Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Madariaga slams Euskaltel

Fundación Euskadi Ciclista president Miguel Madariaga has gone to war with Euskaltel over the foundation's budgetary shortcomings.

The departing Euskaltel Euskadi general manager, who'll hand over the reins to telephone company Euskaltel and Igor González de Galdeano at the turn of the year, reveals he's in need of half a million euro to balance the books - and claims Euskaltel are to blame.

"The foundation needs to sell its equipment to compensate for the loss in sponsorship money received from the Basque Government and the Provincial Councils over the last few years. We need 565 000 euro. Our four busses, our truck and our caravan is more or less worth that exact amount. We can't just give them away as we've got books to balance. The problem is that Eukaltel think they own them. My lawyer says they don't", he told Marca's Josu Garai.

Madariaga feels unjustly treated by the telecommunications giant, and doesn't mince his words.

"We don't deserve this treatment. The foundation owes nothing to Euskaltel, but Euskaltel owe a lot to the foundation and the 1600 members we've still got. I'm handing them a WorldTour team working perfectly, and I only demand that they value the 19 years of work I've put into this team. Euskaltel have earned many millions on advertising. Just in 2011, they got 120 million euro in exchange for a three-million investment. Their behaviour seems strange to me. I've always been honest and upfront with them and we've never had any big problems. But after president (José Antonio) Ardanza left, nothing is like it used to be", he bashed.

Marca's expert cycling scribe goes on to call the foundation and the telephone company's relationship a soap opera, and Madariaga admits a fight is on.

"It's an issue of power. I'm disappointed. I've fought many years for a team like this to be a part of the cycling elite. And I'm proud to say I've succeeded. My fear is that this team, which has been a team of a country, will become a commercial team. I don't know how the fans would react to that".

Photo: DEIA


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