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Tino Fernández: "This season we have paid the equivalent of twelve Lucas Pérez, one Lucas a month"

26/05/2017 20:03

RC Deportivo’s chairman evaluated the Club’s current affairs throughout an hour-long press conference in Riazor

This morning, RC Deportivo’s chairman, Tino Fernández, spoke to the media in Riazor's press room to assess the season that has just finished and answer the questions of those journalists who cover Dépor news.

When asked to review the first team’s season Tino said, "rather than achieving the objective, we fulfilled the imperious necessity of being in First Division, which is very important for the viability of the Club".

However, the Club’s leader acknowledged, "we haven’t achieved the goal of taking a further step sportswise”.

Tino Fernández explained that the team's position in the final standings is equivalent to the salary limits imposed by the LFP. "the money one has available is very important in football, not as much the budget as the salary cap, and there Deportivo is exactly where it corresponds, in the 16th place. Twelve teams, 60 percent of the League, are in the position they occupy according to the salary cap or one above or one below", he asserted.

Asked about how important the financial situation is when it comes down to forming a competitive team, Tino replied "I didn’t say that the economic reason was all of it”. "I think it's the most important component. There have been moments where I’ve sometimes thought that we have lacked identity, energy, competitiveness; in matches we lost and even in matches we scored”, he said about the team’s performance.

The chairman was also asked about a hypothetical lack of professionalism by the players, to which he bluntly replied, “I have no doubts about the players’ professionalism. We have a good squad, there haven’t been any scandals; we haven’t had any problems to do with nightclubs or alcohol, or players being caught at 220km per hour on the road”.

He was also very frank about Pepe Mel’s future as the blue and white team's coach. "There was no debate about Mel. His numbers are higher than what we obtained at the end of the season. There’s a good vibe with the sports management team, the squad, the board, and he deserves to start the new project and develop it. We have complete faith in Pepe Mel and his coaching staff”, he stated.

Economic matters also occupied a large part of the blue-and-white chairman’s press conference. Firstly, Tino answered the question about the negotiations with Spain’s Inland Revenue in order to refinance the debt. "We have been working on this for some time and we do not have any news to share. If we didn’t improve in that sense, next season we would possibly repeat the salary cap, and depending on which teams are promoted we may be in a worse position”.

Shortly after, Tino added that "I wouldn’t exaggerate at all if I were to say that I’ve had more than a hundred meetings. It is a complicated subject. It is not financing the purchase of a vehicle. We are talking about a complex operation that has some risk”.

The Deportivista leader explained how the Club reduced the debt in the last financial year. "Deportivo has paid off €18,600,000 of debt this season and we are still going to pay about 600,000 more. Or to put it another way, 19,200,000, much more than a million and a half euros of debt every month, one Lucas a month. Or three times the season tickets and VIP boxes. And this is Deportivo's reality. We are not afraid, because we already knew where we were, what we were getting into. That is why I think that we have to take this part into account when assessing the sports performance", he explained.

He also linked paying off the debt with the impossibility of prolonging several players’ stay in RC Deportivo. "Many times, they ask me why Babel and Lucas are gone, and Fabricio as well. If we had 4 million euros more, they would still be at Deportivo," he said, before recalling that "despite everything, we still owe €93,255,000. There is still a high mountain left to climb”.

Asked about the possibility of varying the salary cap Tino gave a positive response. "The salary cap can be moved as long as you correctly state that you have those new incomes or that you have restructured the debt. We are working for that to happen as soon as possible", he explained.

Dépor’s chairman had to answer numerous questions regarding the 2017-2018 squad: "We have plenty of time to do what we want to do, which isn’t going to be a huge change in terms of numbers either. We are going to try to and focus more on quality than in quantity”.

Regarding outside interest for Florin Andone, he was to the point: “There is no intention of selling Florin Andone. Unless they come with the clause, there is no negotiation”.

The journalists were also interested in Juanfran and Poroto Lux. "With Juanfran we are going to assert the option. We haven’t done so yet, but we're still in time. In goal, we already have two signed goalkeepers. We will make the decision when the Club sees fit. We’re still in time to choose whatever option, depending on what the markets has to offer, because we are still in May", Tino replied.

Deportivo supporters wish for Lucas Perez to return. Tino did not disguise the Club’s interest in getting Lucas Perez to wear the Club’s colours. "For us it is a priority for Lucas to come back, but it is not easy, because he has a very high contract and for several seasons. We are talking to them”. If Lucas were to leave, we would be his first choice. I don’t think Lucas’ departure from Arsenal will happen any time soon”, he explained, before admitting that “we’re interested in Guilherme, so let's see what can be done”.

Tino also wanted to talk about the 2017-2018 project’s non-selling nature. "If they come for Sidnei with 6 million, we are not going to sell him. We have no need to sell. The budget we are working on is without sales income”, he stated.

More news: TINO FERNÁNDEZ

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