Saturday, January 2, 2010

Benedito: "Rosell has a different model"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Catalan newspaper Avui.

As things stand now, with a lot of media attention for Rosell on the one side and the board candidate or candidates on the other, do you think it's possible to pass the signatures' cut?
Our strength doesn't come from the media, it comes from the support of the people. There are a lot of people that support us and I am absolutely sure that we will pass the cut. And by far.

Do you consider closing a deal with others?
No. The reasons that have led us to present a candidacy are the same reasons that make an alliance unworkable. For 100%.

What distinguishes you from the continuity candidates Godall and Ferrer, and from Sandro Rosell?
As for the continuity candidates, who are the ones I perhaps know best, they have had the opportunity to make the changes we wanted in 2003. But there has been a moment when they've stopped making progress. They had the chance, but they decided not to do it. As for Rosell, I think we are talking about different models, although until now we of course don't know what his program will be.

Some accuse you of acting out of resentment for not having become a director.
There have been several occasions for me to become a member of the board. We had spoken about it with some directors, but the president has never offered it to me. I've already clearly explained the reasons for my exit. And there's nothing more to it.

Despite the fact that you've also criticised him, do you think that people have been unjust to Laporta?
He might not be the best president in the history of Barça, but he is the president of the best Barça in history. And so that's also his merit. He had a very good presidency.

Do you agree with those who accuse him of politicizing Barça?
Over the last time, Laporta has made political use of his position. I think he made a mistake. From within the club one should not do policitics. And even less for personal reasons. On the other hand, defending the club's Catalan identity is a moral obligation because it's part of the club's essence.

Are you a supporter of independence?
My team consists of people with very different sensibilities, from a political point of view I would even say opposites. And that makes us strong. My own position has little relevance. I think the future of Catalonia will only be decided upon by the Catalans. Catalonia is formed by all of us and everyone is welcome.

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

Read more:
More about Benedito
Presidential candidates unhappy with renewals
Barça, a 'wonderful rarity' (by Agustí Benedito)

interview: pep lloveras

Presidential candidates know transfer price Cesc

Madrid sports paper Marca claims that Arsenal has put a price tag of 45 million euros on midfielder Cesc Fàbregas (22) after the player told Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger that he wants to leave the English Premier League club at the end of the current season.

Several Barcelona presidential candidates would want to sign Cesc, while Real Madrid is said to be willing to pay the asking price. Arsenal reportedly thinks that the sale of Cesc is a way to improve the financial situation of the club that is still weak after the construction of the new Emirates stadium.

Read more:
Transfer battle between board and Rosell
Benedito denies talks with Mascherano
Rosell closing in on Cesc

Rexach confirms offer to run for president

Asked about the rumours that he could run for president (read more here), former Barcelona player and manager Carles "Charly" Rexach has confirmed in an interview with Catalan television channel Barcelona TV that he has been offered to lead a candidacy:

"It's correct that people have asked me to take part in the elections but I don't want to say anything more about it. What was my answer to the offer? I won't comment on that."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that those who want Rexach to run for president are old-school Barcelona fans but that the former player and coach would at this point not be very convinced about accepting the offer.

Read more:
Ex-coach Rexach considers running for president
Will former super-agent run for president?
Former president of Catalan federation could run

The Pundit: Joan Maria Battle on the continuism

« If the continuism wants to win the elections, they have no other choice than to reconcile their egos. »

Joan Maria Battle,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Godall: "Laporta is like a brother to me"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan sports paper Sport.

How do you feel about being called the heir? Do you like the word?
It's not like that. Barça is a democratic institution and the president will be he who wins the trust of the club members. This is not a matter of a dynasty but about an exercise of democracy and the club member will decide who wins. In any case, the standard is very high.

And how will you take on this challenge?
You said it, it's a challenge. It's the responsibility of the board to have the resources to make it possible that the teams can count on quality people. The choice for Txiki [and] Guardiola [...] has put us in a situation of success. We have to try to do even better or to always win all titles.

Would you add new elements compared to Laporta?
These elections are a great opportunity to add some new fire to the project. There are people who will continue but there will be others who want to join in or who have been at the club. This project of experience must raise expectations because the course of the continuation of the project can give us many more moments of joy.

A deal with Soriano is possible?
Together with him, we did a good job. We have met and talked about Barça but it wasn't about bringing our positions closer. These elections should be an opportunity to overcome disagreements or clashes of personalities and we should make these elections a chance to restore the harmony among Barcelona people. It is possible that one day I will again talk with Ferran and his people.

What worries you about Rosell?
His project includes a model that is different than the current model. It will be a project based on personality cult while I prefer to talk about a team. I remember very well how in november 2003 he wanted to dismiss Rijkaard, who later gave us two league titles and the Champions League. With him, it will be more difficult to talk about the future or collaboration because his idea of Barça is different from mine. Furthermore, it wouldn't be good for Barça to change what is working by proposals that come from resentment.

Will it be a tense campaign?
Because of our personal profiles, we don't want a dirty, tense campaign. These are exciting elections in which the Barça model that has worked is at stake.

Are you personally prepared to deal with an increased popularity?
Catalunya lives at the rhythm of Barça and that implies a responsibility. When you go abroad, you see the passion that the team awakens and when you see the children you know that it is worthwhile for Barça and for Catalonia.

Do you think about counting on Laporta in one way or another?
He cannot run for president or be part of the next board. He is a respected figure in the world of international sports bodies. He's a reference as president and if one day Barça could have a delegate at the international sports bodies, as we once had Vilaseca [josep lluís vilaseca is a former barcelona director and member of the uefa and the spanish olympic committee], there wouldn't be a better option than Laporta.

Would you continue with this concept of a catalanist club as Laporta did?
Barça is a symbol of the Catalan society since its foundation. We practice a catalanism without complexes.

What do you think about the job of Txiki? Will he continue?
He has been unjustly criticized but within the club we appreciate his efforts to give continuity to our sports policy. To keep him and Pep is the best option to continue this way of working.

Could Laporta take a step back so you can assume a more prominent role?
He has the right to lead the club until 30 June 2010. I hope the transfer of power will happen then. When we will make our project public, we will work to let people know about it. Laporta must continue to govern and as president he should make sure that the elections are peaceful, neutral and exemplary. This is his intention. It's what he has to do because he deserves to finish his term in a normal way and history will judge him as the president of the best Barça in history.

What does he tell you? That you can do better than him?
He has many virtues and, like all of us, some shortcomings. He's all heart and he has lead the club into modernity. I hope for the advice and the love of the friend who I got to know in 1968 when we met at the elementary school in Barcelona. Since then, we've loved each other as brothers.

Can this friendship harm you? Do you mind that people say that Laporta will continue to be in charge?
You will see in the campaign that this won't be the case. I have my own strong personality, very different from that of Laporta. I'm calmer and more quiet.

Do you think it will be an election of two candidates, Rosell and you?
It's hard to tell. There are some questions left that should get an answer. We see ourselves as favourites no matter the circumstances. The club members will look at the situation the club is living now, and not only regarding the football team but also in basketball, handball or futsal.

In the assets department there seem to be the most loose ends. What are your plans there?
A new state-of-the-art Palau [home to the basketball, handball, roller hockey, and futsal sections] and the serious remodeling of the Camp Nou according to the Foster design. This depends on what will happen with the reclassification of Miniestadi zone. I must express a complaint here because it's a process in which we have experienced too many obstacles and conditions that go beyond what they would ask from others. There will any way be a reclassification. We will also finish the training centre in Sant Joan Despi, among other things. There are many projects ongoing.

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

Read more:
Godall and Ferrer to meet next week
Perrin: "Ferrer could accept being the second man"
The five vice-presidents of Godall

interview: joan vehils and albert masnou

Most read of the year

Perrin: "Txiki will take a sabbatical year"

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

You have been working for many years in the entourage of the club. First as member of the opposition and now as vice president. What does this last year mean for you?
It is the climax of the work done over many years to change the dynamics of the club. I was a staunch opponent at the time of mister Nuñez [president from 1978 to 2000], whom I respect. I think he did many good things for the club and if he would have left after Wembley [the first european cup won by barcelona in 1992], he would have been a great president. To have been able to be part of this explosion of the squad and to win all these titles has been a great satisfaction.

At that time, when you were in the opposition, would you have thought that you would live all this?
Not in my wildest dreams.

What do the tears of Pep Guardiola in Abu Dhabi represent?
These are the same tears that ran down my face, that of the president, of everyone. We all had to deal with very strong pressure and that's why the tears came. For us, the World Cup for Clubs was very important, it was the only trophy we didn't have. And it also represented winning six titles.

And you finished the year in Zurich attending the gala that crowned Messi as the best footballer in the world?
The gala evening in Zurich was very important for our football academy and for the country because Barça showed that our sporting model works. It's a reward for the whole academy. Three boys formed at the club since childhood are among the top five players in the world and one of them, Messi, is the best.

It is a recognition for all those people who never appear in the papers and who are doing the groundwork. These three boys have gotten there because so many people have given their very best. It was the cherry on the cake.

The big merit of this board is to have started two winning cycles in a row?
I have a special admiration for our sports director. In 2003, I said that the best signing Laporta had done was that of Txiki. It is an honest person, hard-working, who knows the market and the philosophy of the club. These two cycles have followed each other thanks to him.

You've said that you think he'll leave the club.
He has been very badly treated all those years. People said that Barça should sign Monchi [the sports director of sevilla]. He had to deal with a lot and I think that independent of who wins the elections, he will take a sabbatical year.

What was the most special moment of this year?
It's very difficult to choose one moment, because each trophy has been special. There is nevertheless one that, when you now look back, has been very important: the penalty saved by Pinto in Mallorca. Without that save, we wouldn't have lived all this.

How do you see the future of Guardiola?
He has a personality that is so strong, he is so intelligent, that he will be here as long as he wants. The successes are due to his intelligence and because he's a man of the club. He didn't have to follow any course to get to know the club...

It's obvious that we would like him to renew, but he will do that when he wants it. And we can be sure he will not move to Madrid. He doesn't move because of money. He must feel comfortable in his work, and here he is.

Do you see him as the Alex Ferguson of the club?

I think so, but he has his own personality and he will be who he wants to be.

this is the third and last part of this interview.

You can read the previous parts of the interview here:
Perrin: "Ferrer could accept being the second man"
Perrin: "Laporta deserves a statue"

interview: ferran correas and dani colmena

Poll result: Who should be the next president?

Who would you like to be the next president of Barça?

Sandro Rosell 59%
Jaume Ferrer 12%
Alfons Godall 10%
Others 19%

total votes: 1056
start date poll: 23 december 2009
poll method: internet, free participation
source: la vanguardia

check more election poll results here

Cartoon 21: Laporta has a plan B

If Ferrer and Godall cannot come to an agreement, I will ask you to lead the continuity candidacy.

We're not that bad, man!

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by kap

el mundo deportivo

check more election cartoons here

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Benedito: "The outcome is very unpredictable"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Catalan newspaper Avui.

Why did you distance yourself from Laporta after having supported him since 1997?
I've worked together with Laporta for many years. We spent a lot of hours together and we had a project we firmly believed in.

I've distanced myself from him because I believe that at a certain moment along the way, president Laporta has moved away from our model. Basic principles of 2003, elements of transparency, honesty, giving a much greater participation to the club members and other things, had been lost. In addition, one concrete thing happened, last February.

The Uzbekistan case.
His personal intervention in an attempt to sell Mallorca, with a commission of 4.2 million euros and the involvement of people who had business relations with the club, represents to me a clear breach of the minimum ethical standards the president of Barça should have. As far as honesty and ethics in management is concerned, Laporta hasn't done well. There can't be any doubt about that.

Who are you and what are you proposing?
We are a group of Barcelona fans with different backgrounds, committed to Barça and the country, with renowned professional and social careers. And when the time is there, we will talk about what we have to offer, but what I do believe is that we will present the best program of all, which will be the result of the experience and the input of many people.

Can you tell us about the basic principles?
Our analysis is that what makes us different in the world is that the club members are the owners of the club. That leads to a clear way of managing. It is necessary to promote these values and to make sure that the club member of Barça again feels he's the owner of the club. Unfortunately, during the presidencies preceding Laporta and the latter period of Laporta this way of thinking has not been followed.

Make that a little more concrete.
The promotion of the participation of the member in the management of the club. Participation in representative organs such as the assembly of delegates, the continued consultation, the feeling, the intentions, the habit, listening to the member, all that didn't happen. We also said in 2003, maybe it even was what we repeated most, that we wouldn't sell a square inch of land. They have also ignored that.

The danger for you is the polarization between continuity candidates and Rosell.
Around 100.000 club members are a member for less than five years. The participation is difficult to predict, but it will surely surpass that of 2003. You may think that more than 30.000 members will vote for the first time.

I know there is a movement ongoing, especially in the media, to reduce the debate to 'laportism' and 'sandrism', like we before had 'cruyffism' and 'nuñism'. We already left that behind in 2003, and we'll do that again this year. So I think there is plenty of room, none of the candidates can be sure of anything and the outcome is very unpredictable.

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

Read more:
More about Benedito
Presidential candidates unhappy with renewals
Barça, a 'wonderful rarity' (by Agustí Benedito)

interview: pep lloveras

Ferrer: "One board candidacy will be difficult"

Asked if one single board candidacy is still possible, Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer has said in an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero that this won't be easy:

"It will be difficult to form one candidacy with Godall. The problem isn't who should lead the candidacy, it's about private issues, so I think it is difficult. Laporta supports Godall, who is his friend since childhood and I think he is entitled to have a preference for someone. I'm sure he'll behave in a correct way towards all candidates during the campaign.

Over the last seven years, some things have been done very well and other things not that well. We've developed a success model and I think that I'm capable of keeping that going and renew it. I offer an exciting project with a different style than the current one. FC Barcelona should be an inclusive club, where the supporters and members should feel comfortable, in the social area we can improve a lot.

My way of acting is different than that of Laporta, it's about being more discreet and appearing less in the media. The president of Barça should not use the club as a political tool, but we on the other hand also shouldn't forget that since its foundation the club has always identified itself with the Catalan society."

A few hours before, Ferrer had pronounced similar statements in an interview with Catalan radio station COM Ràdio saying that he already has his own project in place:

"We will be able to discuss this in a more calm way, but our candidacy will be a renewal one, based on our experience within the club over these last years, both in the sports area as in the economic area. I'm at the club since 2003, and I have gained experience in many departments. So I know the club very well.

Alfons Godall? He is a good board colleague but I think it's complicated we would find a deal to have one single candidacy. I just hope and believe that the team will stay out of the electoral campaign. That will be a challenge the candidates have. As far as our candidacy is concerned, we will do everything possible for things to happen in that way."

Read more:
Ferrer confirms that he will run for president
Poll result: Who should be the board candidate?
Perrin: "Ferrer could accept being the second man"

Iniesta and Xavi on the elections

Barcelona players Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández talked about next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona during interviews with the two main Catalan sports papers, respectively Sport and El Mundo Deportivo.

"Am I worried about the elections? The ideal thing would be that they wouldn't have an influence and that the electoral process would be as calm as possible."

"The elections won't affect us. We have to do our thing. We don't care about the transfer talk either. We're used to it. A few days ago, when we were in Abu Dhabi, people talked about Robinho but we won the Club's World Cup. Besides, if it's not yet known if Pep will continue or not, no candidate will be able to use that because the transfers depend on Guardiola."

Read more:
Transfer battle between board and Rosell
Puyol: "Players will stay out of the elections"
Benedito denies talks with Mascherano

The Pundit: Pep Lloveras on media support Rosell

« Rosell is the candidate with the most media support, including that of the core of the nuñism [supporters of former president josep lluís núñez], that backs him because they are opposed to Laporta and not because of the content of his project. »

Pep Lloveras,

First female president for Barcelona?

Asked if he will be the board candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that Barcelona director Magda Oranich could also be an option:

"I think that for example Magda Oranich would also be an excellent candidate. For many reasons. Because of her qualities, her personality, her ideas. And yes, also because she's a woman and it would be good that this club would have a female president one day. That would only be right, also taking into account that 25 per cent of the club members are female."

Magda Oranich (64) joined Barcelona's board of directors in April of this year (read more here). After the last board reshuffle in November, she became the board member responsible for the club's foundation. Oranich had before been the members' ombudswoman of FC Barcelona from July 2008 until she was appointed as director.

Read more:

First female vice-president for Barcelona?
Boix: "Many directors qualified to be president"
The five vice-presidents of Godall

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Godall: "The decision has been made"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan sports paper Sport.

The decision [to run for president] has been made?
It's clear to us that Barça's success model must be further developed. There's a large group of people in the board - Boix, Oranich, Yuste, Cubells, Sala i Martín, Font, Castro, etcetera - who think that it's worthwhile to continue with this model that led us to the top and that has still a long road ahead. We have spoken with those people and with Jaume Ferrer trying to keep this going.

Ferrer told Sport that the best thing would be a single candidacy. What is your position?
He will find open arms if he wants to join the group. I want to clarify two things. It is essential that the candidate is surrounded by people he fully trusts. I have seen situations Laporta had to go through with colleagues and we will try to avoid those.

I will talk to Ferrer without allowing that any group of people imposes conditions that would limit the willingness to be able to count on reliable people. I hope he will talk to the small group he represents so they speak in a clear and honest way. If that happens, we could understand each other.

In other words, you are willing but only if there are no conditions...
If I would be the leader of that candidacy, which will be decided soon, the leader must have the freedom of movement to carry out his duties.

So it's clear that you will be the candidate.
I'm considering it for a long time now and I look forward to it. I'm the number two now. The decision has been made. It will in any case be announced in, at the most, a few weeks.

What would you change about the current model of Barça?
Our experience is a crucial asset, something that will be very useful. The current sports model should be protected as much as possible. Guardiola has been able to interpret the model to the maximum, with a clear way of playing - to win by playing good - with Cruyff as inspirer, Txiki has been a stable factor. Everyone in his own way has helped to develop this style.

Are there more things that should be continued?
The youth academy is the key for the future, a guarantee that we will play with a certain style, that the Barça way exists and that the model leads to concrete results with players of top quality. This makes us unique in the world. Our teams play from memory, based on a clear football culture. This allows us to recruit top players from the academy without having to buy them elsewhere.

The sporting model is fundamental and should not be put in danger. I hope that no one comes in and changes what is working or the working conditions of the coaching staff. I would not want either that people use the names of Guardiola or the players for electoral purposes. And we are in the best conditions to support the continuity of this model.

And apart from the sporting aspect?
We arrived at Barça when the club was losing money, we've stopped the losses and we even have accumulated profits worth 100 million euros. At the social level, there are more fans' clubs and club members than ever and we have become worldwide more than a club thanks to this partnership with UNICEF, that I want to continue.

What can you bring to the club that is different from Laporta?
Experience, as I said before, and a different style. Different people mean different styles. My project based on experience and continuity is also a project of change because the new president will automatically bring the seeds of change to the club.

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

Read more:
Godall and Ferrer to meet next week
Perrin: "Ferrer could accept being the second man"
The five vice-presidents of Godall

interview: joan vehils and albert masnou

Minguella still didn't decide on candidacy

Asked if he will again take part in the presidential elections next year (read more here), former players' agent Josep Maria Minguella has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu that he didn't yet make a decision:

"I've always lived everything that relates to Barça in a very intense way, and especially the elections. I won't deny that I would like to run, but one should take into account many circumstances.

On the one hand, I am very aware that I'm now seven years older than when I ran last time. When the elections will be held, I will almost be seventy years old, and although I'm in great shape and still very active, I need to start to value a number of things.

What I nevertheless think is that we need to improve the electoral spectrum. There must be a candidacy that has nothing to do with Laporta. This campaign can't just be about laportism and anti-laportism. Therefore, I want to keep on waiting and see how everything evolves."

Minguella, who now mainly acts as a Barcelona pundit for a number of radio and television shows, took part in the 2003 elections, when he ended fifth (out of six contenders) with 1.867 votes (3,62%). The Catalan supported last year's vote of no confidence against the board.

Read more:
Will former super-agent run for president?
Cartoon 17: Minguella offering himself
Minguella hoping for non-Laporta linked candidate

Elections will be held in April or May

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the Barcelona board is considering two options regarding the date of the upcoming elections and that the elections will probably be held in April or May of next year.

Some board members would prefer the weekend of 3-4 April, others the weekend of 15-16 May when the last league game will be played against Valladolid. Barcelona president Joan Laporta is expected to make a decision on the election date in the coming two weeks.

All presidential candidates reportedly told the paper that they are ready to start campaigning independent of the date on which the elections will be held.

Catalan sports paper
El Mundo Deportivo claims that the initial idea of the board was to hold the elections at the end of the season but that this is now being reconsidered, among other things because of the results of a series of telephone interviews with club members over the last months (read more here).

Read more:
When will the elections be held?
Who can vote in the elections?
Elections possibly in March or April

The Pundit: Oriol Domenech on the next president

« From a club that gave the presidency to Joan Gaspart one can expect everything. »

Oriol Domènech,
El Mundo Deportivo

Weekly Round-Up (5): A Xavi New Year

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

First: we're on Facebook. Second: the struggle to become the continuity candidate really broke loose last Wednesday when assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer surprisingly declared on a radio show that he will be a presidential candidate: "Yes, I will run for president. I have the will and the desire to form a candidacy and to win the elections."

The vice-president, who would have the support of five other board members, reportedly wants to keep the same club model but introduce another style of governing and said he hadn't been able to find a deal with first vice-president Alfons Godall to present one unique board candidacy.

>>> read the complete weekly round-up here

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Presidential candidates unhappy with renewals

Madrid sports paper As claims that presidential candidates Sandro Rosell, Agustí Benedito and Jaume Guixà are unhappy with the renewal policy of the current board of Barcelona president Joan Laporta over the last year.

The non-board candidates would agree that it would have been better to postpone the renewals and to give the new board more freedom in the composition of the squad, even more so because there weren't important offers for any of the renewed players, none of them had the wish to leave the club and key players like Iniesta and Messi already had long-term contracts.

The candidates reportedly think Laporta has been renewing the contracts of a lot of players to continue to be able to claim the team's successes in the future. In 2009, Barcelona has extended the contracts of players like Touré, Valdés, Pedro, Messi, Puyol, Abidal, Iniesta and Márquez.

Read more:
Benedito denies talks with Mascherano
Poll result: Who would you vote for?
The Rosell Project - Part 2: The Team

Perrin: "Laporta deserves a statue"

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

When you entered the board [november 2005], you said that you would leave together with Laporta. What made you change your mind?
If I don't remember it wrong, what I said was that depending on who would continue, I would leave with Jan. From my humble position, if Ferran Soriano would have continued and would have been the head of the continuity candidacy, I would not have continued.

I have nothing against him but there was no feeling between us. And these things come from both sides. He didn't have it with me either. So I said that because at that time Soriano was the one who could head the continuism. With Ferrer, however, I do have that feeling.

It has been said that Soriano could join one of the continuity candidacies.
I say this clearly. If Soriano joins the board candidacy from which I'm a part, I'll go home.

Two board candidacies would be very bad for the continuism?
It wouldn't be good. If we respect the project, and we believe the project is still under development, it would be good if there wouldn't be two candidacies. And it's clear that it will have to be one of those two candidacies who should continue the project. No one of those who left should claim these successes because they abandoned the ship. The six trophies have been won by this board.

You are one of the few directors of this board who have spoken well of Sandro Rosell.
If I start from the point that he's a person who likes the club, who wants the best for the club, I have to respect him. Making the decision to run for president of Barça is something very important.

What Joan Laporta has lived during these years has been very tough, starting with the Boixos [radical supporters] who threatened him and his sons, needing the protection of bodyguards, having problems at home... Being president is very hard, so the person who decides to become that deserves all the respect. And I think that Sandro would be a good president, yes.

Laporta deserves a triumphant exit.
Next to the statue of Kubala, they should make one of him. What he has done for this club is spectacular. You should look back at where we came from. From a bad economic situation, that is very good today. The social situation was disastrous, and today the club is loved around the world.

Unicef is an exclusive achievement of the president. There are some who aren't here anymore, who have wanted to claim it. But it's an exclusive achievement of our president. In the board there were people who had doubts about it, including myself. And now we have to congratulate him. At the sporting level, we've just won six trophies.

Should the president stay neutral in case there would be two board candidacies?
He should do what he thinks is right. And if I have something to tell him, I'll say it in private.

You think he'll actively take part in the campaign?
Passivity isn't one of his characteristics. I think that his participation will more or less depend on what is happening outside the club.

How is it to live these last days of the greatest year in the history of Barça?
Sometimes I feel like I'm on a cloud because I find it hard to believe that we won everything we have won. I tell my children not to forget that in 2009 Barça has won six titles because it difficultly will be repeated.

this is the second part of this interview. you can read the first part here. in the coming days you will be able to read the third and alst part of the interview with perrín talking - among other things - about the tears of guardiola and the future of begiristain.

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

Puyol: "Players will stay out of the elections"

Asked about how next year's presidential elections could affect the team, Barcelona central defender and captain Carles Puyol has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo that the players know what they can expect:

"We'll stay on the sideline and we will only be thinking about playing. We know there will be a lot of talk but we will stay out of it. It's what we have always done, focusing on the game and trying to let what is going on outside the dressingroom not affect us."

Read more:
Barcelona wants to tie down Ribery before elections
Puyol not thinking about elections
Rosell closing in on Cesc

The five vice-presidents of Godall

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall will be a candidate in the elections and offer a vice-presidency to Joan Boix (picture), Rafael Yuste, Josep Cubells, Magda Oranich and Xavier Sala i Martín.

The second paragraph of Article 30 of the statutes of FC Barcelona states that the board of the club must have at least one and a maximum of five vice-presidents.

All five mentioned above are already board members at this moment: Boix, who would also have an offer of Jaume Ferrer (read more here), is economic vice-president and responsible for the marketing and media area, Yuste is sports vice-president, Cubells is board secretary and director responsible for the basketball section, Oranich is director of the institutional area and responsible for the foundation and Sala i Martín is treasurer and director of the economic area.

Read more:
First female vice-president for Barcelona?
Boix: "Many directors qualified to be president"
Board secretary Cubells to become vice-president

Monday, December 28, 2009

Former president Nunez to run with support Cruyff

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that former Barcelona president Josep Lluís Núñez will take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona next spring.

Núñez would have been discretely preparing a candidacy and will make a public announcement during the first week of the new year. Several candidates would be considering to drop out of the race if Núñez will run again for president because of the popularity of the latter.

Former Barcelona player and manager Johan Cruyff would become sports vice-president if Núñez is elected president. Louis Van Gaal would have agreed to join as sports director and would bring Franck Ribéry with him from Bayern Munich. Guardiola could stay on as coach and former Barcelona player Jesús Angoy, the son in law of Cruyff, would act as goalkeeping coach.

Josep Lluís Núñez was the president of FC Barcelona from 1978 until 2000. The 78-year old Catalan businessman has been the longest serving president in the history of the club and the most successful president in terms of winning trophies.

Read more:
Former candidate Angel Fernandez will not run
Will Llaurado run for the fourth time?
Former director Millet considers being candidate

The Pundit: Cristina Cubero on Alfons Godall

« Godall is popular among the members of the fan clubs because of his populist behaviour. »

Cristina Cubero,
El Mundo Deportivo

Former director Millet considers being candidate

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Catalan businessman Fèlix Millet is seriously considering to take part in next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona.

Millet was earlier this year involved in the major 'Palau de la Música' fraud scandal that made him lose most of the positions he held in business and social life and he would therefore now be looking for a new challenge.

The 74-year old Catalan, who believes that he will not end up in jail, would think that although his image has been damaged, he also became more famous over the last months, which would increase his chances if he would run for president.

Fèlix Millet has been a Barcelona board member under presidents Josep Lluís Núñez (from 1993 until 2000) and Joan Gaspart (from 2001 until 2003). He was the vice-president of the foundation of FC Barcelona from 2007 until he had to resign in September of this year because of the corruption scandal.

Read more:
Former president of Catalan federation could run
Ex-coach Rexach considers running for president
Will Llaurado run for the fourth time?

Most read this week

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Former president of Catalan federation could run

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Jordi Roche could take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona next spring.

Roche is a 35-years old businessman and former president of the Catalan football federation (2005-2008) and of Spanish second division club Girona (2001-2005).

Several sources would have indicated that Roche could make his candidacy public in the coming weeks, despite Spanish news site El Confidencial claiming last year that Roche was a part of the team of former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell.

Read more:
Will former super-agent run for president?
Ex-coach Rexach considers running for president
Will Llaurado run for the fourth time?

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo

barça elections 2010


Sandro Rosell - Jaume Ferrer - Alfons Godall - Ferran Soriano

Rosell is the big alternative for the continuity candidates Ferrer and Godall, and Soriano is the unknown factor

Guardiola will not support any candidate

Laporta will continue until June although the elections will be held in March

Rosell closing in on Cesc

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fàbregas (22) is the cornerstone of the sporting project of presidential candidate Sandro Rosell and would become the first transfer of Rosell if he wins next year's elections.

When Cesc joined Arsenal in 2003, then vice-president Rosell agreed with the English Premier League an option that Barcelona could match the highest bid for the player. Arsenal, that would be asking a starting price of 40 million euros, would have accept to let the Catalan leave in the summer while Rosell has reportedly already a deal with Cesc.

Another reason for a transfer deal would be that sportswear supplier Nike prefers Cesc to join a club sponsored by them rather than for example Real Madrid, even more so after the problems that have arisen after the transfer of Nike player Cristiano Ronaldo to Madrid. Rosell from his side has in the past worked for Nike and would still have excellent relations with the company's executives.

Catalan sports paper Sport meanwhile claims that Cesc is the absolute priority of Barcelona for next season and that the negotiations will be intensified in the first months of next year, with president Laporta reportedly wanting to sign him before the elections. All presidential candidates as well as Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola would agree on the return of the Catalan midfielder.

Read more:
Cesc gives his ok to presidential candidates
Benedito denies talks with Mascherano
Transfer battle between board and Rosell

Poll result: Will the elections affect the team?

Do you think that the elections could affect the sporting results of Barça?

No 53%
Yes 47%

total votes: 2610
start date poll: 23 december 2009
poll method: internet, free participation
source: sport