“I declare myself a defender of its independence”

Augusto Cesar Lendoiro, former president of the Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña, referred to OKDIARY among other media, an opinion article in which the historic president of Spanish football reflects on the Women’s Football: «I declare myself a defender of his independence from men’s football, because I think that, even if it takes longer, it is the formula for him to really progress and not become a mere appendage of LaLiga».

This is the full content of Lendoiro’s opinion article:


I have doubted whether it was appropriate to publish this article on the professionalization of women’s football, because I know that I run the risk that some and some may misunderstand me. In the end I have decided to do it because I feel obliged to express my feelings in sports issues that create debate and this one will generate it.

Because if the news of professionalizing it did not surprise anyone – Irene Lozano had already announced it on Women’s Day, baptizing it as “Liga Ellas” and stating that “Soccer is going to be the engine of equality” – I do have to consider it, by delving into the weak structure of women’s football, as a populist government measure.

Women’s sports in general, and women’s football in particular, are tired of being used by those of one color or another, when all they need is that the leaders fulfill their obligation of equality: equip women with the same means that men of his category have. Can clubs that, with professional teams of both sexes, have 12 base teams of boys and only, those that do, 3 of girls, can wield equality?

Before continuing, and for sheer credibility, I must answer the question that more than one @ will be asking: “Why didn’t the Deportivo of its time have women’s teams?” Because I have never wanted to diversify the fundamental objective of the club.

I made it very clear in the statutes, and especially in those of the Hockey Lyceum, a club that I refused to incorporate into Deportivo, despite my extraordinary affection for “the greens.” Reason? Because the first decision a football club makes if economic difficulties push it down is to eliminate sports sections and the like. The historic Karbo Deportivo, who disappeared in 1987 due to the economic situation of Depor; the legendary Atlético de Madrid of handball or the Spanish laureate of Barcelona of hockey, can be good examples of the theory that I maintain.

I did help the Lyceum financially, while Deportivo was able, in exchange for free access for sports members to their matches -now it is done in exchange for the name, which is a danger for the future- and, in women’s football, I would support the A Coruña club that stood out in that job – the heirs of the “Karbo” – because in this way the supported one maintains its history, name and income of all kinds, just the opposite of what happens when the directive on duty, after absorbing it, eliminates that section because its economy advises it. Soccer must help. Absorb, never. Thus will the weak survive. Otherwise, I highly doubt it.

Perhaps, according to my words, someone will dismiss me as a women’s football player. Nothing is further from reality. I try to be consistent and I declare myself a defender of their independence from men’s football, because I think that, even if it takes longer, it is the formula for it to progress really and not become a mere appendage of LaLiga – little more than a league of subsidiaries – what would be the death blow for ‘Ellas’.

The path may already be designed. Perhaps it is not by chance that basketball, handball or volleyball count as an exception female teams dependent on male. Why then is that different in football? My malicious theory is that “LaLiga” tries to be “They”. and hence my cry for the independence of women’s football. Be free!

It is when the question arises as to whether the professionalization of women’s football comes with a real basis for it. To begin with, I think that it is not acceptable that a professional soccer player from the Iberdrola League receives a minimum salary of € 16,000 gross per year, while a Santander League soccer player receives a minimum of € 150,000. That is to say, the soccer player will receive just over 10% of what the man in the same category charges … and if the calculation is made on the Smartbank League, which sets a minimum of € 85,000, a First-class player would receive 20% of a footballer of Second.

This is a curious formula to “fulfill” Lozano’s prediction, without turning red: “football is going to become the engine of equality”. What he did not say is that he was referring to the coal-fired locomotive of the 1950s. Wouldn’t it be more logical to try to bring wages closer together and not push female players to their exclusive dedication -except in the cases of teams that clearly exceed those lows? salary levels- and force the club, as is now the case with men in non-professional competitions, to comply with SS and finance, and not offer them that poisoned candy that are the salaries of “a thousand Euristas”, in a League that ” professional ”only has the name?

What is now sold as a political-feminist achievement, and encourages the players to abandon studies or jobs to dedicate themselves to their great passion, makes them dream that soccer will go from being their hobby to being their profession. What they don’t tell them is that at 30-35 years old, perhaps unemployed, they will realize their grave sin of youth:

María Pry has expressed it very well in a phrase to frame: “We do not have to compare ourselves or benefit from what happens in men’s football. We have to mark our own path for the good and for the bad ”. It is possible that María Pry, of the people who knows the sector best, was thinking about a pyramid of women’s football similar to men’s and that the salaries of the players, today more typical of “brown amateurs” than professionals, were close to the Men’s,

But that has nothing to do with the current reality of women’s football. Its economy is based on limited own income and important external subsidies from RFEF, CSD and, especially from LaLiga and its clubs to get control of “Ellas”.

Women’s football has been debating between overcoming political feminism and escaping from the male predator of LaLiga. This is about to get the “sole command”, the worst possible news for “Ellas”, because if women’s football wants to grow it has to emancipate itself from men’s. It is almost impossible, but I do not doubt that it is his being or not being.

Everything indicates that LaLiga, with the interested consent of the CSD, has appropriated professional women’s football. A “President” will be appointed, but, make no mistake, the command will be unique, because many votes of the “Iberdrola” depend on the employer’s association, but that to “They” could turn them into a Trojan horse that, with secrecy , It has not only crept into the LFP, but also into the clubs, so if women’s football really strengthens, and it will be, the just demands of the players will come.

Are the clubs prepared to face the economic and social wear and tear that the new women’s football agreement will entail? I think that if the footballers play their cards well -which are unbeatable from hand, because this whole game they are going to play in favor of the social wind- LaLiga and the clubs may soon perceive that they have gone for wool and may get shorn.

Augusto Cesar Lendoiro

Former President RCDeportivo

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