Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Benedito: "We want a new Barça culture"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Spanish newspaper El País. Read the previous part of this interview here.

Are you in favour of introducing an ethical code?
I am in favour of it, at least in case it's not being used to gain election profit, like could happen with the new initiative that is supported by Rosell. In general, I think it's an interesting and good idea.

Which is the difference between the project that will be supported by Laporta and the one lead by Rosell?
Laporta has had seven years to do what he wanted to do, so it would be hard to understand he would now start doing things he hasn't done before. Rosell, on the other hand, still hasn't explained his program. In any case, I know him and some of the members of his theoretical candidacy and as far as I see it, his program also won't be similar to what we will present.

Who's in your team?
Members of an independent, different candidacy that is the result of hard work. We want to stimulate the participation of the club members in the life of the club. There are a lot of people involved, people with great human and professional qualities, big Barcelona fans.

The elections will apparently focus more on the club than on the team, especially because the squad of Pep Guardiola has done amazingly well. It's difficult to imagine that a big name like David Beckham would have the same impact as in 2003.
It seems that the sporting issues won't be the centre of the campaign, although I'm not sure about that. In any case, I think that everyone will agree that Guardiola has done an excellent job and that we all will want him to continue for many more years. We sure will run a campaign that will be direct, different, clear, always keeping in mind that the owners of the club are the members.

You won't close a deal with others?
A deal with other candidacies is not part of our model. It wouldn't make sense. We will try to transform the club in a way that, at this moment, I don't see in the other alternatives. Certainly not in the continuity list and the one of Rosell. I don't know what will happen with others who might take part.

You didn't offer yourself to Rosell?
Since I resigned in February until I took the decision to run in July, I have been in contact with a lot of people, with people who now could be part of the candidacy of Rosell, with directors who continue, with former directors who, apparently, won't take part in the elections. I was interested in knowing their plans, the projects that were being formed and that's when I got the certainty that none of those is similar to ours.

With some seven months to go before the elections, how are the club members doing in your opinion?
There is a crisis of behaviour, of responsibilities and of participation in the club. The board of Laporta has done good things, some bad ones and others haven't been done at all. And despite the excellent results of the team, there's still a feeling of disaffection, of distance, of not fully living the experience of being club member of Barça.

We want to end the passivity and strengthen a new Barça culture, a new way to live things. I want to change the experience of being a member. We'll make an honest Barça, more participatory, we'll use the instruments needed for a good governance and we'll raise the standards for those who represent the members. The essence and the rarity of our club is that we can choose our directors.

Will you get there with a budget of 500.000 euros?
We have a maximum budget of 500.000 euros and we'll get to the end of the campaign with those 500.000 euros.

this was the second and last part of this interview. you can read the first part here.

Read more:
Introducing Benedito (5-parts series)
Poll result: Can Benedito win the elections?
Barça, a 'wonderful rarity' (by Agustí Benedito)

interview: ramón besa


  1. how soon can these candidates start campaigning openly? is there like an official period? would be nice if we could start listening to programs and not vague statements of models, etc.

    also, is there like a majority vote that a candidate needs to get elected? there seem to quite a number of ppl wanting to run.

  2. They can basically start campaigning whenever they want, Xaviniesta. There are no rules for that. The official presentations of the final projects of the candidates will nevertheless probably only start once the elections are called.

    One to two months before the elections, candidates use to come out with their concrete proposals. People like Benedito, who need to establish a name, start to give interviews sooner. From January on, others could join in, but the big guys are expected to hold their cards close until a few weeks before the elections. So you'll need to have some more patience...

    Regarding Benedito. He has given some more interviews during the international break. I'm working on a multiple-parts post that summarizes most of them and that one will have some less vague statements, for example regarding the positions of Guardiola and Begiristain and the plans for a new Camp Nou.

    People wanting to run isn't always the same as people running. Candidates can link up to form one joint candidacy. Plus: they also need to take the hurdle of the signatures. At this moment it could look like there will be 3 to 5 candidacies. And the candidate who gets the most votes is elected, no majority needed.

  3. yeah i read about the signatures requirement. doesnt seem to be much of a hurdle though. i suppose anyone wanting to run would of made sure they can gather the numbes before they even start talking publicly about their candidacy.

    benedito doesnt inspire all that much, honestly. would be good to know more about him tho, esp his views on the sporting aspect of the club.

    thanks pep. nice blog btw.

  4. You're welcome, Xaviniesta! And it's always nice to hear your work is appreciated.

    The signatures were a hurdle in 2006, when none of the candidates (except Laporta) could gather them. Jaume Guixa and Jordi Medina tried until the end, but didn't reach the number needed. Medina also failed in 2003.

    Talking publicly about your candidacy can in that sense be a way to let people know more about your project and to convince them to give you at least their signature.

    And more about Benedito this weekend. Stay tuned!

  5. could be cos laporta had a strong presidency and had a lot of support that time, plus the sporting aspect of his project was giving a lot of confidence so i guess not many people really wanted him replaced. unlike now that things seem so divided.

    but anyway, looking forward to more updates frm you. btw, saw the poll on ferran soriano. hmmm i wonder what hes up to.