One of the candidates to take over as President at Espanyol is targeting a business model similar to that of Premier League side Arsenal.
Los Pericos have endured financial hardship in recent seasons, selling off their best players each transfer market and reducing funding in their youth system.
Combined with the club’s on-pitch situation, the current board resigned last month ahead of calling a new election to reaffirm a project and direction.
“[Current director Joan] Collet’s candidacy already meets with 40 per cent of the shares and only about 15 people, so we have to look for the support of more than 13,000 remaining shareholders,” explained fellow candidate and current financial Vice-President at the club Sergio Olivero of the current picture for November 19’s election.
“Right now we estimate we are at 32 per cent, but we will have more support if the turnout is high, which we believe it will be. The club belongs to its shareholders and they should know what happens to it. Although we are a corporation, above all we are a club.
“Is the club’s situation hopeless? No. The increase in television rights will provide cash assistance. When I took over [as financial Vice-President] the club had a debt of €27m. Now we have reduced that to €14m. There was an important job in terms of cleaning. If we could spend €10m to move that much of the debt from short to long term then the viability of the club would be guaranteed. There are ways to do it.”
Olivero continued to detail the club’s financial changes of the past few years and of the ideal model to move towards.
“The club has gone from losing €7-9m a year to having a surplus of €90,000 this year and it is scheduled to be €300,000 next year. We are more credible and healty, but we still need to recover from this.
“We want a project focused on the youth team. The first team must consist of 60-70 per cent home-grown players, one or two big names and the rest transferred in.
“The cantera must have the sporting and personnel framework in place. We will offer expert training from former players when they retire, to make this club their career.
“All this work will create a familiar environment at the club. We can convert a good club like Espanyol into an exemplary club like Arsenal.”