Dear Atlético fan,
My first wish is that you and your family are healthy and unaffected by this terrible pandemic. If unfortunately, as has happened to hundreds of thousands of people around the world, the coronavirus has affected any of your loved ones, I want to express all the encouragement and support from our club in these difficult times.
First of all, and on behalf of all of us who are part of Atlético de Madrid, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to the thousands of health workers, police officers, civil guards, military personnel, common carriers, food chain professionals, cleaning workers and other groups who are working tirelessly to stop this pandemic and to make it possible for the rest of society to fulfil in the best possible way our obligation to stay at home as an essential measure to stop the spread of the virus.
Never in the recent history of Spain have we been faced with a crisis of this magnitude or with such dramatic health, economic and social consequences. The situation we’re experiencing presents us with a future full of uncertainties, because no one can say for sure when this situation will end or what the outcome for our society will be. In all the years that I have been in charge of the management of the club, I have never faced such a delicate moment or such an uncertain future, but I assure you that all of us who work for Atlético de Madrid are facing it firmly and with the maximum responsibility in order to guarantee the viability of the club.
In just a few days, we've gone from the joy of Liverpool to being confined to our homes. In these circumstances, I would like to say to our more than 130,000 club members that, despite the fact that we will not be able to welcome you for some time at the Wanda Metropolitano, the home of all the Atléticos, communications with you and all our fans do not stop. Although the member's office and the club's offices in the stadium are closed, our team of professionals continues working to solve any doubts that may arise via telephone or email. We do not know when the competition will resume and under what conditions, so we cannot yet specify any measures in this regard, but I would like to send a message of reassurance to all of you and tell you that we’re already working on all possible scenarios, in order to be ready for the moment when the competition resumes and to be able to provide the appropriate service in each case. As soon as we have some more certainty, we will contact you all.
A situation as serious as this one forces us to take decisions as complicated as necessary for the good of the club. I would like to thank all the Atlético de Madrid employees for their special effort during these difficult days. Unfortunately, and with the only objective of guaranteeing the survival of the club, we are forced to request a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) for those professionals who, due to the state of alarm declared in Spain, cannot carry out their work as they have completely ceased their activity, as well as for those whose working hours have been significantly reduced. Both cases affect employees as well as players and coaches of our teams. We’re working to minimise the impact of the measure and limit it to what is strictly necessary, so that when the competition returns, everything will be back to normal. These are, as I said, difficult decisions, but the responsibility of safeguarding the future of Atlético de Madrid forces us to make them.
Our sponsors and partners are suffering just as we and the rest of society are from the terrible impact of this health and economic crisis. I want to thank them for their commitment in these hard times and for their help. Together we will emerge stronger from this situation and will manage to recover stability thanks to the passion and values we share.
In this situation of uncertainty that our sector is going through, we must join forces and work together to try and restore normality to the world of football as soon as possible. It's a time of generosity, humility, solidarity, effort, of reaching out and reaching agreements to find a valid solution for all groups: institutions, clubs, players, coaches, fans...
The media have a vital function at this time as a link to the millions of citizens who are confined to their homes, fulfilling their responsibility to reduce contagion as much as possible. They, whom I sincerely thank for their work, will play a key role as channels for the dissemination of all the proposals and measures taken to return to normal competition, and are already covering the solidarity actions that many clubs and sportsmen have launched to help in this crisis.
Atlético de Madrid proudly represents Madrid and Spain all over Europe. That's why we have an unavoidable commitment with our fellow citizens and we have decided to channel all of the club’s help to the fight this pandemic through the #LoDamosTodo campaign. The funds raised will be destined entirely to the Red Cross, so that it can address the needs of the health workers who fight against COVID-19 in the Community of Madrid, which unfortunately is Spain’s hardest-hit region by the coronavirus, and the one that needs more urgent help. As well as contributing directly to the donation, the club has put all its resources and groups that are part of this great family (players, coaches, managers, legends, fan club members, club members...) into action to get this message across to as many people as possible, so that they can contribute in any way to the purchase of the equipment needed for the health services.
I hope that soon I’ll be able to come back to you with better news. Until then, please continue to face this situation as all of us Atléticos do, with courage and heart. I have no doubt that our values are helping us to endure this crisis in the best way and I wish and trust that very soon we’ll be together again cheering our dear Atleti on.
Miguel Ángel Gil