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Graeme Le Saux: 'The easiest way to overcome this is together’

The former footballer and member of the board spoke to Play Red about finances, training and what lies ahead for the club

RCD Mallorca board member Graeme Le Saux has stressed the importance of unity amid the COVID-19 crisis.

With the first-team continuing to ramp up their preparations for an eventual return to the domestic season, the former footballer says the club is facing the challenges of an unprecedented pandemic together as a club.

“I think the obvious intentions are to get back playing football and to try and save as much of this season as we can in terms of a financial perspective,” he told Play Red. “We’ve been able to manage these big changes well and we’re confident we can do that for what lies ahead. As always, there’s not one part of the club that’s going to get through what lies ahead. It’s going to take every part of the club.

"That’s not just the people that work for the club, that’s all the people that support the club as well. We’ll work as hard as we can to achieve our ambitions and aims. We look forward to getting back to playing and giving the people of the island plenty to cheer about."

With the senior squad and manager agreeing to a reduction of wages to ensure the sustainability of the club, Le Saux says he is proud of the responsibility playing staff have shown throughout the state of alarm. 

“We looked at how we could mitigate the financial damage to the club," he continued. "The key thing around that is we don’t damage the harmony around the club. As I said, the word ‘solidarity’ came up a lot in conversations I had the word I probably stumbled across. I think it’s vital. Everyone is hurting at the moment and everybody appreciates the fact that things couldn’t go on as normal. The implications are going to be significant for years to come because people who are involved in football in all ways are going to be affected, whether that be sponsors or whether that be supporters.

"We’re going to have to be much more resilient going forwards and I think the commitment by the coaching staff, the players and in fact those people earning over a certain salary who also agreed to that reduction, shows that people understand the bigger picture and it shows they care about the club and the whole club at that."

Following the government's announcement the La Liga season can resume from June 8th, Le Saux says plans are in place to provide alternatives for fans unable to attend fixtures at Son Moix due to health and safety protocol. 

“Football, and where I’ve always been proud of football, I’ve always believed it’s been at the heart of community and the connection between the football club and it’s community is absolutely vital,” he told Play Red. “We’re no different at Mallorca and I think in some ways being on an island with a very strong identity, core and value of community, I think by the nature of the island and the history of the island, I think it’s even more vital that the club forms part of that identity. We’ll do everything that we can to make sure we stay connected with the supporters, even if they can’t come to the stadium.

"I think one of the words I’ve been using a lot is ‘solidarity’, but I think another word is ‘creativity’. It’s a time for us to look at things and try to be as creative as we can and to think differently in order to connect with people. That’s something that I hope we can achieve when games are back on and people can’t come to stadium, which we presume will be the case, and how we can creatively connect with them so they feel engaged.”