#FridayFutbolita – Women in Football: The story of SD Eibar president Amaia Gorostiza

    One of the greatest feel-good stories in LaLiga Santander over the past decade has been the rise of SD Eibar, a small and humble club from a Basque valley town with a population of just 27,000. One of the key figures behind this success story is Amaia Gorostiza, currently the only female club president in LaLiga Santander.

    Born in Eibar, Gorostiza became a very successful businesswoman in the Basque Country. Keen to help the club when they achieved their first ever promotion to Spain’s top division at the end of the 2013/14 season, she took a position on the club’s board that same year. Then, in 2016, when Álex Aranzábal left the presidency, Gorostiza replaced him to become the institution’s first ever female president. When the next elections were held in 2017, the shareholders backed her and she retained the presidency with 77.4% of the shares.

    Gorostiza isn’t the only female voice at SD Eibar, a club that has calculated that they have more female fans than the LaLiga average. Within one year of the president’s arrival, 53% of the management positions at SD Eibar were held by women. “I like to think we’re opening up paths for other women to follow in our footsteps,” she explained in an interview with El Mundo.

    A clear objective of Gorostiza’s administration is to make positive changes in the overall football industry. That’s seen with the fact that the club’s motto translates to “Another football is possible”.


    Of course, another priority is to earn enough wins on the pitch each weekend to stay in the top division of Spanish football and Gorostiza approaches this with a caring touch. “We buy good footballers and we train good professionals, but you have to ensure that they are also well emotionally, which is almost never taken into account,” she has said in an interview with LaLiga. “For me, it’s the most important thing.”

    This approach was clear for all to see when Gorostiza was one of the six stars of the first series of “Six Dreams”, the docuseries that follows players, coaches and directors at clubs across Spain’s top division. She became one of the ultimate stars of the show for the glimpses into her affectionate dealings with the players and with coach José Luis Mendilibar. She was there to console at the bad times, to celebrate at the good times and, perhaps most importantly, she was there under an umbrella at the side of the rainy training pitches for the mundane and routine midweek training times too.

    While SD Eibar achieved their first ever promotion to LaLiga Santander level before Gorostiza’s ascent to the presidency, she has helped the club evolve and consolidate their position. In a sporting sense, they are currently in the Spanish top flight for a seventh season. In a business sense, they’ve established lucrative new sponsorship deals domestically and internationally. In an infrastructure sense, they’ve expanded Ipurua Stadium and have decided to build a new training base whose works will be starting early next year.

    While Gorostiza is the only woman to preside over a LaLiga Santander club at the moment, there have been five others in the past. María Victoria Pavón is the current president of LaLiga SmartBank side CD Leganés and has spent time as a president in the first division, while there was also Rayo Vallecano’s María Teresa Rivero (1994 to 2011), Athletic Club’s Ana Urquijo (2006 to 2007), Real Sociedad’s María de la Peña (2007) and Valencia’s Lay Hoon Chan (2014 to 2017).

    Source : LaLiga

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