Sad farewell to the City of Logroño, the great benchmark for women's volleyball in the last five years



The Logroño Volleyball Club has officially left a new gap in the history of Spanish women's volleyball on Monday, a sport that has already seen more occasions as reference teams were unable to survive, to lay their own foundations to continue their own history.

Before they were the legendary Tenerife Marcihal -after winning ten leagues- or the Murcia those who abruptly "closed" reference trajectories in this sport and now it has been the second team that has won the Spanish competition the most times, six, consecutively. The Spanish volleyball now dismisses the team that has added 18 of the last 20 titles in the game of Superliga, Copa de la Reina and Supercopa and that remained on the brink of 100 consecutive victories two campaigns ago.

It has been more than a five-year period in which all the teams in Spain have had to live under the "tyranny" of a group of players who have largely remained united all this time in around the figure of Carlos Arratia . This La Rioja businessman is the one who has marked the beginning and the end of this winning project for which he has always claimed more support and who in the end has succumbed to not having it, as he himself explained this Monday.

Because for more than a decade he has commanded a project in which the sport was on the one hand, always successful, and the economic on the other, almost always largely subject to the contribution of Arratia itself and that of the Riojan institutions . Thus, although he managed to obtain the support of several sponsors in some years, he never obtained the contributions he needed so that the team could walk alone (without him) and do so with the solidity that is supposed to be a successful institution.

From Murillo de Río Leza to Logroño

That is why this Monday there has not been a riot like the one that at this point of the year Arratia himself had launched on several occasions, in which he repeated that he could not maintain an annual financial contribution of around one hundred thousand euros. Thus, years ago he already raised the option of disappearing in an assembly and in 2015 he transferred the team from Murillo de Río Leza the town in which he founded it, to Logroño, in search of more public and more support economic; Then he assured that he was destined not to play in Europe if he did not have more financial support and he fulfilled it.

Now the next step has come back but in the most surprising and almost inexplicable way, when the institutions already they had guaranteed support – insufficient according to him – and he had already reached an agreement of renewal with a large part of his staff . But in a few days everything went wrong. Arratia made the decision to end his "drug", as he calls the team and communicated it to coaches and players. "I publicly apologize to the players and the coaching staff for the damage caused by this decision and because I know that if it had been done a month earlier, the consequences would have been different," the businessman acknowledged this Monday, although he has had several moments of his appearance that, in view of the effort that the team put in year after year "sometimes up to more than one hundred thousand euros" this step "was going to come at some point".

The businessman has admitted that the economic question "has been one more factor, not the trigger" for his decision "because other years we have had problems and we have overcome it." But he did feel "fed up with frustrating situations, unfair treatment and disrespectful behavior " against whom he has made "useless efforts" to achieve change and although he has stated that he does not intend to be "ungrateful" with The support of public institutions has indeed felt "a comparative grievance" with La Rioja men's teams from other sports that receive support with which they compete in Europe "something that we have had to renounce three times."

The Logroño team "was far from what it could achieve if it had been helped, valued and respected," said the businessman, who stressed that "now, at the end of this project the regrets will come" and recalled that the club was founded in 1998 "because of my daughter May, who is the one who has named this last year" when her team has competed under the name of May Deco.

The goodbye of the conjun To Rioja will have many effects in the coming months, the first of which is that several clubs will try to get on the podium of the Spanish women's volleyball with the "ashes" of the Logroño team, since it took just a few hours to sign one of its main players. Some of them have been the key to the success of this group since in 2011 it rose to the highest category; He spent two years of "scoring" (he was third and second) but in the 2013-2014 campaign he already won all the titles at stake and began the spectacular career that now stops.

He had already reached the the Brazilian Daniela da Silva squad, who has remained with Arratia since then and who has not only been the captain of the team but is the player with the most titles in Spain in active employment.

Shortly afterwards, the other components of the spinal "column" of the squad that has marked an era would come to the team, the Brazilian Fernanda Gritzbach the Serbian Iva Pejkovic and the Spanish Helia González -historical captain of the Spanish team- or Patricia Llabrés . Special mention deserves Esther López, the best Spanish volleyball player, who closed her professional career in this team and started her coaching career, also with success.

With her it seemed stability had reached a "hot" bench in which the coaches did not consolidate against a demanding Arratia even if they won all the titles at stake.

The Basque coach had fitted in and was already working to make a squad winner for this reason, he also attended some dramatic hours with surprise, when last week, his "boss" communicated the decision he had made, with no possibility of backing down. A decision that breaks almost a decade of many sports joys, surrounded by economic troubles, which, in the end, have been too heavy to follow.

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