Next season's sole objective on every level is to "return to the First Division"
At a joint press conference to evaluate the previous season, the advisor Mao Ye, the CEO and Managing Director José M. Durán and the Sports Director, Francisco J. Pérez Rufete stated that the club is working to build a new Espanyol with a single objective: regaining promotion to the First Division next season.
Mao Ye was the first to show his support in stating that Espanyol "is and always will be a top club in every way" and to excuse President Chen's absence "due to health restrictions". He said that he had reflected in depth on the situation they'd gone through and added that his "sole objective" was to return to top flight football. He also explained Carlos García Pont's departure and the very recent restructuring that has taken place on the Board of Directors.”
Mao reiterated that the president "is a very thoughtful man and is fully aware of the current situation". That's why he stated that "he is totally committed. 300%. Without that commitment we would not be able to return to the First Division”.
In his first speech, Durán recognized that the new Board is more executive “and RASTAR is increasing its commitment to the club. It is a step forward. We have to make a lot of changes and relaunch a new project that will take us back to the elite level. We want a new club and a new Espanyol. We are trying a new way of doing things. The President is the one suffering the consequences. He made decisions confidently. We are happy with this new group and are convinced that we will go up this year and give the fans something to cheer about again ”.
He also acknowledged the effort that "Rufete has put in these last weeks, demonstrating that he is a club man, with whom we are working to create the new Espanyol."
In the same vein, Rufete stated that, "we are in a very messed up situation, but we must also see it as an opportunity." He reiterated that, "promotion is an obligation" and that "I take that on with all the consequences it entails. We have to face next season as though it were a 42 day final in which we must achieve our objective. If we succeed, we will have a winning club.” He also explained that in his area he will work with other models and that "we must return to the top level and make people proud of us day to day."
Durán explained, "we have prepared the club financially" so that it can survive the economic cuts brought about by relegation. He pointed out that "ordinary income will drop by half but that doesn't include what we can get from selling players". In the same vein, he insisted that “we look to the future and think about promotion, but also make the most of this period to clean up and become more ambitious. It's not just in the sporting arena that changes have been made. They are people from Espanyol. We're changing a lot and many people feel uncomfortable but we are building a new way of operating."
Durán revealed that "we have no intention of putting Cabrera and RDT on loan", and said that "we'll renegotiate on a case by case basis" as each situation arises.
Rufete said that on a sports level, "if it were up to us, we'd already have the coach, but some things don't depend on us". He stressed that "the first job is the coach and then we'll finish building the squad". He also pointed out that Iturraspe, Naldo, Calleri and Ferreyra will not continue and Bernardo has left the door open for negotiation, depending on his personal circumstances. He also commented that "we're well advanced in discussions with some new players" and contract renewals (Javi López, Diego López and Dídac) that were agreed many weeks ago. However he stressed that "this week we're focusing on decision-making, but the whole issue of players coming and going will depend on the economic situation. We will deal with each situation separately. All the players have to be convinced".