It prioritizes everyone’s health and wants the pandemic to go down in history. At the same time, he misses football. It is believed that the competition should resume and it has a downside that if this is possible, Girona will have to reinvent itself, playing behind closed doors and in conditions different from those that have been known so far. Delfí Geli, President of Girona FC, turns 51 today. An odd, different birthday. He will spend it confined at home, where he accumulates days and days. There he has time to get bored but also to work. Although telematically the great resource in the current scenario, he always meets with club people to keep up with the day to day contact. He is confident that everything will be fixed very soon and his neck is down first. But he misses football. Very many. He compares it, saving the distances, with the months after his retirement as a footballer. For the sudden change of routine. Pending the events, it is in the view that the League must be over. As long as everyone’s safety is guaranteed. He also believes that the club has come up with the best solution by agreeing to reduce some of their employees’ salaries.
Delfí Geli, President of Girona FC, turns 51 today. An odd, different birthday. He will spend it confined at home, where he accumulates days and days. There he has time to get bored but also to work. Although telematically the great resource in the current scenario, he always meets with club people to keep up with the day to day contact. He is confident that everything will be fixed very soon and his neck is down first. But he misses football. Very many. He compares it, saving the distances, with the months after his retirement as a footballer. For the sudden change of routine. Pending the events, it is in the view that the League must be over. As long as everyone’s safety is guaranteed. He also believes that the club has come up with the best solution by agreeing to reduce some of their employees’ salaries.
The first question is a must. How does the confinement carry it?
Well, although it is also true that the days are accumulating and this is noticeable. Obviously, as is the case with most, it is getting long. The most important thing is that health is there. I look forward to regaining normality. Let me and everyone do it. And that it should be as soon as possible, always following the precautions that are indicated to us.
Do you miss football more now or right after you hang up your boots?
Wow! It’s a similar situation, except for some major difference. It is similar because suddenly you leave everything, you leave your day to day. Then I stopped training and lost contact with my teammates, the weekend competition. I missed him. Now the feeling is similar. The thing is, the reason is another and not only does it not touch you personally or you live in Girona, but it is worldwide, due to different and more complicated circumstances. I hope all this happens soon and the people who are sick can recover.
How do you see the short-term future of the competition right now?
What we all hope is that the competition will resume. It’s very difficult for this to happen behind the scenes, so it’s best to play it without an audience. We are what we want. Or all, apparently. I think that football can also be an incentive for those people who want to entertain themselves. Health is sure to come first, but football can help as entertainment in a delicate situation like this.
Is this what organizations like LaLliga, RFEF or the Higher Sports Council convey to you?
Yes. Oops, LaLliga has said it from the outset, that it intends to finish its competitions. We want to resume, however, with all the precautions and guarantees. Health commands. Then we will try to return to normal in the best possible way.
Is Delfí Geli also a supporter of finishing the competition on the field?
Yeah yeah. I think the best thing that can happen is this league to resume and finish it. However, something quite different is the scenario, and the authorities, too. We need to be able to overcome this pandemic and there is less risk of infection than it is now. If you can live within relative normality, much better.
Even if it’s summer?
We are in a very extraordinary situation! And as all this is going on, it must be assumed and understood that things may not be as usual. We all have to do our part to help. The best thing, I repeat, is that it can be done.
Do you have a neck down that, if so, will Montilivi be orphaned for a while?
Yes. One of the many approaches on the table is this, and it is very likely that the coming football, in the short term, will be without a crowd in the stands. If this happens we can say that a step has been taken and that the situation is controlled.
Is it too far away for Montilivi to refuel?
I’d like to see this happen very soon, but we need to be realistic and realistic about what the priorities are. Like I said, the first one on the list is health. Let the people have patience because everything will come. We must wait for the situation to settle.
Have you ever played in an empty stadium or suffered a long stop from the competition?
Remembering, I’d say I’ve never played behind closed doors. I did in fields that had some of the sectors closed by some type of remodeling. Anecdotes comparable to what is happening now I have none. Never had a break like this before. Maybe because of a strike or so I had missed a weekend, but not anymore.
If the competition ends in the stands without a public, will Girona pay its subscribers money back?
Yes, of course. We are looking at the best way to reward our subscribers. Anyway, we are waiting to know what the final scenario will be. If that arrives, everything will be reported, and no one will suffer.
So, predicting if there will be any downgrades or the main lines of the next season of fertilizers is to venture out?
It’s still early. You have to go step by step, seeing how it all evolves. It’s not just about football, it’s about the health of the whole world. Right now it’s a little bit in quotes and we have a lot of different scenarios. When the time comes, we will already face the challenges ahead.
The competition was stopped and he did so with a Girona that did not lose matches but did not fall in love either. If the competition resumes, do you think the team will benefit or be harmed?
I think we were on a good run so we didn’t lose games. The thing is, everyone gets the last game or the last two and those weren’t too good. It is the impression that has been left. We are experiencing a very long shutdown and all teams will start from scratch. We will face the competition under different circumstances, because we will surely play without an audience. It will be a matter of adapting well and booting better than the rest. I’m convinced we have some surprises. It can be a little unexpected, all in all. This is what happens when you suddenly stop day by day.
How is it affecting all first-team players?
The technical staff maintains permanent and daily contact with the workforce. They’re fine, so we’ve been able to talk to them and the captains. They are really looking forward to meeting again and being able to train. The illusion of struggling to reach your maximum stays intact.
The club announced last Saturday the pay cut for its employees, including football players. Is it the best solution?
Given the circumstances, we have understood from the outset that it was up to us to talk to everyone to find the best solution. The property has always put people ahead of them and he was aware that he had to take care of them. I talk about the people who live the club everyday. One had to be sensitive to everyone. We talked to everyone about the situation. They understood her perfectly. Then everyone had to agree. But we have come up with a good solution and that is positive for all of us. The workers are calm, an important step has been taken in their bonding. It makes us happy and we are proud of our people.
Has it been difficult to understand?
No, it was easy. We’ve talked about it and it’s normal, with so many people involved, this has taken time. To discuss and to reflect. It is normal. The thing is, everything went well. We are really grateful for the willingness of all footballers and also for their understanding.
We said that the property was very clear that their priority was the people. Was ERTO a discarded path from the outset?
As an entity we have considered all the scenarios, always thinking of the best solution. Like I said before, we all understood that we had to stand with our people trying to come to an agreement to affect as little as possible for people.
Still tough times football?
This is a very good question because right now this is a big question. We have to see how it all evolves. The current scenario, what is happening to us, will surely affect the future of this sport. We need to be alert to events and know how to adapt to everything that happens.
The club has not stood still and in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has opted for a solidarity side.
Yes, of course. We always try to be integrated into the Girona society, we want to be with our people. At such a time we wanted to give a helping hand within our possibilities. We have given up the facilities of Les Hortes and have bet to raise money for the Trueta. Everything to help.
Have you raised a lot of money?
We made a first donation of € 24,000 that helped us to acquire the basic instruments for opening an ICU. To this day I don’t know exactly how the revenue is, but let’s move forward with the possibility of people collaborating for a good cause.
We’ve talked about the first team before, but we overlooked the affiliate situation. The Girona B is the undisputed leader of Primera Catalana and has almost ascent in its pocket. Do you know what will happen?
We are waiting to know what is decided in this regard. The truth is that its season is very good. They are leaders on their own merits and very prominent. It’s a shame they can’t enjoy what’s left of the season on the field, to be all together. We have to wait and see what the Catalan Football Federation says. I suppose they are also waiting to see how the pandemic and the attitude of the estates, both health and official authorities, are evolving.
On March 26, it was known that a player in the first team of Girona had tested positive for coronavirus. How do you find it?
She is well and everything is back to normal. Failed to retrieve. He has had the usual symptoms of the disease but has already overcome it.