Archive for June 9th, 2016
Mega Stadium Or Millstone – Armada Sur Meet Juan Quintero

Who wouldn’t want a new 40,000 stadium as part of a 300 million euro leisure development? That’s the central policy of Juan Quintero’s bid to become the next President of CD Tenerife. The Armada Sur are supporters of old school football values but a small group of us were happy to welcome the front man of the project to Suters Bar in Parque La Reina to find out more.

Firstly we got to learn a bit more about the man, Juan Quintero, a 50 year old insurance broker born in Santa Cruz had requested the meeting and arrived informally dressed and greeted us all individually. There was a good cross section of our peña with Brits, Canarians, Dutch, and Austrian but our guest spoke to us in perfect English. It soon became clear that he is a football man, he recalled the glory days when he watched CD Tenerife’s exploits in the UEFA Cup, and stated his intention to see the club back in the Primera as an established fixture. All that would be backed up by an ambitious business plan to generate more support and income for the club.

It sounded too good to be true and even the sketchy reports so far had given us serious reservations. The big problem is the size and cost of the stadium, it was pointed out to Juan that even in the Primera we had struggled to fill the 23,000 capacity Heliodoro (owned by Santa Cruz council) and have averaged around 8,000 this season. There had been some doubts over who would own the new stadium, planned for Santa Cruz port, Juan made it clear that the club would own the new home, we could all see the implication that the club would effectively add a 300 million euro debt to the current 18 million owed to the bank. We were not told who the mystery investors are or their background, but investors would surely want a healthy profit on top. Juan

Onto more practical matters, does Juan have the shares and backing to oust current unpopular President Concepcion (below) who is up for renewal in December or before. Juan Quintero seemed supremely confident of amassing enough support to get elected, and vowed to sweep most of the long serving and under achieving board out. Former player Pier Cherubino is the fans favourite for the top job and Juan was asked if he would consider teaming up to make the most of both their attributes and backing. Although not dismissing the idea he said that he had spoken to Pier but had not seen any concrete proposals from him. I should add that the Armada Sur has only a few token shares and cannot affect the voting.

We were told that the new stadium would be built in 18 months from approval. It’s difficult for us not to be cynical about the slow bureaucracy here and the poor track record of completing major projects to a set budget and time scale. Juan also told us of two alternative sites, Hoya Fria on the southern edge of the capital, and the Cepsa refinery which is due to be decommissioned. In the meantime Juan said there is money and agreements from key players to join us to steer us into the Primera. He did add that current contracts would have to be respected, that brings us to one of his innovative fund raising ideas. Canadian kit makers DryWorld have a new approach to sponsoring teams, they give the kit freely, and offer good income to the club for selling replica shirts. Juan said he has a five year deal set up with them, it would have to wait for the final season of the Hummel deal. This deal would include 20,000 worth of kit for the other CDT teams and he says there is a 600,000 euros shirt sponsor lined up. One worrying aspect of this is the company would supply a big name football ambassador to promote the club, originally the unpopular suggestion was an ex big star from Real Madrid or Barca. I can’t help wondering if this ambassador would have any input into team matters or even play if the sponsors wanted that!

There was no getting away from our big concern of not getting a big enough increase in crowds. Special promotions with family offers, free buses from the south, and greater marketing were popular themes with Juan but breaking the mind set of armchair support for the big two in Spain is going to be a long hard push. On the plus side it was encouraging to hear Juan Quintero’s positive views echo ideas we have often proposed, and we appreciated him coming to see us in the long lost south. Each hurdle he can clear will increase his credibility. He has promised to be always approachable so if he becomes President maybe we can get more in depth details about his investors but for now our thoughts are on team building for the 2016-2017 season.