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The resurgence of CA Osasuna, from touching Second B to Conference League positions in 9 years

There are success stories in all business areas, but perhaps those in which emotion and passion are one more asset become more striking, such as, for example, in the world of football. Proof of this is that entering in the trajectory of Osasuna during the last decade It means discovering a story of improvement that is not often found.

And it is that, this historic club has gone, in just 9 years, from being on the brink of disappearance to play the final of the Copa del Rey this last season and manage to qualify for the Conference League.

The turning point happened in 2014, the annus horribilis of the rojillo club. This year it is discovered that the board was hiding almost 100 million in debt. A situation that was reached after years of non-payment of the corresponding taxes. In addition, money outflows were also discovered without any justification.

The club’s president at the time, Miguel Archanco, he was forced to resign after the team’s relegation to the Second Division and the discovery of the first irregularities that affected both his mandate and that of his predecessor, Patxi Izco. His departure from the club gave way, briefly, to a manager until in December 2014 the current president, Luis Sabalza, took office.

The first thing the new board of directors did was try to reduce the extremely high debt by selling the club’s assets, which included the El Sadar and Tajonar stadiums. In addition, the so-called “Osasuna law” approved by the Foral Parliament of Navarra prevented its disappearance. But given all the irregularities discovered and the lack of documentation that prevented the traceability of money movements, the president and vice president of the club decided, in February 2015, to file a complaint in court that gave rise to the entire subsequent investigation.

In the sporting aspect, things were not going any better, the team was in the Second Division, and only a goal at the last minute against Sabadell freed them from relegation to Second B. After this approach to the abyss, the team, led at that moment by Enrique Martín, in the 15/16 season he managed to be promoted to the First Division and once again excite his fans. That promotion allowed the club to speed up the payment of its debt, which is why it ended up being relegated back to the Second Division.

After a few years of stabilization, including the remodeling of The Sadar, the Osasuna He has already completed five consecutive seasons in the First Division, even managing to play in the last Copa del Rey final and qualified for the Conference League. Something that UEFA now snatches from him due to events that occurred 9 years ago under other commands.

This decision is particularly noteworthy since the Supreme Court ruling came thanks to the complaint filed by the Club itself to fight corruption and clean up its image. A sentence that also confirms that the club was not responsible for the events and declares it as a “victim”, which has allowed Osasuna to recover part of the money stolen by its former leaders. An anti-corruption attitude reinforced by its financial management, which is that the current management team, headed by Luis Sabalza, managed to reduce a net debt of more than 80 million euros to 7 million in just four years.

Looking back, perhaps the most sensible thing to do in 2014, or what any manager would have done in that situation, would have been to try to maintain the Second category and gradually reduce the debt. However, Osasuna, after a titanic effort by all those who make up the club, is now a consolidated First Division team (they are no longer part of those teams called “elevators”), with a renovated stadium that has become an example for all the LaLiga teams and qualified as the best in the world in 2021, and who has managed to enter the European fight, thus reconquering the reputation and image it deserves.

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