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La Liga News

Comprehensive news coverage of Spanish football including La Liga match reports and headlines, plus the latest from the Copa de Rey and Spanish club involvement in UEFA Champions & Europa Leagues.

Lendoiro: Good guy or Villain?
31 March 2013 @ 01:07

By Monica Villar, News Editor, La Liga News 

“Deportivo are going through a rough time” this is possibly the biggest understatement I’ve heard in a long time. Deportivo la Coruña are in big trouble. They are paying for the excesses of the Súper Depor and Euro Depor eras.

The Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) has come out saying they support Deportivo’s delicate situation, but where is their support when they distribute TV rights? Where is their support when teams like Valencia – a team that in recent years has finished 3rd in La Liga - is earning the same as Wigan in the Premier League?

Everyone is giving Deportivo’s President Augusto César Lendoiro a hard time, I’m not defending him nor am I going to slag him off. Thanks to Lendoiro, Deportivo became what it became.  As Lendoiro said in a press conference he gave last Tuesday “Before, we were known as el Coruña, in Spain we were called el Coruña, now we are Deportivo , not only in Spain but in the whole world”. This is a great achievement; don’t forget that the city of A Coruña is a city of around 300,000 people, to have had that city’s team play in Champions League is remarkable.

The reason behind Lendoiro arranging a press conference was because he claims there are vast differences between the reports done by the people in charge of administration and the reports of the club. Here are just a few:

-          A debt with Santa Monica Sports, they appear as creditors, when they actually owe Deportivo a few million euros.

-          Their report states that Deportivo are in debt to Betis, when in fact it’s Betis that owe Deportivo money for Rubén Castro, the report also states that there is a debt with De Guzmán, there isn’t.

-          The administrator’s report values Riazor at 0€ Lendoiro says “We have invested a lot of money in the stadium, for example VIP boxes, the gym and the Deportienda (A Deportivo shop).

-          The value of players that finish their contracts this year, the report values them at nothing when they have to value them in this moment in time, they haven’t taken into consideration that some of the players will renew with Deportivo.

These are just a few of the discrepancies that exist. Lendoiro also attacks the administrators, as he believes many of these differences could be resolved by sitting down together and discussing them. He says they only argue by letters, he jokingly said “We [Board of directors and administrators] are like two people in love that don’t get along”.

When talking to people about Lendoiro, the most common comment I hear is “He’s a thief, he pockets 1% of the total revenue Deportivo make” To this I usually respond “He bought the club, made it what it is”. But just two days ago I learnt that the reason he does this is because in November of 1999, Section 30 of the Club’s Constitution was changed – after being approved by 97% of all shareholders – to “the position of President of the board of directors will not be compatible with any other paid activity, dedicating themselves exclusively to the club. As compensation, the president will receive 1% of the annual budget approved by the board”.

Deportivo might be paying for the 67 year old president’s past wrongdoings. Before he became president of Deportivo, he had a career in politics, making a few enemies along the way; one of the enemies is newspaper “La Voz de Galicia” that keeps hinting at Deportivo’s dissapearence. Lendoiro hit back at them in the press conference saying “Deportivo has viability, whether La Voz de Galicia like it or not”.

As a Dépor supporter, it hurts to see my club in this situation. Every time I hear Lendoiro speak, it reassures me that everything isn’t as bad as it seems. The owner of Zara, Amancio Ortega, apparently once said he would buy the club, as long as Lendoiro gives up the presidency. Is it right for Lendoiro to be this selfish? Is it right for supporters to want to kick him out when things are bad? Because at the end of the day, without Lendoiro Deportivo wouldn’t have won that League, two  Copas del Rey (One of them the famous 'Centenariazo' against Real Madrid), three Super Cups, those great Champions League nights and many other things that make Deportivo a much loved club not only in Coruña or Spain, but in the rest of the world.

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