Sunday, October 25, 2009

Introducing Benedito (1): The candidate

Earlier this month, Catalan business man Agustí Benedito announced his intention to take part in next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona. This blog will give an introduction on the pre-candidate in the coming week.

Benedito, who had resigned from his post at the club in March of this year (read more in the third part of this series), would already have been preparing his candidacy for months and since the summer, there had been speculation about his plans.

During the second half of the month of September, several media claimed that Benedito had made the decision to be a candidate. On 25 September, Catalan weekly paper El Triangle reported that an announcement would follow soon.

On Thursday 8 October, Benedito then came with the official confirmation that he would run for president. Although he said the announcement was made to avoid further speculation, it seems clear that Benedito was trying to gain some momentum in the preparation of his candidacy.

Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu claims that Benedito, who wouldn't have plans to link up with another candidate, is also already keeping an eye on the following presidential elections, that will in theory be held in 2016.

His ideas
So far, Benedito has only given a short preview of his plans, while declaring he will present his full project when the election process wil officially be launched.

Everyone seems nevertheless to agree that the core of his campaign will be the recovery of the values of the "Elefant Blau" (
Blue Elephant), the opposition group of which Benedito was one of the founders in the late 1990s, alongside -among others- current Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Benedito demonstrated this by already revealing the key words of his campaign in his letter to Spanish news agency EFE: "Transparency, participation of the club members, good governance and honesty".

He added that his team would lead the club "from a full but non-political catalanism, always looking for the support and the involvement of the many Barcelona fans in and outside Catalonia."

His people
Benedito, who is still looking for support, defined the people he's working with as follows: "I will finalize my project together with a diligent, pluralistic and open-minded team - people with proven management skills in business, sports and social areas - because I understand the social importance of Barça and because I know the values that an entity like this needs to be able to transmit: effort, will to improve and responsibility."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claimed already last month that Benedito is supported by a group of around 400 people and that he is planning to contact the Catalan political parties shortly to present them his project. Catalan sports paper Sport reports that Benedito has been surrounding himself with a group of ambitious young businessmen.

Barcelona opposition site Pelikano claims that Benedito contacted this summer former "Elefant Blau" members like Aymerich, Carrasco, Canal, Geli, Sola, Salinas, Castellet, Latorre or Bonet, to ask them if they were interested in joining him in this new project.

this is the first part of a four-parts series. the next part will cover benedito's personal, professional and blaugrana background. you can read the whole series here.

Read more:
Agusti Benedito to run for president
Who will be the next president of FC Barcelona?

picture: germán rodríguez rosas

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