Iraizoz signed and Lafuente transferred to Espanyol
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Iraizoz signed and Lafuente transferred to Espanyol

On 7 August, Athletic Club and RCD Espanyol reached an agreement in the signing of…

Athletic Club
Athletic Club
Aug 8, 2007

On 7 August, Athletic Club and RCD Espanyol reached an agreement in the signing of player Gorka Iraizoz. This agreement with the player will be for 4 seasons and will have a cancellation clause of 30 million Euros. The presentation has taken place today, 8 August, at 12:00 hours, in the San Mamés press room.

Within the framework of the agreement, Athletic Club player Iñaki Lafuente gave his approval yesterday, 7 August, at 20:30 hours and will be ceded to Espanyol until the 30 June 2008.

In the course of the press conference, Athletic Club President, Fernando Garcia Macua, has explained the details of Iraizoz’ signing and Lafuente’s cession. Here’s a summary of what he said: ‘This operation has been extended in time, it has been complicated because it’s been necessary to juggle things around to make everything fit and I’s like to make a special mention as to how it has transpired, how it’s been developed and how it has crystallized, so that everything is left absolutely clear.

It’s necessary to say that the signing of Gorka by Athletic is really indissolubly linked to Iñaki Lafuente’s cession to Espanyol for the term of one year. Iñaki has behaved exceptionally well in view of the situation the Club was in and has demonstrated -as I had the occasion to personally tell him yesterday-, his rojiblanco spirit in a very effective way. From the Club’s point of view, although Gorka’s signing was a high-priority objective, in the end managing the squad was most important and in a specific position such as that of goalkeeper, aside from other connotations such as economic and the fact that a squad with three aspiring starting goalies was going to be a problematic issue, we proposed the operation of incorporating Gorka always linked to there being a complementary operation and indeed Iñaki has facilitated this by accepting the possibility of a one-year cession to Espanyol.

How is the operation carried out? What are the amounts? Because I know there’s been a lot of speculation and now we’ll be able to see how one operation is indissolubly linked to the other. The Club, with respect to Iñaki’s cession to Espanyol, assumes the other’s player contract; that is, to understand each other better, this year we assume Iñaki’s contract and Espanyol assumes Gorka’s. Espanyol also assumes Iñaki’s variables. That way, compensating those amounts the total amount to pay by Athletic for the transfer ascends to 4.089.000 Euros. From there, how much must we lay out?

I say this so that everything is absolutely clear, because also this morning I saw a comment in the press which I don’t know where it came from.

Espanyol owed us 600,000 Euros for Mari LaCruz’s transfer which we compensated, that leaves us a final balance of 3.489.000 Euros. How will we pay? In September we’ll pay 1.489.000 Euros and the remaining 2 million Euros in two instalments; one million in June 2008 and the other million in March 2009. It could be that those 2 million Euros may not have to be paid if the Espanyol exerts the agreed purchase option with respect to Iñaki for that same amount, 2 million Euros, which expires at the end of the cession. Therefore, in net terms, Athletic is going to disburse 1.489.000 Euros in September 2007 and based on whether Espanyol exercises or not the purchase option in June 2008 for 2 million Euros with respect to Iñaki, we would then have to disburse another million in June 2008 and another in March2009. Those instalments carry no financial expenses for Athletic either.

That is the reality of the operation and undoubtedly everyone can have his/her own opinion, but from the Board of directors’ point of view it has been an arduous, lengthy operation, with many loose ends, and one with which we are very satisfied.’

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