Saturday December 20, 2008 was a very unpleasant day for Jokin Aperribay . In the afternoon, Real Sociedad barely beat Salamanca, although it was still far from the promotion positions to the First Division, and then held, a few meters from the Anoeta stadium, at the velodrome, its shareholders' meeting in which the The group he presided had presented a proposal to remove the then president Iñaki Badiola.
They won, but as soon as his name was announced, the velodrome, full of minority shareholders, began to cry out for his resignation. He had barely been in office for a minute and had to be escorted by the Ertzaintza. When the protest intensified, a cry from Unamuni tore the night: "You will win, but you will not convince!" Badiola collected the equipment with which he had tried to regenerate the Royal, but did not have the help of the most influential media in Gipuzkoa or the support of the political authorities, especially when he proposed to lift the carpets and even suggested , even, that the club had allowed irregular practices related to Eufemiano Fuentes .
Muniain and Merino, from Pamplonica to Pamplonica
The Athletic fans pray to San Mamés
Aperribay had the social mass against but their temperance and business experience in favor ; Not surprisingly, his family was the majority shareholder of SAPA, an arms company with more than five centuries of activity. His father had been vice president of the Real under Iñaki Alkiza and suffered harassment from ETA . His driver, Gregorio Caño, was killed in an attack while waiting for him outside his house. A terrorist commando tried to kidnap Joaquín Aperribay, who delayed his departure because the night before he had been celebrating the promotion of Zumaiako to the Third Division. Subsequently, he received a letter bomb at his home, which could be deactivated.
The president of the Royal Society was turning the club towards a sustainable business model. With the entity in bankruptcy, after not being able to get promotion in his first season, he hired Martín Lasarte as coach and the Uruguayan decided, among other things, to raise the then unknown Antoine Griezmann to the first team. The Frenchman, at just 18 years old, became one of the architects of the realistic promotion to the First Division, a crucial situation for the future of the club. The social mass increased, the sponsors returned and the income of the entity increased, which in 2013 was able to leave the bankruptcy.
The tutelage of Aperribay, always discreet from his chair of president, improved the position of the Royal Society in the spheres of influence of Spanish football. Partners and shareholders were won over and the institution sanitized, which also improved the sporting aspect. Martín Lasarte's replacement, Phillippe Montanier, got the team into the Champions League, just two years after being promoted to First. Jagoba Arrasate, who took over the reins later, also won a place in the Europa League. Meanwhile, the manna of television income had arrived, but also the loss of some important assets such as Griezmann, traded for 30 million, Illarramendi (32), Claudio Bravo (12) or Yuri Berchiche (13). Finally, Iñigo Martínez went to Athletic, paying his termination clause of 32 million.
The new Anoeta and the
quarry The casualties, despite the millionaire income, increased the ups and downs of the team, which suffered in the sporting aspect. David Moyes, Eusebio Sacristán and Asier Garitano passed the bench, with the sporadic appearance of Asier Santana and Imanol Alguacil, who finally settled in the position. Aperribay placed Roberto Olabe in the technical secretariat and the team began to grow at a faster rate. The emergence of youth from the quarry, with Oyarzabal as the standard, and the signings of contrasting players made Real an attractive team.
As of 2018, in addition, the club closed its blackest economic stage. The money obtained from the transfers made it possible to pay off the principal debt twenty years ahead of what was foreseen in the agreements with the creditors. The outlook was hopeful. Even more so after the bureaucratic problems allowed, finally, to begin the longed-for remodeling works of Anoeta, which since its inauguration dragged the sanbenito of being a cold field because of the distance from the stands to the lawn. Last season Aperribay inaugurated the new stadium, with capacity for 40,000 spectators. The number of subscribers also increased, although the pandemic only allowed them to enjoy it for a few months
The team achieved a European place last season, and also got into the Cup final after 33 years. He mixed home footballers with foreign acquisitions such as Portu, Odegaard (on loan) or Mikel Merino . He signed a player as differential as David Silva, retained the promising Isak and sent a message to the boys in the quarry, showing a bunch of 13 first-team footballers born in Gipuzkoa: also being from home you can go far. To a final, for example
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