time at the start of pre-season?

“Considering the club’s apology to those affected by my conduct, I reiterate my commitment to personally respond to it in the appropriate manner.

“I am also responsible for any claims originating in my capacity as an employee of the Athletic Club and have analised and discussed with the board all the points of the statement issued.

“I can accept they reject my version but this indirectly and without proof indicates a lack of truth, and what happened will change our relationship.

“I can carry on developing my work as I have done until now and the director of football will resolve any other situations that may arise, but I maintain the commitment I gave to this institution.”

Tags Bielsa