There has been a strange atmosphere of uncertainty around Athletic Club in recent months. With limited transfer activity to deal with, it’s generally a settled club. Yet with Marcelino Garcia Toral’s contract up at the end of the season and elections on the horizon, things are up in the air at Lezama.
Speaking ahead of their final home game of the season, Marcelino was direct and honest with the media about that uncertainty.
“There’s a 50% chance, as far as I’m concerned, that I won’t be here next season. I end my contract on the 30th of June and it’s the last home game of the season. I am very happy to be manager of Athletic. If it is the last, I will remember all that I was able to experience and if it isn’t the last, I will have the fortune of experiencing more matches with this extraordinary support. I remember the heartache of having to play for four months in an empty San Mames, but then I was able to enjoy magical and unforgettable nights.”
Mundo Deportivo covered an intense press conference and made it clear that there were two things necessary for him to be able to continue as manager.
“Total confidence and support from the players and that the directors also have the maximum confidence in the work of the manager and the technical team.”
He was also asked about one of the candidates Inaki Arechabaleta, with whom he met in person this week. Marcelino made it clear that he wasn’t happy with the leaks in the media about his future however.
“I don’t know if I’m his first option or not. Yes, it surprises me to see news that says that I am not a possibility as the future manager of Athletic. I have to think that it is true because it hasn’t been denied publicly. It surprised me because we have met this week and he could have confirmed it to me personally.”
The club confirmed officially that the elections would take place on the 24th of June this summer, which leaves a six day gap between Marcelino’s contract and the new President coming in. It’s clear that neither candidate has given him unconditional support however, which based on Marcelino’s answers, may be a deal-breaker in terms of agreeing a new deal.