Gonzalo Verón, the millionaire’s footballer, judges Independiente: “That club ruined my career”

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In January 2018, Gonzalo Verón made the decision to leave New York Red Bull, a club with which he still had ties, to sign a contract with Independiente.. What he didn’t know is that this change in his career would lead him to a torment that he still lives today, while he is part of the University of San Martín de Porres, in Lima, in the Second Division of Peru.

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Is that at the time of wearing red (in total he played 18 games and scored a goal) an economic conflict began due to the non-payment -between salary and compensation for his free exit from the North American entity- by the commanded leadership at that time for Ugo Moyano, for which it maintains an appeal in the Labor Court for a total of € 6,149,689.63 dollars (interest included).

“For a footballer it’s not pleasant at all because I have to continue with my career and at the same time see what’s happening. Unfortunately I have to keep an eye on him. You want to immerse yourself completely in football, but I have to be there too”tells clarion On the other end of the phone emerged this 33-year-old forward from Sportivo Italiano, champion of the Copa Libertadores with San Lorenzo in 2014 and then moved on to MLS.

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Verón has chosen to speak publicly for the first time since the lawsuit was filed two and a half years ago. “I want people to listen to my version, what really happens, not what they make up”, says the footballer at the beginning of a long talk in which he details step by step this complicated situation which is in the hands of justice and for the which Independiente has preemptively seized the television rights for the amount of 4.8 million dollars.

The attacker accuses the Moyano leadership of “groping” and “intimidating”, confesses that he has received insults and threats in his networks and that for this reason he has left the country and is afraid to return. And he doesn’t hesitate to say that his stay at Avellaneda was the worst thing that could have happened to him.

-Why was this million dollar lawsuit reached?

-When I arrived at Independiente it was because Ariel Holan called me. He asked me to join the team and I was very excited because they had just been champions. I have received specific offers from Saudi Arabia and Paraguay. But I signed a contract with Independiente on January 24, 2018 until June 30, 2021. During that course, the club started accumulating a debt with me that they never paid me. I got to sit and talk with (Hector) Yoyo Maldonado (secretary of Independiente in the Moyano administration). We’ve had several conversations about that debt. He came to give me three checks but then he asked me please not to deposit them as it was not the time as they could close the account due to lack of funds. That was at the Hotel Scala where the team was concentrated, I remember it well. We decided to save it at that time. But the checks expired and were never replaced. That’s how the debts piled up and they never paid me. I decided to go on loan to Aldosivi because of all this conflict that was being created. They (because of the Independiente managers) had to pay me half my salary and Aldosivi the other half. They didn’t even pay me. I have been at Aldosivi for a year and have never received a peso from Independiente.

-Did Independiente never put its share in that agreement?

-He never took the lead. I was lucky that Aldosivi is a very serious club, but the Independiente thing left me a bit in shock because I never received anything. When the contract with Aldosivi expired, I returned to CAI and they fired me in the midst of the pandemic. So he started running up all the debt.

Did they tell you why they fired you?

They never responded to my inquiries. They did not respond to the document letter requesting payments. That in Justice is called dismissal.

-That is to say that you gave yourself up for dismissal due to lack of response from the company.

-Yes, by not answering my letters and not paying me.

– In Independiente they claimed that they did not respond because the document letter had arrived at the office which was closed due to quarantine and no one received it…

-I am aware of what they said, but I cannot answer about it because if justice itself rejects it, it is due to some kind of negligence on their part. We did what the law required.

Why has the number gone up so much?

-They paid me the first three or four months when I arrived. After that, nothing. The accumulation of debt is that: the non-payment of the club in full. There is an issue of damages and the law that was passed at the time of the double compensation for severance work. The lawyer can answer you with more technical precision.

-How did you continue once you ran out of a club?

-I turned to Agremiados, which is the body that protects us footballers from the lawyer José Confalonieri, who is my current lawyer in this case. He was in charge of filing the complaint with the labor justice of Avellaneda and this whole sad situation developed. For my career it’s a shame. During the pandemic I have been without a club for four or five months. My rep had to go urgently to find me a shirt. We went through a very difficult period with my family because we had many commitments that we had undertaken, investments that could not be made because I no longer had an income. In September I went to Paraguay (he played in Sol de América) and there I resumed my career, amid conflicts. It’s very difficult.

-During all that time, have you had contact with any director of Independiente?

-No. They never contacted me. They were never interested in fixing the situation. We participate, together with my lawyer, in many hearings. In one we agreed to make an economic deal, but that same day in the afternoon, Mr. Héctor Maldonado called to say that he regretted it and canceled the deal. We have been interested in reaching a solution. But there was constant intimidation.

-What do you mean?

-One takes it as an insult when one wants to reach an agreement and the other side trashes you or says yes and then no. And we have received many threats from me, my representative and the lawyer. It’s scary because Argentine football is lived with so much passion and you don’t know if someone can do something to you because something bothered them. I see someone with an Independiente shirt and I have to hide so as not to receive insults, do you understand? Living like this is not nice.

-Have you come across fans and insulted you for this issue?

-Because of the threats, I left the country. I’ve been abroad for a couple of years now and I can’t afford to play in Argentina. Sometimes I want to go back for my family, for my mother, for my brothers, but the truth is that it scares me. I’ve had threats and whores on instagram, they message my wife too. One is reclaiming what belongs to him.

-What kind of threats?

-My wife tries not to tell me what they put on it and she doesn’t tell me much and they told me on Instagram “You a motherfucker”, “Will you come”, “How you gonna make it to the club?” And the truth is that the club itself does the damage. I understand people, but to avoid a bad situation I decided to leave the country.

-It means that the reason you are playing outside is because of all of this.

-Hundred percent. Sometimes I go to the countryside for a few days and try to spend it with my family inside my house. I go out as little as possible. My wife tells me that I am haunted, but it is very difficult to look the other way after all this. I was with a psychologist. I discussed all this with the psychologist to try and revive my career. But you get a call and every piece of news serves to remove the crawl space. I appeal to the courts to end all of this and I speak so that all the people of Independiente understand my position and what I am asking for. I am a victim of all this.

-After the deal was lowered, what happened?

-The absurd thing was the criminal complaint that the company made me for fraud. They also denounced Doctor Confalonieri and his children, Agustín and Florencia. This complaint was filed with the prosecutor’s office of Lomas de Zamora; in any case it should have been in Avellaneda. But there is no such crime. That was another blow for me because it had nothing to do with it. They are intimidation. Sometimes I get to the countryside and I’m afraid they’ll tell me something about migration because of this denunciation that doesn’t make sense.

-Have you had talks with the new management?

-No. There was a mediation recently, but no one has contacted me to resolve this issue. I want justice. I feel very tempted. Most absurd of all, after all, is that the court ordered the preventive seizure of Independiente’s television rights, but almost a month before the election won by Fabián Doman, Independiente notified the Superliga de Fútbol Profesional that it had sold its television rights for two years to Jeno SA… We don’t know what this company is. You gave up the rights for no reason. How is it possible that none of the new leadership has raised their voices about this? That’s 750 million pesos. It strikes us that this did not emerge from the Doman audit. It’s strange. I insist that this must end sooner or later and that justice must clarify the situation. People need to take note of this. The institution needs to be managed accordingly so that the players feel supported and want to go. I’m not the one to say whether the tricks they are doing are appropriate or not, but if so there should be those responsible.

-If Doman calls you and shows you good faith to reach an agreement, would you agree to listen to him or are you willing to support the request until the last resort?

-Look, we had good intentions, they gave us unfunded checks, we reached a settlement, we accepted a deal, they turned it down… There’s a lot to grope. We’ve been doing this for years and patience is running out. Today I want justice to determine. It is very difficult for me to trust a leadership that promises me a deal.

-Some leaders have pointed at your rep and said he handles your decisions. Is that so?

I’ve heard what they say. The truth is that I enjoy it. Naza (Nazareno Marcollese) is my representative but we have a friendly relationship. We are one. We are connected in what we think and what we say. We are informed of everything that is happening. Everything they say is because it’s convenient for them to say it. Naza is a great professional.

-Many players have had problems with Independiente managing Moyano, but no one has asked for something as strong as you. Do you think it got personal?

I don’t think it’s just my thing. More than ten teammates have had problems and left the club badly. That this has such an impact perhaps has to do with the unwieldy amount. But that’s all part of the club’s negligence.

-How would you describe your time at Independiente?

-It ruined my career, literally. In the emotional, psychological and my career debacle. I came from the United States, I had been to San Lorenzo and I had achieved important things. After Independiente I was stuck at home and from there it was all problems. Independiente ruined my career.

What do you think the result will be?

-I made a wish on December 24, which was my birthday: that everything ends in 2023. I appeal to justice for this. I still consider myself with possibilities to improve my career. The most important thing is that everything goes well so that I can enjoy the last few years of my career because until now I haven’t.

Source: Clarin

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