Athletic Club’s next manager: Marcelo Bielsa or Ernesto Valverde

All three Athletic Club presidential candidates have confirmed their managers for their respective projects with the Basque club.

Ernesto Valverde will return to Athletic if Jon Uriarte or Ricardo Barkala are elected as new club president on Friday.

Valverde is the choice of both candidates, who want to hand the reins of the team to the coach with the most games in the club’s history (307).

Marcelo Bielsa has been chosen for Iñaki Arechabaleta. Bielsa previously managed the club from 2011 to 2013.

Speaking as part of Arechabaleta’s presentation on Monday, Bielsa said:

“It’s a very big responsibility to manage a team like Athletic, and even more so for me, as I’ve been there and know what it’s all about. After I was informed of the interest in mid-March, I wanted to weigh things up to see if I was the right person.

“In March and April, I was watching the team, they were playing well, I liked what I saw. I understood that the best thing for Athletic was for the coach who was in charge [Marcelino] to continue because I felt that the project was not finished, it had room for growth and development. Until the end of the league season, I hadn’t made a decision and, after Marcelino left, I thought I would give a positive answer.”


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