Athletic Club’s Basque-Only Player Policy Explained

Bilbao, the capital of Spain’s Basque Country, has a deeply idiosyncratic culture. It is a part of Spain, yet completely unique. Unsurprisingly, this bleeds into their football as well. As a beacon for the Basque people, Athletic Bilbao have come to fly the region’s flag in Spain.

One of the most singular facets of the club is their ‘Basque-only’ player policy. It’s an aspect of the club that operates both in the realm of identity and economy with multifaceted repercussions in each.

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31 comentarios

  1. Yeah but the "basque-only" policy is not really true now. It hasn't been true since the 2000s. We started having non-basque spanish players and then non basque african players. The club always makes up an excuse for those players to somehow be basque (Like saying Llorente's grandfather was basque or that Williams is somehow basque).
    And that's ok, we can still be an acadademy and somewhat native based team. It's simply that the basque-only policy is really no longer possible.

  2. It might have already been mentioned, plus I might be a bit late. But the video mentions that Bilbao is de capital of the Basque region. It might be the biggest city, but the de facto capital is actually Vitoria-Gasteiz. De city where Alavez is located

  3. It's discrimination because to say that they are willing to take a player that came up from Real Sociedad but not Racing Santander while talking principles and a way of life is clearly more than eye roll worthy. How can your biggest rival be worthy of cultivating but a club that geographically is as close not produce the same 'kind' of values filled player. They will throw out Inaki Williams and the system is not a slap in the face to human dignity. If they had 100% from their academy on the pitch, I would respect it but because you can have South American players who have never been anywhere near Bilbao but have Basque heritage can play is clearly an attempt to have their team have the same face as the local population. Sure it is awful that some teams like Manchester City field so few players from their national team and I think the rules should make it clear that teams should have a minimum of 6 players on the pitch from that country. But to follow this rule and even have the attitude of preferring relegation to abandoning this policy shows an awful level of ethnocentrism.

  4. This may be a controversial opinion, but I really don't see how this is all that different from Zenit St Petersburg's disgraceful "no black players" policy. It is shameful discrimination – dressed up in progressive terms, but discrimination nonetheless.

  5. You choose long words when they aren't needed, in order to come off as more intellectual, when it detracts from the message you are getting across. There is no need for 'multifaceted repercussions' to be mentioned here, and you know it.

  6. Not a bad video, but you kinda lost me in the very first sentence. Bilbao is NOT the capital of Basque country, and ofc Athletic are not unique in their signing policy (Barcelona of Ecuador, Chivas). I guess you were so eager to share this with the world that you forgot to check basic facts. Don't get me wrong, you do a good job, but stuff such as this makes the whole thing look a bit amateur.

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