Saturday, January 9, 2010

Godall: "Soriano? An excellent director"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo. As an extra, he shortly commented on some names.

Joan Laporta
A great president.

Sandro Rosell
A possible candidate.

Xavier Sala i Martín
An excellente economist.

Jaume Ferrer
A good board colleague.

Joan Oliver
A good chief executive.

Agustí Benedito
I don't see him as a candidate.

Johan Cruyff
One of the greats in the history of Barça.

Josep Lluís Núñez
A good president.

Ferran Soriano
An excellent director.

Josep Guardiola
As a player he was very good, as a coach he's a genius.

Recovered his Barça smile.

Frank Rijkaard
The coach of the double.

Alfons Godall
An excited culé.

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

Read more:
The five vice-presidents of Godall
Poll result: Who should be the next president?
Godall: "Laporta is like a brother to me"

interview: roger torelló

Guixa gets support son "Great Captain" Segarra

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà has received the support of the family of former Barcelona player Joan Segarra (picture).

Joan Segarra, who passed away in September 2008 at the age of 81, played more than 500 official games for Barcelona between 1949 and 1965 and was the captain of the "Barça of the Five Cups", the team that won five trophies during the 1951-1952 season.

Joan Segarra, the son of the former Barcelona player, has yesterday put a supportive message on the Facebook page of Jaume Guixà that reads as follows:

"Until this moment I've never said anything about a future president of FC Barcelona, but I think that it is now time that Barça is lead by an honorable person, who shows respect for all club members, whether they come from the south or the north, as our hymm says. You have my full support and that of the family of the Great Captain, Segarra. Together we can make this dream turn into reality."

Read more:
Guixa gets support grand-daughter club founder
Son of former president denies election involvement
Guixa meets with Barcelona fans

Board still trying for united candidacy

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Barcelona chief executive Joan Oliver has said after a limited board meeting yesterday that the board is still trying to form one candidacy ahead of the upcoming presidential elections:

"The club keeps working to bring people together and to form one single continuity candidacy. That will exists and it's an issue we're working on although this wasn't the subject of this meeting.

How were things between Godall and Ferrer today? I surely didn't see any increased tension between them. It has been a normal, peaceful meeting. We did what we have to do but I didn't observe any abnormal behaviour between the vice-presidents."

Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia claims that Barcelona president Joan Laporta took the word at the start of the meeting and asked for discreteness and respect for the colleagues in public statements. Both groups would have agreed to bury the hatchet, something that is also confirmed by Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

Catalan sports paper
El Mundo Deportivo claims that Laporta also asked the two vice-presidents to make another effort to join forces, that both Godall and Ferrer would be willing to give it another try but that the differences are still there and that they seem insurmountable at this moment.

La Vanguardia reports that the entourages of Godall and Ferrer both think that too much already happened and that the situation cannot be turned back anymore. El 9 Esportiu claims that the positioning of both vice-presidents could depend on the results of polls that are at this moment being carried out by several presidential candidates.

Read more:
Ferrer still hoping for one board candidacy
Vice-president Yuste still hoping for board unity
One board candidacy suddenly seems very likely

Weekly Round-Up (6): Laporta's brother

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

As time goes by, it becomes more and more clear that one single board candidacy is at this moment very unlikely, with the two board members who want to run for president, first vice-president Alfons Godall and assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer, having stated over the past days that it probably won't happen.

Ferrer, who feels backed by a poll carried out by his team, told in radio interviews that an agreement is difficult: "Alfons Godall is a good board colleague but I think it's complicated we would find a deal to have one single candidacy. The problem isn't who should lead the candidacy, it's about private issues, so I think it is difficult."

While some think it's a clash of egos, Godall suggested in an interview (part 1 - part 2) that Ferrer is asking to have some of his supporters in a next board, as Godall also hopes to get the support of current president Laporta: "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."

>>> read the complete weekly round-up here

Friday, January 8, 2010

Team member Rosell talking about their project

Speaking to Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio, Jordi Cardoner, who will be part of the board team of presidential candidate Sandro Rosell, gave some further insights in the candidacy of the former sports vice-president:

"It's true that I'm part of the team of Sandro Rosell. We're a group of very motivated people. We're very excited, not because of the mere fact to be part of the board but because of the idea of being able to lead and manage FC Barcelona.

For now, our candidacy is respecting a timing, that will also depend on the decision of the current board regarding the date of the elections. At this moment we're already working on our pre-candicacy for several months with a large group. We're trying to understand the reality and the needs of the club members so we can translate that in our electoral program.

Everyone within the candidacy has its responsibility. We had to organize ourselves as a team and that's what we did. Every person has some concrete tasks to fulfil depending on his personal interests, skills or wishes. Basically, we're a group of friends who knew each other already before starting this project.

In my case, I'm responsible for the social area, which might be linked to my family background [cardoner is the grandson of former barcelona vice-president nicolau casaus, who was responsible for the club's social area for more than 20 years]. It's really what I'm most passionate about, to understand the club members and to satisfy their current needs based on my ideas about the club.

Regarding the social area, we're mainly focusing on making it possible that the club members, the co-owners of the club, can identify themselves even more with the club, not only during the games but also through services that can satisfy their needs.

In general, we would like bring the members closer to the club and open the club to the members, for example by providing them more information that they now don't have, for example regarding the players' contracts. Just as happens with shareholders of other companies. It's about transparency, clarity, honesty and dignity, also of those who are in charge and represent the club."

Read more:
Candidates compete for future board members
Son of former president denies election involvement
The Rosell Project - Part 3: The Board (1)

Guardiola will push candidates to sign Cesc

British tabloid The Daily Star claims that Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola is believed to want all candidates who will run for Barcelona president this year to make Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fàbregas (22) the central player in their transfer strategy and could even be linking his own renewal to the signing of the Catalan player.

A source close to Guardiola is quoted by the tabloid as saying: "There is no way that Guardiola will not sign a new contract and he can almost write out his own terms [...]. But he wants to make sure that [...] there is a commitment to Fabregas. It will be an important signing for them this summer and any new president will want to keep Guardiola happy."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo reports that it's clear to all presidential candidates that the transfer of Cesc, who is said to be together with Bayern Munich player Ribéry Barcelona's transfer priority for the summer, could be a decisive factor in the upcoming presidential elections.

Madrid sports tabloid Marca meanwhile claims that Cesc would be a key player in the project for next season of former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell. Madrid sports tabloid As claims that the relationship between Rosell and Cesc is so close that in case the player would leave Arsenal, that would only be to join Rosell's Barcelona.

Read more:
Godall: "I want Cesc to return home"
Benedito denies talks with Mascherano
Presidential candidates know transfer price Cesc

The Pundit: Torello and Poqui on board primaries

« Some sources closes to the board think that the two groups [godall and ferrer] will have some kind of primaries and that the one who will do worst in the polls could drop out of the electoral race. »

Roger Torelló and Joan Poquí,
El Mundo Deportivo

Presidential candidates visiting Barcelona collector

Catalan sports paper Sport reports that several candidates in the elections for presidents of FC Barcelona are these days paying a visit to Joan Caimel, a collector of Barcelona items who has a museum in his garage that is situated in Pineda de Mar, a costal town north of Barcelona.

Caimel is said to be a respected Barcelona analyst and adviser, who has recently been visited by former sport vice-president Sandro Rosell and his right-hand man Josep Maria Bartomeu, while current Barcelona vice-president Alfons Godall and Jaume Ferrer would have planned to travel to Pineda de Mar soon.

Read more:
Guixa gets support grand-daughter club founder
Poll Rosell confirms his big lead
Former president Nunez to run with support Cruyff

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Xavi and Puyol on the elections

Barcelona players Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol talked about next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona during interviews with respectively Catalan newspaper Avui and Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

The outcome of the elections doesn't seem very clear. I think we have to make abstraction of everything. They pay us to play football and to win. We know that the papers will talk about the elections, but we will try to make them talk more about football.

Have people been unjust to Laporta? I think so. He has treated us very well, like all directors, including those who left. Laporta has always been very close to us. He's a true Barcelona guy, he's crazy, he seems just an ordinary fan. He has received criticism because that's the way we treat leaders in Catalonia, but for me he deserves ten points.

I'm not worried about the upcoming elections possibly affecting the stability of the team. I'm sure nothing of all that will enter the dressing room. We'll be focused on our job and it will also depend on us to make sure the whole entourage of the club is calm. If things go well, I'm sure the elections will not be that important and that people will talk more about football.

Read more:
Guardiola not worried about elections
Iniesta and Xavi on the elections
Puyol: "Players will stay out of the elections"

Minguella: "It will be easy to run this year"

Possible presidential candiate Josep Maria Minguella gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

Did you already decide if you will take part in the elections?
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.

Which ones?
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.

Does this mean that Minguella is no longer needed, contrary to what your slogan during the last campaign said?
What I still think is that we need to improve the electoral spectrum. There must be a candidacy that has nothing to do with Laporta. Because not taking into account Guixà, Godall and Ferrer and Rosell and Benedito are all people who have been with Laporta. That's a reality. Some have stayed with him until the end and others have left, but all have shared the same core values. Just like Ferran Soriano, if he would also run in the end. And that is not good. This campaign can't just be about laportism and anti-laportism. We are a club with more than 170.000 members and there must be other ideas than pro or anti Laporta. And I don't say this because I'm against Laporta. I say this because we are a big club and there must be other options, other ways of understanding the club. You could say that the same happened when there was nuñism and anti-nuñism [josep lluís núñez was the president of fc barcelona from 1978 until 2000], and that's not good. Therefore, I want to keep on waiting and see how everything evolves. But I insists that to me it would seem very poor for the club that, taking into account the whole history of this club, all projects would come from "laportists" and "anti-laportistes". There are other ways of thinking.

Will you be part of a candidacy?
Until now, nobody has offered that to me, but the truth is that I haven't been looking for it either. I will be very attentive to everything that will happen, because what happens to the club is like happening to my own skin. I launch an appeal to people with a strong Barcelona feeling to make a step forward. Even more so since it will be easy to run this year. Because a candidate doesn't have to look for coaches or players. He just has to fix the stadium a little and to offer the club member more transparency. I would ask all candidates to behave in a serious way because during the campaign hundred thousand things are being promised, but after the elections everyone forgets about the member and the latter only serves to pay the membership card and the season-ticket.

The issue of the bank guarantees is also a setback for your decision?
It is something that plays a role. I've always said that the statutes of the club should be changed regarding this point and I don't just say this for myself. There are very valid people with a lot of skills that can't even consider to run, and that's a loss for the club. They are people who can never express their opinions because there is this obstacle of the guarantee and the cost of a campaign that everyone has to finance from his own pocket.

Do you expect a clean campaign?
I think that the members don't deserve a dirty campaign. It's obvious that it will be very tough, a confrontation of two options. With people very close to Laporta and others who left with a lot of troubles and a lot of resentment. But I hope that common sense and wisdom will rule and that, more than attacking each other, they will defend their own ideas.

What do you think about the fact that there is more than one continuity candidacy?
First I would say that it is logical that many directors want to continue. Being a director or the president of Barça when things are going well is the best thing. In moments of success and with all the enthusiasm surrounding the club, it's normal that everybody wants to continue with this project. Now, what I don't understand is that there's more than one candidacy. There seems to be a lack of flexibility between them as well as some selfishness that leads to not being able to put together a single list. They are part of a same project and therefore there shouldn't be two or three interpreters of that. What they will do is split the votes and help the other options. Although it's licit, it's not a very smart attitude.

this was the first part of this interview. you will be able to read the second part on this blog in the coming days with minguella talking about the campaign and looking back at the presidency of laporta.

Read more:
Will former super-agent run for president?
Candidates disapprove Laporta's party behaviour
Minguella hoping for non-Laporta linked candidate

interview: àngel ponz

Perrin: "Godall doesn't want me in his candidacy"

Asked about the upcoming presidential elections, Barcelona institutional vice-president Albert Perrín has admitted in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Cope that it will be almost impossible to form one united board candidacy because of a division in the board of directors:

"Godall doesn't want me in his candidacy. There's no click anymore, although there was before and certainly from my side. I have always been close to Jaume Ferrer and Godall is sectarian, he only wants to deal with certain people and we don't think that's logical.

There were ten people who defended the president until the very end after the vote of no confidence and it cannot be that this unity has now been broken. What about Laporta? I've spoken to him lately and we were sincere.

Will things be difficult between the board members from now on? It won't be easy but we're all grown-up people and we will try to deal with things as good as possible. We're certainly not planning to leave the board. If you're inside, you're in charge and you know how things are functioning. While if you're out, you don't know anything."

Read more:
Jaume Ferrer will run for president
Godall: "The decision has been made"
Perrin: "Ferrer could accept being the second man"

Guixa meets with Barcelona fans

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà has announced in a press release that he will hold a series of meeting with Barcelona fans and club members in Catalonia and in Spain to listen to their questions and their suggestions.

The purpose of the meetings is described as "sharing time with members and fans of FC Barcelona to be able to discuss the current state of the club, to present the project and to listen to their proposals for a better Barça".

The first two meetings with club supporters will take place next Wednesday and Friday in Sant Cugat del Vallès, Guixà's place of residence, and Barcelona.

Read more:
Guixa: "The most powerful candidacy is ours"
Presidential candidates unhappy with renewals
Guixa gets support grand-daughter club founder

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ribery on wish list Rosell

Madrid sports tabloid As claims that Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribéry (26), who last May would have rejected an offer by Barcelona president Joan Laporta, could play a part in the upcoming elections as presidential candidate Sandro Rosell would have the Frenchman on his wish list.

Rosell would be interested in Ribéry for many reasons, among which the facts that the player would fit Barcelona's playing style, that he's one of the few top players available on the market, that the former sports vice-president has good contacts with executives of Ribéry's sponsor Nike and that Real Madrid is also interested in him which could win Rosell extra votes if he succeeds to sign the player.

Bayern Munich would reportedly want to organize a bid race between the two Spanish clubs, Chelsea and Inter Milan, while the player is said to have reached a verbal agreement with Madrid president Florentino Pérez last August.

Read more:
Barcelona wants to tie down Ribery before elections
Rosell sounding out Fernando Torres
Presidential candidates know transfer price Cesc

Most read of the month

Vice-president Yuste still hoping for board unity

Asked about the upcoming presidential elections, Barcelona sports vice-president Rafael Yuste said last month in an interview with Catalan radio station COM Ràdio that he still hopes that the board will be able to present one single board candidacy:

"We are a group of people that wants to continue this project because it's worth it. My wish would be that there would only be one candidacy and I hope that we will be strong enough to stay united. Godall or Ferrer? I don't want to make a public statement on that, I can only say that I think the issue will be resolved soon."

Read more:
Directors considering to leave the club
Ferrer: "One board candidacy will be difficult"
The five vice-presidents of Godall

The Pundit: Cristina Cubero on Jaume Ferrer

« Ferrer is so discreet that he might never talk about certain details, like for example that he is the only one without a mobile phone from the club: he is paying himself the bills for calls related to club. »

Cristina Cubero,
El Mundo Deportivo

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Rosell favourite for the gamblers

Catalan online newspaper El Debat reports that former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell is for the gamblers at online betting site 'Betfair' the favourite to be chosen as president of FC Barcelona later this year.

Rosell was on Tuesday at noon noted at 1,4 euro for each euro input, with Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer at this moment being seen as his biggest rival, with a rate of 3,3. A few hours before, Spanish news agency Europa Press had reported that Rosell was noted at 1,2 and Ferrer at 4.

The ranking
Sandro Rosell: 1,4
Jaume Ferrer: 3,3
Alfons Godall: 5,1
Ferran Soriano: 5,1
Agustí Benedito: 7,2
Jaume Guixà: 11,5

Read more:
Poll Rosell confirms his big lead
Poll result: Who should be the next president?
Ferrer feels backed by own poll

Godall: "I want Cesc to return home"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo.

Barça may one day become a joint stock company?
I think that would mean losing a great value that differentiates us. At certain times it was believed that we had a handicap since we had to compete against clubs that are joint stock companies and might even be listed on the stock market abroad. But it has been proven that it's not the case. This characteristic gives us more freedom and value. How many Premier League fans would give anything to regain the status of partners? They'd give anything for that. The economic viability of a club doesn't depend on its legal structure.

Do you have to requalify the Miniestadi zone in order to modernize the Camp Nou?
Some major works of great economic value has to be done. Therefore, either with the Foster project or with a cheaper one, it will be difficult to pay a remodelling of this magnitude without selling. It's not only about a new Camp Nou, but also about a new Palau [home to the basketball, handball, roller hockey, and futsal sections], which has become completely outdated.

Have you hinted that a more modest project is possible?
Yes. We feel that the process at the city council is taking longer than expected and that the requirements are becoming abusive. Against this background, we have to think about whether the reclassification we're looking at will make it possible to pay the remodelling we are talking about.

Barça is running a high risk by not having a bank guarantee for the television contract?
No, because there are some clauses in the contract that allow us to recover the rights almost immediately. The television rights of Barça are worth far more than we're receiving and in addition each year we get paid 40% in advance. Madrid, on the other hand, does have a bank guarantee but it's the club that should pay the cost of the guarantee and that's a lot of money. In fact, it's as if they're getting two or three millions less.

Will you maintain the prices of the season-tickets if you become president?
We will update them according to the consumer price index and if that's negative, we will also review them downwards.

Do you have the feeling that the fan clubs are satisfied?
It's an issue that touches me directly [godall is responsible for the social area]. There are more fan clubs than ever and there are more services for them than ever. We have the feeling that we have made a lot of progress, but, and the same goes for the club members, we still have to make a lot more.

Let’s talk about the sports area. When do you think that Guardiola should decide his future?
For me things are very clear. I'm in favour of giving him all the tranquillity he needs so that he can do his job without pressure and without having to keep an eye on his renewal. I believe it is essential that he can work comfortably. When the time is there, we will talk to him and offer him the working conditions, which will be those that he thinks can allow him to keep on doing his excellent work at Barça, either as a coach or with other responsibilities.

In which role do you see him?
I see him in the role in which he thinks he can do most for Barça.

If he wants to have absolute powers, will he get them?
Yes, but I am in favour of the current model and this, in principle, means maintaining the coexistence of the sport director and the coach, and therefore he could do one thing or the other.

But you are in favour of keeping Txiki. Or not?
Until the end of the term he is our sports director. As part of the talks on the future of the club, we also will have to know what Txiki would like to do in the future.

The six titles were also partly due to luck?
The truth is that none of us would have imagined that we would have been able to win them all, but we had total belief in Guardiola from the first day because we had seen him at the second team.

If you become president, which player would you like to sign?
Well, there's one player who we all would like to see coming home. I am referring to Cesc. He is a player that is made by and for Barça, although I'm speaking as a fan here.

There seems to be unanimity about his transfer among the candidates. Will he be crucial in the elections?
I talked for my own account, but the decision will be made by the coaches. I can say that there will be money for the transfers they will ask us, but I understand that with the current squad few changes will be needed.

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

Read more:
The five vice-presidents of Godall
Poll result: Who should be the next president?
Godall: "Laporta is like a brother to me"

interview: roger torelló

Could Ferrer team up with Rosell?

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer does not plan to join the candidacy of Sandro Rosell.

Ferrer would feel bad about rumours regarding a possible deal between him and Rosell, even more so because he wouldn't have talked once to the former sports vice-president over the last four years.

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall had suggested in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 last month that Ferrer could become part of the team of Rosell, who left the club in June 2005 and will take part in the presidential elections this year:

"I don't know, but I don't exclude that Jaume Ferrer would talk with Sandro Rosell, who clearly not shares the current model because he doesn't have patience, he is mort short-term minded, more results-oriented. And I sometimes had the impression that Ferrer shared that model."

Read more:
Ferrer: "One board candidacy will be difficult"
The Rosell Project - Part 4: The Board (2)
Ferrer feels backed by own poll

The Pundit: Oriol Domenech on the first polls

« Rosell's lead over his rivals isn't bigger than the one the Dream Team of Lluís Bassat, with Guardiola, Alemany, Roca and Cugat, had in 2003 over the other candidates, among which a certain Joan Laporta who started with 0% in the polls. »

Oriol Domènech,
El Mundo Deportivo

Guixa gets support grand-daughter club founder

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà is getting the support of Emma Gamper, a grand-daughter of Hans [Joan] Gamper, the Swiss businessman who founded FC Barcelona in November 1899 and was also a player, director and president of the club.

It's not yet clear what the role of Emma Gamper, a 59-year old writer, will be in the candidacy of Guixà but in a message on the candidate's Facebook page she suggest she's gonna be actively involved in the campaign: "It's a pleasure to be part of your team! See you soon, ahead with the candidacy. You have my full support."

Read more:
Guixa: "The most powerful candidacy is ours"
Poll result: Who would you vote for?
Former vice-president part of board team Guixa

Monday, January 4, 2010

Laporta warns players for election year

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona president Joan Laporta also talked about the upcoming elections during his visit to the player's dressing-room last Thursday. Laporta is quoted as warning the players for the possible impact of the elections on the squad:

"The new year will be very complicated for the club, among other things because there will be an election campaign. That will make the daily life of the club a lot more difficult since the presidential candidates will not take into account the team but will only have an eye for their own interests.

This will lead to rumours about transfers or the position of the coach while the club is still competing for the trophies. That's why you will have to isolate yourselves from everything that will come from outside and to only think about the game and the group. As you have done until now but, if possible, you will have to do it even more this year."

Read more:
Iniesta and Xavi on the elections
Presidential candidates know transfer price Cesc
Puyol: "Players will stay out of the elections"

Montal: "Rosell could be good president"

Former Barcelona president Agustí Montal (1969-1977) gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu, in which he talked about the presidential elections.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming elections?
It is difficult to predict what will happen. We're talking about 150.000 club members and many of them are not going to the stadium. The circumstances have changed a lot. Laporta's legacy are the sporting successes, but all those who have worked alongside him are responsible for that, even Sandro Rosell, who could be a good president, like any other board member.

Who will you vote for?
I won't say that for now. But when the day comes, I might say it. I am entitled to do so. However, when the winner will be known I will give my support to the new board, something I have always done.

Read more:
Ex-president Montal avoids election involvement
Former president Nunez to run with support Cruyff
The Quote: Joan Gaspart

Directors considering to leave the club

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that several directors could leave the club at the end of the presidency of Joan Laporta in June of this year in case the current board cannot form one consensus candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections.

The directors in question would not feel comfortable with the division inside the board that is caused by the fact that two vice-presidents - Alfons Godall and Jaume Ferrer - would like to run for president later this year.

Barcelona economic vice-president Joan Boix
would be one of the board members who finds it difficult to choose between his two colleagues because of his good personal relationships with both Godall and Ferrer.

Both Boix and sports vice-president Rafael Yuste would, like others, also be firmly convinced that the only way to win the coming elections is by presenting a single board candidacy. They would therefore think that if that's not possible it maybe wouldn't be worthwile to make an attempt.

Catalan newspaper Avui nevertheless claims that things are already clear. All the board members that weren't explicitly mentioned by vice-president Ferrer when he announced he will take part in the elections (read more here), would be supporting Godall.

This would mean that the group of Godall, who is believed to also have the support of president Laporta, would in that case include ten of the current directors and the group of Ferrer six.

Read more:
The new board of directors
Ferrer confirms that he will run for president
The five vice-presidents of Godall

The Pundit: Pep Lloveras on leadership Laporta

« Laporta has lead the club, but he hasn't be able to do the same with his board and this has been a stone in his shoe all along the way. »

Pep Lloveras,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Godall: "The objective is a one billion budget"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo.

Will you run for president?
We are working on a candidacy for a long time now. We did not yet decide who will lead it, I'm one of the options, but we have a meeting coming up and within a very short term - two or three weeks - we will present our project.

When you say "we", do you refer to the entire board or to a part of it?
To a large group, because Jaume Ferrer already announced his intention to run. That is legitimate and respectable, but from my perspective his project is not the continuity project because he represents a minority in the board. It remains to be seen if he will get the support of the current president. Without wanting to start an argument, I think that our group will have more experience and more knowledge of the model.

Do you look forward and do you think you are prepared to be president?
For all those who are Barcelona fans through family transference and didn't have the talent to play football, being the president of Barça is something very exciting. However, this feeling is a necessary condition but is not enough. You must also have a good program, leadership skills, financial resources, etcetera.

Define your project.
We go for the continuation of a successful sports model, that is working for some years now and that is in our opinion the heir to the 'Dream Team', both regarding the way of playing and the presence of homegrown players. From the economic point of view, we think there are very clear opportunities to increase the budget. With a six-year term ahead, the objective is to reach a budget of 1.000 millions [the budget for the 2008-2009 season was 385 millions, the expected budget for the 2009-2010 season is 405 millions].

How is it possible that with so many sporting successes the current board cannot form a single list?
I have a very simple explanation. I insist that Jaume and those close to him have every right to run, but I think that experience is a value. Leading Barça is not easy, the statutes say that there must be between 14 and 21 directors and if in December 2003 a certain sector of the board would have had a majority, Rijkaard would have been dismissed against the will of the president. A board cannot be a 'puzzle', you must have a united group that backs the president so he has enough room to maneuver in difficult times. A president cannot be the prisoner of his own board, he needs freedom to lead. Therefore we cannot accept claims about a certain number of vice-presidents or directors, those are unacceptable conditions.

One understands that you have already discussed this with Jaume Ferrer.
Yes, but we haven't find an agreement. We would like to have only one candidacy, but I insist that if the conditions make the possibility of having a homogenous group more difficult and make it not possible that the candidate has a wide and comfortable majority, well ok, 'Visca el Barça' and that each one runs alone.

How can it be that with so many trophies, the favourite is not part of the board?
I guess you refer to Sandro Rosell, but I don't share the opinion that he's the favourite. So far, we've not carried out opinion polls and until now there weren't other options in the mind of the Barcelona fans. We will have to see how the member reacts when other alternatives are presented. I truly believe that if there be will be a favourite candidate, it will be the one that comes from the experience of a model, that is functioning very well. I don't think that coming in and changing what already works and has worked and doing that out of resentment is the best alternative, nor the most appropriate one.

The basis of your program will be to give continuity to what has been done, of course.
To continue and to take it further. Quite frankly, these seven years have seemed very short to us. Between coming in and getting to know the place... These seven years are over very quickly. The results of the youth academy and the way of playing in football, the right decisions in basketball, the great work with the handball, hockey and futsal teams. But there are also future opportunities in television rights, in assets management... We want Barça to go for the maximum, and when I say this it also means that we want to reach a budget of 1.000 millions in six years.

How will you distinguish yourself from the model of Laporta?
Especially regarding the person who will be in charge and the style. Neither the president nor the board should intervene too much, but have to supervise the work of the executives. And obviously the way of representing the club will be different because we are different people and have different ways of doing things.

You have repeated several times that you want 'Un Barça a mil' [a barça at thousand an hour]. Will that be your slogan?
No. We're considering several options, but it's true that this might be a good motto.

What haven't you been able to do in those seven years?
The institutional and social stability. We have suffered too much instability, a product of 22 years, plus an appendix of three years, of doing things in a certain way, which made it difficult to accept the change.We for example couldn't end the first term in a normal way [in 2006, laporta was forced to call elections, despite not yet having served a full four-year term]. We want more social and institutional harmony.

Don't you think that you yourselves have also contributed to this instability?
I agree. All of us, those who started, those who left at different times and even those who joined in later, should have done better and we want to do better.

Laporta will be key in these elections and in the future of the club?
I am convinced that he will play the role he has to play and that he will be an outgoing president who supervises the election process in a just and equal way. I think he could do very well in a role of club ambassador, we won't find anyone better than him, but we have not talked about that with him.

this was the first part of the interview. ypu can read the second part here with godall talking - among other things - about the continuation of guardiola and txiki and a possible transfer of cesc.

Read more:
The five vice-presidents of Godall
Poll result: Who should be the next president?
Godall: "Laporta is like a brother to me"

interview: roger torelló

Most read this week

Ferrer feels backed by own poll

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that one of the main reasons that has led Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer to publicly announce that he will take part in this year's presidential elections was the result of a poll.

The entourage of Ferrer would have ordered a specialized agency to carry out an inquiry among club members before, during and after a Barcelona game, and this would have taken place in the beginning of last month.

According to the results of this poll, Jaume Ferrer would get the votes of 27.000 club members in the elections, which would be more than both Alfons Godall (25.000) and Sandro Rosell (22.000). Ferrer would plan to repeat a similar poll every month from now on.

The paper nevertheless points out that former Sandro Rosell has also carried out polls (read more here) in which he clearly comes forward as the favourite and in which Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín for example gets more support than Ferrer. First vice-president Alfons Godall wouldn't plan a poll before he officially announces his candidacy.

Read more:
Barcelona carrying out own election polls
Ferrer confirms that he will run for president
Poll Rosell confirms his big lead

Guardiola not worried about elections

Asked about the upcoming elections, Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola has said at a press conference that he thinks they won't have an effect on the team:

"The elections won't affect us in any way. The coaching staff won't be influenced by it. If things won't go well, that won't be because of the electoral process.

The date of the elections? That will be a decision of the president and we will not try to influence that. The board will decide what is best for the club. We won't get involved. We just should do our job."

Read more:
Iniesta and Xavi on the elections
Could Guardiola be a future president?
Puyol: "Players will stay out of the elections"

The Pundit: Cristina Cubero on preference Laporta

« Laporta would have preferred Sala i Martín. But he is too much like the president, he provokes rejection. »

Cristina Cubero,
El Mundo Deportivo