Questions for Recre Supporters Trust on saving Spain’s oldest football club

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Spanish club Recreativo de Huelva is in a race against time to avoid extinction. Recre requires 2 million euros by June 30 in order to survive.

Here’s our interview with a member of the Recreativo de Huelva’s Supporters Trust:

Can you let me know me your role/title in the efforts to save Recreativo de Huelva?
Narciso Rojas – I am, Narciso Rojas, member of the Recreativo Supporters Trust. I am member of the Trust´s board.

For fans who may not be too aware of Recre’s history can you give us a brief account?
NR – It was founded in 1889 by [the] British who lived here due to the mining business of Rio Tinto and Tharsis Companies. [It] is Spain´s oldest football club, and kept as amateur club until the founder, William Alexander Mackay, ended his presidency in 1920 or so. We have played in the top tier of La Liga several seasons, and players as Santi Cazorla, Valencia (now in Man United) and Almunia… played in our club.

How did the situation become so perilous? Was it the result of bad choices by the ownership? How close is Recreativo from folding?
NR – The bad administration of the club, and maybe, some economic crimes by the owners made the club has a €20 million debt, and needs €2 million to inscribe the first team in the third tier competition, where we were relegated.

What is the relationship between fan groups and the owners? Any movement towards finding new owners? How have the players coped with the uncertainty?
NR – The relationship could be called, WAR. The only movement comes from the Recreativo Supporters Trust to make the people own the club. The rest, if it exists is secret, or nothing. Players have been playing the whole season without their salary.

What initiatives have been set-up to help the club survive? Are you positive about the future of Recre?
NR – We started a “salvation” campaign, [now] we have a crowdfunding [set-up] (in english too), and made lots of things in the city and the county of Huelva to get the money we need from the fans, the local companies, parties, etc etc…

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Why is it so important to save Recre and what can fans from around the world do to help?
NR – Recre [represents] a whole country’s heritage. Football started in Spain with Recre, and the best way to save it is by make the club become a fan owned one. If you want to help just join the campaign by [donating] to the crowdfunding site, and spread it through social network. The web is liberosdeldecano.com

Apart from the Supporters Trust and fans, who else has rallied around Recreativo’s cause? I saw on the website that Raul agreed to provide a signed shirt to help raise funds.
NR – Raul, Iker Casillas, Santi Cazorla, even clubs as Real Madrid, Betis Sevilla… Everybody in Spanish football. The club is the origin.

Can you tell us a little more about the ‘Recre Sweepers’ and ‘Captains’ initiative? If someone decides to become a sweeper will they become part owner and help shape the future of the club? What about the ‘Captains’?
NR – Both will be in a group of people (fans) that will become Recre Creditors, and in the future (beginning of the season) [the club will] change the debt for shares. The shares will be managed by all in a democratic way. We will build up the informational tools to make everybody participate in the ballots and votes. The difference between Sweepers and Captains is the amount of money, the more you give, the more time you can participate in the club democracy

If the worst case scenario does happen what will fans do next? Will there be an attempt to restart the club?
NR – We do not think about this, we want our club, the old Recre to keep going on.

When you successfully raise the funds what’s the next step? What more needs to be done?
NR – The club needs to change. The Trust has an [idea] to change everything and make the club a Community (global and local) tool. We have to start to solve the economics troubles, little by little, and make Recre something sustainable.

Personally, what will it mean to you and fans if Recre is saved?
NR – It is so important to us just go to attend the matches of our club in the stadium, that only this is enough. It is true that if we get the target, the club will have the people inside again, and this is something that will give it health.

If you would like to learn more about Recreativo de Huelva or donate to the campaign to help keep the club playing, visit the crowdfunding website HERE or on their twitter page @liberosdecano.

You can find Narciso Rojas on Twitter @narciso_rojas.

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