Friday, December 4, 2009

More about Benedito (3): On his exit and politics

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito has in the past weeks given several interviews to Catalan newspapers, radio stations and television channels. This blog will give an overview of what the Catalan businessman had to say.

As a preface you can read this blog's five-parts
introduction series on Benedito and the opinion piece he published last month.

His exit
By trying to sell Mallorca, Laporta crossed a line that one cannot cross and I didn't accept that. I found out that he had tried to enrich himself by obtaining a commission of 4,2 million euros and that's why I decided to quit (read more here). I thought it was very serious and I felt disappointed when Laporta confirmed the newspaper report at a press conference.

And since I don't have to power to make the president of Barça resign, I resigned myself and left the club. After having talked with a lot of people I got to know within the club, I went to see Laporta at the club offices. Since he wasn't there, I handed my resignation letter to his secretary and since that day I haven't talk with him again.

When I was at the club, people told me many things about Laporta, but when I asked them if they had proof, they didn't. The first clear facts I had was when he admitted that his office had mediated in an attempt by Uzbeks to buy Mallorca. If I would have had clear evidence sooner, I would have left sooner.

At the start of Laporta's mandate there were already events that made clear that things wouldn’t go the way they were meant to go. For example when he closed a deal with Gaspart at the Majestic hotel that no veils would be lifted.

But you think that if you leave, that won't help the change that was meant to take place. So you continue thinking that it's for the good cause. I thought the easy thing was to leave and with a function in the club you have at least some power to change something. It's like the voter of a political party who doesn't vote for the opposition when he sees that there's something in his own party he doesn't like.

Chief executive Joan Oliver
I don't know Joan Oliver very well. I didn't deal with him a lot since he arrived in July 2008, replacing Anna Xicoy, and I left the club in February 2009. But as far as I know, his profile and his way of acting is not at all compatible with what we think about the function of chief executive.

The fact that Barça is connected to the world of politics is a consequence of the immense fame the club has, abroad but certainly at home. It can therefore be interesting for politicians to be linked to the club but I think the latest acts by the presidents are going to far.

The catalanism of the club is clear, it's essential for the club, it's part of the roots of the club but it shouldn't be linked to concrete politics or party politics. That might have been necesary in the past, but now the club shouldn't get involved in political matters. If I will be the next president, that's how things will be.

Salary president
There are some examples in Spanish football of presidents who are paid for the job but those involve clubs that are joint stock companies. In any case, I don't think that the president of Barça should get a salary.

this is the third part of a four-parts serie. you will be able to read the last parts in the coming days with benedito giving his opinion, among other things, on the continuation of sports director txiki begiristain and on the plan to remodel the camp nou.

Read the previous parts of this series:
More about Benedito (1): His reason for running
More about Benedito (2): On Laporta and Guardiola

el 9 esportiu, catalunya ràdio, com ràdio, ona fm, tv cugat, tv3


  1. If what he says is true about Laporta then that's not cool. I like the fact that he's willing to work for no salary but to me he doesn't seem to be the best option (yet anyways).

  2. For sure, all presidents so far have been working for no salary. It's just something that comes up every now and then: should the president getting paid (because he's of course putting a lot of hours in the job)?

  3. pep, whats laporta's position essentially? isnt he chair as well as president? i suppose if youre chairman you dont get a salary but as president you might, cos isnt barca like a non-profit? not sure but thats how i understand a spanish ltd co is.

  4. Sports ltd's have a special status in Spain but it sure isn't about making money, Xaviniesta. We could get lost in definition, but Laporta would be a chairman withquite some executive responsibilities. I think it's an interesting debate for sure.

  5. Sorry, but I didn't understand .. Are presidents -including Laporta - paid tell now or not?

  6. No, Romyan, they are at this moment not paid for the function as president.