Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cartoon 20: The president's christmas gift

Because all culés have behaved very well...

...Santa Laporta has brought us not one, but two continuity candidacies.

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by kap

el mundo deportivo

check more election cartoons here

Perrin: "Ferrer could accept being the second man"

Barcelona institutional vice-president Albert Perrín gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

Jaume Ferrer announced on Wednesday that he will be a candidate in the presidential elections. It's no secret that you are supporting him. What are your plans?
We would like that there's only candidacy to come out of this board that wants to continue the project. We will try, but we do not know if it will be possible.

Today, there are no fights inside the board, but we have different ways of thinking, which is actually a good thing in my opinion. Differences are good. We need to talk now and I hope we can reach an agreement so that there will only be one board candidacy. I nevertheless know that it will not be easy.

This candidacy should be headed by Jaume Ferrer?
I would like it to be him because he has the qualities to be a good president, but if it has to be another colleague, we will talk about that. There are several board members who have the skills to be president.

Alfons Godall and Xavier Sala i Martín, who are the key people of the other alternative, would accept Ferrer as the candidate?
I hope so, just like Jaume could accept being the second man. In negotiations all parties must compromise. I don't know what will happen, but there is willingness to talk.

What qualities does Ferrer have?
He's a calm person, who has worked a lot for the club and who knows many areas. He has been treasurer, he has been responsible for marketing and media, for the non-football sections, now for the assets...

He knows the club very well and he also did well in his personal businesses, which is fundamental, because this is after all a big company. It's someone who can deal with a lot of things, who's also great Barcelona fan and a man of this country, which is basic as well.

What about Alfons Godall?
We know each other from the "revolutionary" times at the end of the nineties. I think he's capable, motivated and enthusiastic. Why do I support Ferrer and not Godall? It's a matter of feeling. Maybe in the past few years I have been closer to Jaume.

Chief executive Joan Oliver may be a cause of disagreement between the two sides?
I don't think so. We have a very skilled general director, very intelligent, with an incredible work-rate, which is all very positive for the club.

The way of functioning of a general director depends on who is giving him orders, and with another president he maybe will work differently. Joan Oliver is certainly qualified to be the chief executive of the club.

The whole spying case is already forgotten?
It happened but that's history now and recalling it doesn't lead to anything. We were able to stay united during some very important moments for the club and now that's already in the past.

this is the first part of this interview. in the coming days you will be able to read the rest of the interview with perrín talking - among other things - about ferran soriano and sandro rosell.

Read more:
Albert Perrin appointed as new vice-president
Godall and Ferrer to meet next week
Vice-president Perrin confirms candidacy Ferrer

interview: ferran correas and dani colmena

Laporta: "We need someone who's able to resist"

Speaking at two meetings with the press on Wednesday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta talked about the upcoming elections:

"The electoral race is taking off. I'll try to stay neutral. I want to ask all the candidates to act in a responsible way.

I hope there will be a constructive debate, a confrontation of models. We need people for whom it's very clear that Barça is above any personal interest.

I will show respect for everyone because I respect the will of all those who, with sense of responsibility, take part in the elections. That there might be two board candidates? That shows that there are several highly skilled people in the board.

To be president or director of Barça one has to love the club a lot. We have shown our respect for the club. It is a fact, real and undeniable. We have had to suffer a lot - too much - to get to live the best moments in the history of Barça, which was a privilege. I guess it's just the way it is.

To be the president of Barça, one must be able to resist the criticism of the media and the competing interests of those outside the board. This ability to resist allows one to isolate oneself and to make the decisions you think are best for Barça.

The club should be lead by responsible people, so we don't need immature or spoiled people, people who are not able to resist in difficult times. And we don't need those who hide behind presumed democratic dignity to flee during the hardest moments either. Maybe those can be good in other areas of life but not to preside Barça.

If you want to lead this club, you have to able to deal with the pressure. We need strong, courageous people, who can resist, who are aware that the club is the most important thing and goes before every other interest.

I will hand the new president a better club than the one I found when arriving. I think the current model, which in my opinion is the best for this club, can be improved and the ones most capable of doing that are the current board members who have been part of this project."

Read more:
Laporta opens election campaign
Godall: "Laporta and I were a tandem"
Laporta: "Whoever comes after will find a better club"

The Pundit: Jose Luis Artus on the campaign

Here and there, there are already people who openly say that it will be a dirty campaign, full of slander.

José Luis Artús,
El Mundo Deportivo

Friday, December 25, 2009

Godall and Ferrer to meet next week

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona vice-presidents Alfons Godall (picture, on the left) and Jaume Ferrer (picture, on the right), who announced on Wednesday that he will run for president (read more here), will meet next week to continue talking about their respective electoral projects.

Although the differences between the two are said to be very big, both are reportedly aware that a continuity candidate would have a lot more chance to do well in the elections if there would be only one united board candidacy.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who is believed to be supporting Godall, would have held long talks with Godall over the last days to convince him that if he wants one board candidacy, he will then have to close a deal with Ferrer on the composition of a possible next board.

First vice-president Godall would so far have been refusing to include in his candidacy several board members that support Ferrer, namely institutional vice-president Albert Perrín and directors Jacint Borrás and Josep Anton Colomer.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo meanwhile claims that Barcelona board member and treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín will take part in the upcoming meeting during which Godall and Ferrer will try to form one continuity candidacy.

Read more:
Ferrer confirms that he will run for president
Godall to announce candidacy in two weeks
Ferrer still hoping for one board candidacy

Poll result: Who would you vote for?

Who would you vote for?

Agustí Benedito 53%
Alfons Godall 37%
Sandro Rosell 4%
Ferran Soriano 3%
Jaume Guixà 3%

total votes: 5217
start date poll: 22 december 2009
poll method: internet, free participation
source: e-notícies

check more election poll results here

Elections possibly in March or April

Asked when the upcoming presidential elections will be held, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that the date, which should be between 15 March and 15 June (read more here), is not yet decided upon:

"The club statutes say it's the president who has to call the elections. I will see what the best moment is for the club and at that time I will call them. At first sight, the best moment would be at the end of the season, because we're still competing for all trophies.

But I also take into account that it maybe would be good to know who will be the next president of Barça before we enter the last phase of the competition. We'll have to look at it a little more but of course we'll do what's best for the club."

Spanish news agency EFE claims that it is believed in the entourage of the club that Laporta could bring the elections forward as much as possible after the team won the Clubs’ World Cyp last weekend and could already organize them in the second half of March. Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that bringing the elections forward could mean they will be held in April.

The paper claims that Laporta will keep in mind two other factors when deciding on the date of the elections. If Catalan president José Montilla would bring forward the date of the Catalan parliamentary elections, who are in principle planned for the autumn of 2010, Laporta could be forced to call the presidential elections earlier to allow him to fully focus on a possible political career afterwards.

The second factor could be the poll results, both those regarding Laporta's political future as those regarding the continuity candidate's chances in the elections for president of FC Barcelona. Depending on these results, Laporta could decide to call the elections earlier or later.

All non-board candidates would meanwhile prefer to have elections as soon as possible. Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu claims that Barcelona assets vice-presidents Jaume Ferrer thinks the elections should be organized in March or April, while first vice-president Alfons Godall prefers to hold elections at the end of the season.

Read more:
When will the elections be held?
Pre-candidates need to collect signatures
Who is eligible as president?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Will Llaurado run for the fourth time?

One of the people rumoured to be a possible candidate in next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona is Jaume Llauradó, a 65-year old Catalan businessman who has already been involved in several presidential elections.

Llauradó was a pre-candidate in the elections of 1997 and 2000, when he ended up joining the candidacy of the later president Joan Gaspart, in whose board Llauradó was a vice-president from 2000 until he resigned after one year because he didn't agree with the way the club was governed.

In 2003, he was a presidential candidate but finished 6th and last in the elections won by Joan Laporta. He obtained 987 votes (1,91%), which was considerably lower than the number of signatures he had been able to collect (read more here). Llauradó is also the president of FC Barcelona think tank Fòrum Samitier.

Catalan sports paper Sport claimed in September that Llauradó was seriously considering to run again for president, while Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claimed around the same time that he seemed ready to give it another try on his own.

Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu meanwhile claims that Llauradó, who could have been one of the people former players' agent and former presidential candidate Josep Maria Minguella has been holding talks with to try to form a candidacy (read more here), might soon announce that he wants to run, mainly to avoid a win of someone who has been part of the team of Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Llauradó would be willing to take part if Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín would be a candidate, with Llauradó being rumoured to have said: "If he will run, I will run too, so I'll have the chance to say everything I want to say."

Llauradó may also be part of or support another candidacy that would in no case be the one supported by current president Laporta, because the former vice-president reportedly doesn't agree with the way Laporta would have introduced politics into the club.

Several people involved in the election campaign that were contacted by this blog said that they are unaware of a possible candidacy of Llauradó.

Read more:
Will former super-agent run for president?
Bassat will not run a third time
Former candidate Angel Fernandez will not run

Godall: "I hope Begiristain will continue"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

If the general director is worth 900.000 euros, how much is Pep worth then?
None of us could expect the results Pep Guardiola has given us. Pep deserves the best, because we are talking about the best coach around. Pep is satisfied with his salary and his professional situation, and we take care of him always being satisfied with his working conditions, from all points of view.

Can you guarantee that Pep will continue?
I believe that Pep Guardiola will always need to feel supported by people who have confidence in the model. It wouldn't be a good thing if someone would want to use him for electoral purposes. Pep feels comfortable with a board that supports him, believes in him and doesn't get nervous when the bad results come, which will happen sooner or later.

Txiki will also continue if you would be elected president?
Txiki has done a job we value highly. He has been discussed a lot by people acting in a self-interested way and with some bad faith. The important thing is to have a sports director who can give continuity and a medium-term perspective to the current way of working. Txiki has done a good job. Will he continue? That will depend on the elections. As far as I'm concerned, I hope he will.

Will you continue the collaboration with Unicef?
This is essential. We are talking about the continuity of the model of success after 2010. This model is based on the sporting and economic success. We avoided a bloodbath in 2003, there was a zero deficit in the first year, and in the next six years we have accumulated over 100 million euros of profits.

From the social point of view, apart from having more fans' clubs and club members than ever, the distinguishing fact has been that Barça changed from being more than a club to being more than a club in the world. We want to continue the strategic alliance with Unicef because it has given a major emotional and economic value to the Barça brand.

Does the Barça board looks down on Espanyol?
We have always been very respectful. Barça, as a club, respects and even sympathizes with Espanyol. We are two century-old clubs that have turned our rivalry in something special and even affectionate. We have open arms towards the board of Espanyol. I'm serious, we would be delighted to resume normal relationships. Part of the responsibility of leaders is to give a good example, and I think we are not doing that in this case.

Do you think you are capable and prepared to become the president of Barça?
I think my experience is important. I've been here since the first moment until the last, in good times and bad times, so I know the club very well. Said that, I do hope that Barça continues this successful model and soon it will be the right moment to make a decision.

this is the third and last part of this interview.

Read the previous parts of this interview:
Godall: "Laporta and I were a tandem"
Godall: "I have also been spied upon"

interview: m.d. garcía and dagoberto escorcia

The Pundit: Fabian Ortiz on Sandro Rosell

One can understand the strategy of Rosell, who sees silence as an ally, because he doesn't have the gift of speech, and even less when it comes down to speaking in public.

Fabián Ortiz,
Don Balón

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ferrer confirms that he will run for president

Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer has earlier today announced in an interview with Cataluna radio station Catalunya Ràdio that he will be a candidate in next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona: "Yes, I will run for president. I have the will and the desire to form a candidacy and to win the elections".

Ferrer, who admitted that he was close to resigning when he found out he had been spied upon by the club earlier this year (read more here), said that he hadn't been able to find an agreement with Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall to present one unique board candidacy.

The 46-year old Catalan businessman, who is part of the board of directors since current Barcelona president Joan Laporta took office in 2003, confirmed that he has the support of five current board members: institutional vice-president Albert Perrín and directors Alfons Castro, Jacint Borràs, Josep Anton Colomer and Jordi Torrent.

After the radio interview, Ferrer confirmed to Spanish news agency EFE that his decision was final and that there was no way back. The news agency claims that Ferrer could launch his project as early as next Monday, which could lead to a new crisis in the board of directors and another reshuffle of powers by Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

The main reasons why Ferrer and Godall weren't able to find a deal would have been the fact that Ferrer didn't want Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín and Barcelona chief executive Joan Oliver to continue at the club and that Godall didn't accept to include some of the board members loyal to Ferrer in his candidacy and to appoint Ferrer as first vice-president.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo had claimed earlier this Wednesday that Ferrer had yesterday confirmed during a series of meetings with his closest collaborators that he would be a candidate and that he would soon make the news public.

Ferrer was said to already be preparing the official presentation of his candidacy in the first weeks of January. The vice-president reportedly wants to keep the same club model but introduce another style of governing, closer to the club members and avoiding that the club gets involved in controversies.

Read more:
Jaume Ferrer will run for president
Godall to announce candidacy in two weeks
Vice-president Perrin confirms candidacy Ferrer

Guixa: "The most powerful candidacy is ours"

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

You are president of a penya, a Barcelona fans' club. Do you think you could have the support of a large part of the fans' clubs?
I would be the first president of a fans' club to preside over the club and that is a very exciting thought. The laportism has been distancing themselves from the penyes. There have been four different vice-presidents in charge of the social area and with none of them there has been an improvement. The fans' clubs, which are the backbone of the club around the country, are discouraged and absent.

The fact that Jaume Sobrequés [former vice-president between 1993 and 2000, read more here] is part of your candidacy could lead to think you will try to collect the votes of the supporters of former president Núñez.
I won't hide myself. For me, the reign of Núñez has brought the club very good things. He had a vision for the future on issues like the acquisition of the land, for example that of the current training centre, or the start of the youth academy... Jaume Sobrequés represents the freedom of thought. He always says what he thinks and that is his main quality. He's not just part of my candidacy to be on the list, but to work.

In 2006, you were also supported by Jordi Majó [candidate in the 2003 elections, when he finished third behind joan laporta and lluís bassat].
Yes, I contacted him to ask his advice on some issues regarding the electoral process. And although he did not want to support anyone, he saw we were acting in a serious and professional way and he gave us his support. The truth is that I have not talked with him recently, but the doors are open for everyone.

Back then, some also accused you of having the secret support of Sandro Rosell.
I have always denied that. We only wanted that there was an alternative in those elections. We had been working in the shadow for a long time, not because I was the straw man of anyone, but because we wanted to put together a serious project.

People think that the electoral battle between some candidates will be very tough, maybe even dirty. Does that concern you?
Since I wasn't part of the internal struggles over the recent years, this doesn't worry me at all. It is true that fifteen directors have resigned from Laporta's board and that some of those might take part in the elections, but we'll see what happens. We just want to present our project and some serious people.

Do you rule out any deal with other candidates?
I leave the door open to all club members who have motivation, time and resources to add to our candidacy. Barcelona people can join us.

But would you close an agreement with another, more powerful candidate?
At this moment, the most powerful candidacy is ours, really. We believe we can make it to the final vote.

And can you guarantee that you will be able to deposit the necessary bank guarantees?
Of course. Otherwise I would not have started this. I do believe, however, that this point of the statutes should be amended. There are fans with good ideas that might not have enough financial means to get involved. It is an unfair restriction.

this is the second and last part of this interview.

Read the first part of this interview:
Guixa: "The club is almost bankrupt"

Weekly Round-Up (4)

Every week an overview of the posts from this blog is published on Barcelona news site totalBarca.

Few minutes after Barcelona won the sixth trophy of the year and became the best club team in the history of football, Barcelona president Joan Laporta declared the election campaign opened: "It's true that we have always said that after Abu Dhabi it would be a good moment to start talking about club projects. Who wants to make a step forward, can speak out when he thinks the time is right."

The day before, there had nevertheless been a false start when a report came out claiming that Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer will certainly be a candidate in next year's elections and that he has the support of several board members, one of them being institutional vice-president Albert Perrín, who confirmed the news: "I have nothing to rectify about what has been published."

>>> read the complete weekly round-up here

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

You can find us on Facebook

we have created a page on facebook, which could help some of you to follow the election news that is published on this blog in an easier way:

FC Barcelona 2010

you can also follow this blog on twitter:

see you there!

Ex-coach Rexach considers running for president

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that former Barcelona player and manager Carles "Charly" Rexach is considering to take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona next year.

Rexach would recently have assisted a meeting organized by a group of Barcelona club members and important Catalan business people during which the latter tried to convince Rexach to run for president.

The 62-year old Catalan, who has mainly be working as a football pundit since he left the club in 2003, would be open for the idea but has reportedly asked for some more days to think about the proposal, to see how solid the project could be and to discuss things with his family and friends.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the group of club members has already been meeting several times and that they want to propose a 'third way', besides the continuity candidate and Sandro Rosell.

The people behind the project would have clear ideas about the club model they want to propose and have the financial means needed. Rexach should head the candidacy but would nevertheless be hesitating to accept the offer.

Read more:
Could Guardiola be a future president?
Bassat will not run a third time
Will former super-agent run for president?

Godall to announce candidacy in two weeks

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall will announce in the coming weeks that he will be a candidate in the elections for president of FC Barcelona.

Godall would make his candidacy public during the second week of January, after he will have held a meeting with Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer trying to include Ferrer and the board members that are supporting him in one unique board candidacy (read more

Read more:
Godall: "Being president would be a dream"
Ferrer still hoping for one board candidacy
Godall: "Laporta and I were a tandem"

The Quote: Joan Laporta

"I will have been the president during the best period in the history of the club but I have always said that the best president of Barça was Joan Gamper, not Joan Laporta."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta

read more election quotes here

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ferrer still hoping for one board candidacy

Asked about the report that he has decided to run for president next year (read more here), Barcelona assets vice-presidents Jaume Ferrer has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper Sport that he still hopes the board can put forward one consensus candidate:

"The best thing for everyone would be to have one unique continuity candidacy. That's why I have planned to sit down and talk with Alfons Godall in the next few days. That way everything can be cleared up so we could fight for the same goal."

Read more:
Jaume Ferrer will run for president
Godall: "Laporta and I were a tandem"
Vice-president Perrin confirms candidacy Ferrer

Transfer battle between board and Rosell

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that there's a transfer battle going on between the Barcelona board and the candidacy of former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell ahead of next year's presidential elections.

Rosell, who left the board in June of 2005 and will run for president, would already be holding for a while talks with players' agents in order to build a new football project that would continue the current successes.

The Catalan businessman would like to strengthen and renew the Barcelona squad by signing four players: Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribéry (26), Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fàbregas (22), AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato (20) and Valencia left winger David Silva (23) or his team-mate Juan Mata (21).

Over the past months, the current board, inspired by election polls indicating a clear lead for Rosell (check the polls
here), would nevertheless also have contacted several of those players trying to sign some of them before the elections to gain more votes.

Read more:
Cesc gives his ok to presidential candidates
The Rosell Project - Part 2: The Team
Benedito denies talks with Mascherano

Poll result: Is the board doing a good job?

Do you approve or disapprove the management of the current board of directors?

Approve 65,3 %
Disapprove 28,9 %
Don't know/Don't answer 5,9 %

total votes: 800
date poll: 29 november 2009
poll method: interviews with club members who have the right to vote by polling agency Gesop in the surroundings of the Camp Nou around the time of the league game against Real Madrid, 95% certainty, 3,5% margin of error
source: el periódico

check more election poll results here

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Most read this week

Laporta opens election campaign

Speaking to journalists shortly after Barcelona won the World Cup for Clubs in Abu Dhabi, Barcelona president Joan Laporta declared opened the campaign ahead of the elections for president of FC Barcelona next year:

"It's true that we have always said that after Abu Dhabi it would be a good moment to start talking about club projects. Who wants to make a step forward, can speak out when he thinks the time is right. I, as the current president, now want to celebrate this trophy, emphasize the record number of trophies we won and act according to my insitutional position.

This is the right time for a debate about models. I think the current club model cannot be questioned and I will defend it. I'm anyhow convinced that the debate will be constructive and I would ask everyone to act in a responsible way because the team is in the middle of the season and will be competing for all trophies."

Read more:
Godall: "Laporta and I were a tandem"
Laporta: "Whoever comes after will find a better club"
Laporta would have liked to run again

Vice-president Perrin confirms candidacy Ferrer

Asked about the recent report that Barcelona vice-president Jaume Ferrer will run for president in next year's elections (read more here), Barcelona institutional vice-president Albert Perrín has suggested in an interview with Catalan radio stations RAC 1 and Catalunya Ràdio that the information that was published is correct:

"The report was published by a paper that is serious enough to give the news credibility. I didn't talk with Jaume since the publication but I know he wants to head a candidacy. I'm supporting him but I think that within the board there are several people who are capable of continuing this project that started in 2003. But it's a fact that I think that Jaume would be a good candidate.

I think that when we return from Abu Dhabi, the board will have some days to sit down and talk, which was what the president wanted. Now this news has come out. I don't think that's something bad, it puts things in their place. What I nevertheless still would want is to make one united board candidacy."

Speaking to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo, that brought the news earlier this week (read more here), Perrín was more clear and explicitly confirmed that Ferrer would run: "You are well-informed. I have nothing to rectify about what has been published. So yes, it's correct that I will be part of a candidacy that will be lead by Jaume Ferrer.

We hope to be able to formally present our candidacy after the World Cup for Clubs and before Epiphany [6 January], but it will be up to Jaume to officially decide that. I didn't yet talk with him since the report came out and it wouldn't be elegant from my part to already say things that should be announced by him.

I can only confirm that I will join him, that the names that have been mentioned by 'El Mundo Deportivo' are 100 percent correct and that we're open to other incorporations. Our candidacy is not yet finalized, far from it. It's open to all Barcelona people within or outside the board who want to join in, who want to be part of our ideas and philosophy."

El Mundo Deportivo claims that it seems as if Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall and Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín won't be part of the list of Ferrer and that former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano wouldn't join in either because he reportedly has other plans.

Read more:
Jaume Ferrer will run for president
Talks on board candidate to start in December
Barcagate (8) - The Ferrer report

picture: albert perrín (left) and jaume ferrer (right)