Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ferrer: "The club needs a more discreet president"

Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

Will you claim the continuity character of your project, despite the fact that Laporta does not support you?
Yes, given that continuity is understood as to continue with the project of the past seven years. But I do believe that the style should be changed. I don't know if Godall will be able to do that, because he's very close to Laporta, but we are convinced that the club needs a more discreet president, who gives up centre stage to the players and the coaches. The president has to appear less in the media and be respectful of everyone. And he should avoid events that do not make the club members feel proud.

You talk about style, about attitude. Over these years, have you ever felt uncomfortable about the way the president behaved?
I think that everyone has to defend the management he wants the club to have, and that is what I have done. And when your choice is to help the club function well, you sometimes have to hold on. My priority has always been to act responsible and efficient in my area of responsibility. And to do that with discretion.

After the vote of no confidence in 2008, you decided not to resign. It certainly was because of this that Laporta was able to stay on as president.
I do not know what would have happened if I would have resigned. It is true that I had doubts, but I think that staying has been a wise decision. Leaving would have been easier. It was an exercise in responsibility.

Let's talk about the sports area. Txiki Begiristain will be part of the future Barça?
Yes. We believe in the model that includes a coach and a sports director, which is what has given us so many successes in recent years. Txiki has been crucial in building the squads of the last seasons and he is a man of dialogue who knows how to keep a good relationship with all levels of the club.

Will you be able to convince him?
I will try. A while ago, I thought it was more difficult for him to continue, while it seems easier now. I think he's more up for it.

The continuation of Guardiola is not a point of discussion...
Yes, we certainly will reach an agreement. The work he has done is spectacular and there will be no problem to renew his contract.

Let's talk about some of the issues that you have been in touch with during those seven years. What is the role of the other sports?
The sections are a very important part of the club. Barça would not be the same without some of the other sports and we must continue to strengthen them. It's hard because we compete with clubs who have all the support from their local authorities, but it should be done, because after all we all feel proud of the achievements of these teams.

You will keep on choosing for home-grown coaches?
Yes, it is something very important. They are people who know the club, who know what we need and who understand how they should manage a first team.

You also have been responsible for the marketing area. The team will continue to wear the Unicef logo on the shirt?
We are pleased with the agreement with UNICEF and with the solidary activities of the foundation. This co-operation has to continue. I'm not sure if that will include the logo on the shirt or not, because Unicef must also want that.

Now you are responsible for the real estate. What should happen with the project of Norman Foster?
First, the reclassification of the Miniestadi site should be finished and then we'll see how this has ended. After that, we must find the resources to renew the stadium. We need to revise the initial project so the Camp Nou can compete with the best football stadiums in Europe at a final cost that is of common sense.

Do you mean that it would be better to have a less monumental reform than the one proposed by Foster?
In fact, we don't have the project of Foster. There is the scale model, but we don't yet know the actual and concrete cost. We have to analyze it well, so the remodelling stays reasonable.

Have you ever considered to include any brand name in the name of the stadium as a source of income?
That is one of the options that should be studied, because if we want to compete with the big European clubs, we will have to find new revenues. But it should be in exchange for a very important sum of money. And it should be approved by the general assembly.

It's clear to you that you don't have to put down a bank guarantee?
Yes, very clear. We have looked at the issue and I'm sure the professional football league won't have any problem about us not doing it, because it's what the rules provide. We have already put down the guarantee in the past and we have now generated enough resources to not have to do it again.

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

Read more:
Ferrer: "Efficiency, discretion and renewal"
Boix will not choose between Godall and Ferrer
A first look at the project of Ferrer

interview : ferran correas and dani colmena

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