Teruhisa Noro, 58, became the new club President today following the resignation of Kikuo Kanamori, 64, due to his part in the shambolic season of 2012 and all those poor decisions he made.
Kanamori’s five year tenure came to an end as Gamba’s J1 season came to an end with a crash and the realisation of relegation was complete. He takes all of the blame for what happened but we must also remember the good job he did before things went wrong. Although he and the fans did not see eye to eye all the time, the club won the ACL in 2008 in addition to two Emperor’s Cups. He is also responsible for the push to leave Banpaku for “Field of Smile” – the new stadium. Plans have stuttered and funds have been short in coming due to the disastrous campaign. Here is what Kikuo said before clearing his desk:
“Last season ended with relegation to J2 for Gamba Osaka despite receiving your support. I take full responsibility for everything that led to this and give my sincerest apologies. Last season was painful but under the leadership of Masanobu Matsunami the team improved gradually and he showed the strength of Gamba Osaka to everybody, particularly by reaching the Emperor’s Cup final and displaying the potential of the club.” (Thanks to Vinci Per Osaka)
Although the potential of the club (as he puts it) should have been shown by pushing for first place, the team did improve gradually whilst Matsunami was in charge and I certainly agree that he must take most, but not all, responsibility for what happened. Nevertheless, we must thank Kikuo for trying to pushing Gamba forward in the right direct. Just one thing changed everything…
Noro comes from a traditional, Panasonic background and only joined the club last year, being responsible for the stadium construction division. He understands that this year will be a tough one but also recognises the pressures involved with the job. He will be in charge of assuring that Gamba get the right players in to make that J2 season a singular one, as well as getting the new stadium built by 2015. Here are his thoughts:
“This year will be a big test for Gamba Osaka. The players and staff must be ready to meet the expectations and hopes of the fans, sponsors and everybody in the local community of an immediate return to J1,” Noro stated. “Furthermore, we aim to complete the fund-raising for the construction of the new stadium by 2015.” (Thanks to Vinci Per Osaka)
Noro will have the full support of me and hopefully the Gamba supporters as he and the new staff attempt to right the wrongs of 2012. Let’s see that swift return to J1 and get the new stadium ready for 2015. Nikkan Sports state that construction will begin in July and will be completed within 20 months. The stadium will be a 40,000 seater. Let’s hope that this is the case. Anyhow… Welcome aboard, Noro!