It's not that the money is missing. It is not that the club would run the risk of falling insolvent if it was down to the Spanish second division, the Segunda División.
Athletic has a capital savings of approximately eur 200 million, corresponding to more than two billion sek. In addition, you have access to a further 90 million euros (about 900 million) that can be used for transfers.
Money as with ease buy loss Athletic from the lower half of the table.
But, unlike the competitors can not Athletic spend the money on anyone. For this control the other values.
live Athletic in a bygone era , in an age-old tradition that sets the requirement that the team can only contain players who were born in the Basque country, or who have moved to the region as the young and learned to play football there.
the Basque country is a region at the inner part of the bay of Biscay, which is composed of seven provinces, four in Spain, three in France. Here live about 3 million people, on an area about as big as a unified Södermanland and Uppland.
the Largest city is Bilbao, with 350.000 inhabitants. Other well-known cities in the region are San Sebastián and Pamplona.
of the Basque country has a greater degree of autonomy, and the population is a very clear sense of identity, which created unrest through the years, when the separatist movement ETA carried out acts of terror in protest against the regime in Madrid.
the Frenchman Antoine Griezmann was the subject of the debate, when he arrived in the basque San Sebastian. Would Athletic Bilbao to be able to enlist him? Or he met the requirements?
Griezmann is not bask, but born and raised in the Bourgogne region in central France. But he came to San Sebastian as a 14-year-old, went to school in the city, and was developed in a local club, Real Sociedads academy.
the academy took the view that Griezmann met the requirements to be enlisted, others thought not. And it ended with Griezmann instead signed for Atlético Madrid.
another example is the uruguayanske landslagsstjärnan Diego Forlan, whose grandmother comes from the Basque country. Forlan held talks with Athletic Bilbao when he would leave Manchester United in 2004, but the club did not consider that he met the requirements. Forlan ended up instead in Villarreal.
the unwritten rule, the basque connection is discriminatory. Athletic Bilbao was until 2011 the only club in Spain that had not had any black players in the squad. Jonás Ramalho, whose parents immigrated from Angola, became the first. Ramalho is born in the Basque country. So even Iñaki Williams, who today belong to the squad. Williams parents have immigrated to Bilbao from Liberia.
They own talents as the club regularly produced has of course attracted interest from other clubs, both in Spain and in the rest of Europe.
When requests come your response has usually been 'no'. Athletic have never negotiated the transfer fees. Instead, they have added a high level of spelarkontraktens utköpsklausuler, with the hope that it will act as a deterrent.
when they wanted to buy up the midfielder Javi Martínez. They offered 22 million euros. But utköpsklausulen stipulated € 40 million, and that was it.
Other players who contributed to a strengthening of the club's cash in recent years is Ander Herrera, the midfielder, who cost 36 million when he was bought away by Manchester United in 2014. And the defender Aymeric Laporte went to Manchester City for € 65 million a year ago.
the Latest sale is the goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The transition to Chelsea in August last year meant that he became the most expensive goalkeeper of all time. Eur 80 million were forced Chelsea to add up.
in order to retain players? Well, here plays the well-stocked checkout a role. Wages and salaries are not in parity with that of the clubs which regularly belongs to the top tier. The average salary in the A-squad is situated on four million euros (over 40 million).
A player who is 26-year-old, landslagsmeriterade midfielder Iker chartered community feel such an affinity with the club that he refused to leave, despite the fact that the tender has not been lacking. He is the club so faithful that there is not even any utköpsklausul in his contract.
Well, this is the model that Brommapojkarna so successfully uses. One moves simply up young players from the academy, Lezama, which has its own facility just outside of Bilbao.
Last five seasons have at least two players a year been moved up in the A-squad.
Sometimes it also happens that you need to look out on the transfer market. Last summer they bought loss eindhoven, Yuri Berchiche from PSG for € 24 million. The basque-born Berchiche barely had a year earlier given Real Sociedad from San Sebastián. And last week came the winger Ibai Gómez back to the club, after just over two seasons Deportivo Alavés. A cheap transition, Gómez cost only 4 million.
La Liga eight times, the Copa del Rey 23 times, and also reached the final of the Europa League, or the equivalent, on two occasions, most recently in spring 2012 when the man fell against Atlético Madrid.
Along with Barcelona and Real Madrid, forming the trio that has never fallen out of the La Liga, since the league started in 1929.
this season, however, it has problems. 2-0-victory against " [Sevilla on Sunday meant that they got past the Celta Vigo and Eibar in the table, up to fifteenth place. But it separates only three points for Rayo Vallecano in nedflyttningsstrecket.
Perhaps the recruitment of Ibai Gómez mark the turning point at Athletic Bilbao need?