Thursday, October 8, 2009

Barcagate (5) - The vice-presidents talk

On Sunday 27 September, three days after the publication of a newspaper report that Barcelona has been spying on four vice-presidents, Barcelona vice-president Rafael Yuste was the first director involved to comment on the story in interviews with Catalan radio stations COM Ràdio and Catalunya Ràdio:

"I was surprised when I got to know what had happened and we went to see the chief executive. When Oliver explained me the situation at the time, I understood his arguments -which I won't explain here- they were reliable and I accepted them.

Joan Oliver joined the club one year ago at a difficult moment and I strongly believe that he's doing a very good job at a very complicated club and that he's working very hard to help making Barça a reference in the world. As vice-president, I'm very happy to have him with us.

Let's not use the word 'spying'. For me this wasn't an investigation but a security audit. It's a normal thing in the business world and it has been taken out of context. I don't want any controversy. I never felt that my privacy was violated and I didn't think about resigning for one moment.

I also absolutely believe Joan Laporta when he says he didn't know anything. I know him for many years and it's the truth. The board of directors is united and the fans should not be worried. I don't know if there are third parties behind the publication of the story, as the president says. I'm just surprised by the way the media are covering this now because it's an issue that has already been closed in the month of April, five months ago.

I'm now focusing on the day to day activities of the club. When the election campaign begins, we'll see what will happen or what my role can be. Now everyone has to support the club."

Around that same time, Barcelona vice-president Jaume Ferrer spoke at a press conference and gave his version of what has had happened:

"It feels like I'm forced to re-read a book that I had already finished and locked up in a cabinet. I already forgot about it, I don't want to re-live it and I don't want to give too much importance to it. When we found out about it, the issue was treated forcefully. What this means? Everybody can give the interpretiation he wants.

We were given the appropriate explanations and we decided to close the issue in April. Looking back now, I think we made the right decision. Everything turned out well. The issue was resolved internally back then and we are not planning any crisis meeting now.

Of course nobody likes to be investigated, but I've forgotten about it. Did I feel protected and helped by the club like the chief executive explained? I won't answer that, I just insist that it's an internal issue that has been filed. I didn't think about resigning because -like I said- things were treated forcefully.

I don't know if the president knew about it. If he says he didn't, he didn't. I can only say that I personally closed this case in April. I don't know if there's someone behind this like the president said. One should be in his place to know that. If he says so, he should know it.

The elections of 2010 are still a long way off. We are now taking care of leading this club, we have big challenges coming up, like the Liga, the Chammpions League and the World Cup for clubs, a trophy the club didn't win yet."

this is the fifth of ten parts on the case. the next part will cover the reactions of the other two vice-presidents involved. you can read the whole series here.

Read the previous parts of this series:
Barçagate (1) - El Periodico breaks the news
Barçagate (2) - Emergency press conference
Barçagate (3) - New revelations in the press
Barcagate (4) - Laporta speaks about spying claims

Barcelona sports vice-president Rafael Yuste -left- and Barcelona president Joan Laporta -right- on Thursday 24 September, the day Catalan newspaper El Periódico brought the story on the investigations

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