Iñaki Alkiza, the president who brought Real Sociedad closer to modernity, dies | Sports

Iñaki Akiza (Alza, Gipuzkoa, 1933), the president of Real Sociedad who led his club towards modernity, died this Tuesday in San Sebastián at the age of 89 after an intense life in the world of football and politics. He was a Real player, mayor of San Sebastián, as president, commissioned by the PNV, of the municipal manager that governed the destinies of the city until the first democratic elections.

Later he entered the board of José Luis Orbegozo at Real Sociedad, in the glory years with the two leagues won at the beginning of the eighties of the 20th century, he became president of the entity from 1983 to 1992, and after leaving the world of soccer returned to politics. He served as president of the General Meetings of Gipuzkoa for four years, as a representative of Eusko Alkartasuna. He was also the father of former Real and Athletic footballer Bittor Alkiza, currently second coach at Osasuna.

At Real Sociedad he undertook a total transformation in the entity. After the two league titles won with Orbegozo as president, the club’s structures had begun to become small and obsolete in a football that was beginning to transform, slowly at first and then almost at a forced march. After Alberto Ormaetxea’s cycle as coach was over, Alkiza hired the Welshman John Benjamin Toshack, who led Real to a Cup title in 1987. He led the change of cycle at Real, when the great stars of the champion team retired, the last ones were Arconada and Zamora in 1989. The president buried the policy of only playing with youth players, when, after Loren’s transfer to Athletic, he decided to hire the first foreign player in several decades, the Irishman John Aldridge. In addition, he was the first president to put termination clauses in contracts, after the lien that tied players to clubs for almost life was extinguished.

But two of the most significant milestones in his mandate were limited to the institutional level. The first was the departure from the ancient and uncomfortable Atocha field, already out of all international standards, towards the new Anoeta stadium, a modern field with much more capacity. The new stage was inaugurated by his successor Luis Uranga.

In addition, Alkiza assumed the conversion of the club into a sports limited company. Among the requirements imposed by his board of directors, the most decisive was to prevent any shareholder from controlling more than 2% of the share capital, so that the club would not end up far from the control of its fans. When the process was completed, Alkiza left the presidency, which he could have continued to hold, although he argued that he did so because of the arrival of his son Bittor to the Real’s first team, a few months earlier, so that his sports career would not be jeopardized. doubt because he is the son of the president, although two years later, the footballer was transferred to Athletic by decision of his coach, John Toshack, for 220 million pesetas (1.3 million euros).

He, like his son, also played for Real Sociedad. It was between 1955 and 1961. He played 73 games, 68 of them in the League, in which he scored nine goals, the first at the Metropolitano, in April 1956, against Atlético de Madrid (5-4), against whom he scored a so much; the last against Betis (0-1) in Atocha, on February 26, 1961.

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