After Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola dedicated his team's victory in the World Cup for Clubs to former Barcelona director Evarist Murtra, there has been some speculation in the Catalan press about the role of Murtra in the upcoming elections.
At the press confernce after the game against Estudiantes on 19 December last year, Guardiola said: "I want to dedicate this victory to Evarist Murtra, I'm sure he's very happy. He was a person who with his insistence made the board think about me when they were looking for a coach for the second team and he has taught me great values. He deserves this."
Evarist Murtra (picture) is a 60-year old Catalan textile entrepreneur who has been active in the entourage of the club for more than two decades. After having co-founded a Barcelona opposition group, Murtra supported presidential candidate Sixte Cambra in the 1989 elections.
In February 1993, he joined the board of Josep Lluís Núñez. Three years later, Murtra resigned from his post as vice-president, officially because of professional reasons that left him with too little time but Murtra admitted later that internal board problems regarding the bank guarantee presidential candidates have to put down caused his exit.
In the 1997 elections, Murtra was a possible candidate but in the end he didn't take part after having failed to find a deal with Núñez challenger Angel Fernández and returned a blank ballot paper. In 2000 and 2003, Murtra supported presidential candidate Lluís Bassat who was twice the runner-up.
In November 2005, Murtra became a member of the board of Joan Laporta (read more here). He is believed to have been one of the main supporters of wearing the Unicef logo on the team's shirt and of the appointment of Guardiola as coach of, first, the second team and, later, the first team. In July 2008, Evarist Murtra left the board after the vote of no confidence (read more here).
this was the first part of this post. read the second part here.
Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà gave an interview to Catalan local newspaper Diari de Tarragona.
What do you think about Laporta wanting to become a politician? Laporta has been closing doors. He has had too many confrontations over political issues. At times, his attitude has not been the appropriate one for the president of Barça, there are several examples of that. He has even been investigating his own directors with money of the club. The current president uses the name of Barça in a wrong way.
What is your project for the club? We want to open the club to the club member. We want a project where the member takes part and therefore all these measures we are going to take will be done by a dynamic team that reflects the historicy and the value of the club and not by a little group of four members within the board that controls everything, which is the case now.
Are you concerned about the current situation? I don't believe what they say about the club financially doing good. That worries me. If we were that good, why is it that the training centre hasn't yet been finalized after they started it in 2003?
The remodelling of the stadium ... The project of Norman Foster will have an environmental cost, besides the costs of the maintenance. Yes, you have to reform the Camp Nou, but more at the service the user, by making it more accessible. To do all that, there's no need to get rid of assets.
One of the great assets of Barcelona is Pep Guardiola. Pep has made history with the club and if he has announced his intention to continue at the club it's precisely not to get involved in the electoral process. Our candidacy has always said that we would respect his decision and that whatever he would decide, it would be a good decision for us. That's why, after hearing that he wants to continue, we are very encouraged and motivated because the project of Laporta is over, but also because the project Pep Guardiola continues.
Will there be signings if you will be president? I think that Cesc Fàbregas, who has left the youth academy, is one of the best players in the world and is therefore a great player who deserves to be part of the best team in the world, which is Barça, but we will always act following the wishes of the coach and the consultations and recommendations made by the technical staff.
You are the president of a fan club... Every fan club has to be the backbone of Barça in the region. From the fan club, one detects the delusions or even the deficiencies. Right now the club doesn't care about those in Catalonia but those from outside Catalonia have even been humiliated.
this is the second and last part of this interview. you can read the first part here.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has announced at a press conference today that the elections for president of FC Barcelona will be held on 13 June. The decision has been made during a meeting of barcelona's board of directors in the Catalan city of Vic.
At the press conference, Laporta explained the choice: "The board of directors has decided that the elections will be held on Sunday 13 June 2010. The decision has been made and will be definite when the elections will be called at the end of April.
We chose the date only based on sporting reasons. In that perspective it's the best option. This way, the election process won't influence the team, which is what we have been looking for. We've tried for the sporting interests to be affected the least possible.
Before the decision on the date we have informed Pep Guardiola and we have analyzed it with Txiki Begiristain. Although every date had its pros and contras but both thought it was a good decision."
Read more: Strong rumours about elections on 13 June [previous post:] Catalan radio stations RAC 1 and Catalunya Ràdio both claim that a decision has been made during a board meeting this afternoon that the elections for president of FC Barcelona will be held on Sunday 13 June 2010. It wouldn't yet be sure if that exact date will be announced or if the board will say that the elections will be "at the end of the season" or "in June".
Catalan sports paper Sport reports that the Barcelona board will today hold a discussion on the date of the elections after Barcelona assets vice-presidents Jaume Ferrer asked earlier this week to put the issue on the agenda.
Although it's not sure a decision will already be made, the option the board is considering would now be Sunday 13 June 2010.
The elections can be organized between 15 March and 15 June and the board would want to postpone them as much as possible because some players have recently said they prefer elections at the end of the season (read more here), because that would shorten the period until the handover of power on 1 July, because that would give the candidates more time to prepare the elections and possibly find agreements among them and because the board candidates might take advantage of trophies won by the sports teams this season.
Along the day, several other Catalan sources have taken over the possible date of 13 June. Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the weekend of 15 and 16 May, when Barcelona will play the season's last home-game against Valladolid, was another option.
Since the discussion within the club has only just started, the board would today possibly only give an approximation of the date. If there would be a consensus and because of the pressure by the entourage of the club to know the date, a vote could nevertheless finally decide on the day on which the elections will be held.
The club's official website has announced that at 5 pm this afternoon a press conference will be held on the decisions that have been made during the the board meeting that is now taking place in the Catalan city of Vic.
Asked about his role in the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona (read more here), Barcelona economic vice-president Joan Boix has said in interviews with Catalan radio stations Cataluny Ràdio, first, and RAC 1, later, that he will not actively take part in the campaign by joining the candidacy of Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall or that of Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer:
"I'm friends with all my board colleagues and especially with the two candidates. I think both can be great presidents and that they have similar ideas. As a friend, I was at the presentation of Alfons and when Jaume will present his project and invites me, I will also be there.
In the first place, I'm disappointed, frustrated, call it the way you like, that we haven't been able to form one single board candidacy. Friendship is above everything, it's one of the most important values and that's why this is an uncomfortable situation for me. I never give up, I'm still fighting for a deal between the two because I see this as a personal failure.
Like the majority, I was a great campaigner for one candidacy because of the successful model we have put in place but it hasn't been possible until this moment. I still hope the lines are open but, although I'm not losing hope, I think it's very difficult.
At a personal level, I didn't yet decide what I will do. What is clear to me is that I will continue at the club until 30 June, side-by-side with my president until the end of the mandate, trying to continue with a correct management of the club and to organize exemplary and neutral elections.
After that, I could leave or, if I have the motivation and the new president thinks I can add something to his project in one way or another, I will look at the offer and make a decision. I'm not excluding anything."
Asked about the upcoming presidential elections, Barcelona left back defender Eric Abidal has said in an interview with Catalan radio station Ona FM that in his opinion the current model should be continued by people who are now part of the board:
"We've done good things over the past 18 months and now we want to continue in the same way. So the club has to continue with the same people, right? It's a bit a matter of philosophy. I think that each member of this board has the same philosophy as the president.
For me it is better to continue in the same way and that someone is chosen who has stood the president and who has been travelling with us. It would be perfect if the president could continue because he knows the club, but the people who were with him do too.
Do the players talk about the election process? We do, because at this moment it's the most important club issue."
Barcelona players Carles Puyol and Andrés Iniesta talked about the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona during interviews with respectively Catalan newspapers La Vanguardia and Avui.
Puyol "We are there to play. It's what we like. We know that there will be talk, but we have to be focused. I am sure that if we are doing good and win the games, people will talk more about football than about elections. The candidates want the best for Barcelona and we have to respect them and wait for the club member to decide."
Iniesta "In general, the electoral process won't disturb the team a lot, but at a personal level there could be players who may be affected, because their name could be mentioned as outgoing transfer. If I could choose, I would prefer that the elections were held at the end of the season, so there won't be any distractions at all."
Asked about some statements made by Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín during the presentation of the candidacy of current first vice-president Alfons Godall on Monday (read more here), Jordi Cardoner (picture, on the left), who will be part of the board team of presidential candidate Sandro Rosell, has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that it would be more correct if Godall would resign as director:
"I might not agree with some statements made by the candidacy of Alfons Godall but what I cannot in any case accept as club member of Barça is that those are made from within the club. Mister Sala i Martín is representing the club at this moment and that kind of attacks are in that perspective not right.
If Alfons Godall has now declared himself a candidate in the elections, I suggest that, to maintain the equality between the candidates as well as the neutrality of the club, he resigns from his post, that he leaves the club and that he takes place among the other pre-candidates, like Sandro, who doesn't have responsibilities within the club and is therefore just a citizen with freedom of speech."
Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà gave an interview to Catalan local newspaper Diari de Tarragona.
How are you approaching the elections? With excitement and motivation. The fact that a judge had to force Barça to call the elections isn't good for the institution [referring to the 2006 elections]. But at least, this has allowed us to get in contact with the club members, who are the ones that decide the future of the club.
What is your project based on? We have a different project. We hope that when the Laporta era ends, this laportism will stop and that we can give Barça back to the real owners, the club members.
What has the board done wrong? The main points of our project are based on what Laporta didn't do. When he led the 'Elefant Blau' [barcelona opposition group from 1997 to 2000] he said there would be transparency, that the member would decide things, that they would adapt the club's statutes, that the club would be modernized. But that didn't happen.
What has been the worst thing? Without any doubt, the sale of assets. Why do we have to sell if the club is economically doing well? At this moment we don't know anything. We don't know if the club is technically bankrupt. A lot of measures have to be taken regarding the management of the club, and it has to be done by new people in the board, with an exciting project, not only for the board members but also for the true owners of Barça, the members.
But as far as the sports area is concerned... We should congratulate the technical staff, headed by Pep Guardiola, together with the players, because they have been able to do better than the Barça of the Five Cups. Now we have six of them. That is extraordinary. You must give credit to Laporta for appointing Pep as first team coach. That's is the big merit of Laporta, and that's also the main support of the laportism.
You are the first to come to the city of Tarragona. I think Barça is not only linked to Barcelona, it's also a club of Catalonia, of the Spanish state and even the world. Our goal is to get closer to the club members and not just to those from Barcelona.
this is the first part of this interview. you can read the second part here.
Possible Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Llauradó gave an interview to Catalan sports weekly paper Gol.
Will you run for president of Barça or not? I have not yet made a decision.
On what does it depend? On a few things.
They told me that a candidacy is being formed around the figure of Carles Rexach, that includes Minguella, Roche, Parera... And with you as key person. If I would deny that, I would be lying to you. But I don't think that this project in the end will go through.
Why would that list be headed by Rexach and not by yourself? A lot of people have to participate in a candidacy, not only people with ideas, but also people who scratch their pockets. If I will finally take part in the elections or not, depends on a meeting with another likely candidate and on the number of candidacies there will be. When there are many, there will be less possibilities to have an original project and reach the club members. In a few days, things will be clear.
Asked about the date of the upcoming elections that should be held between 15 March and 15 June, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has told journalists that he thinks the best possible period to organize them would be at the end of the season:
"We have not yet decided when the elections will be held. It's an issue we still have to take a closer look on. In my opinion, the best thing would be to do it at the end of season but we have to evaluate all the circumstances.
The normal thing would be to hold elections on a day a game is played but then you also have the risk of distracting the team. That's why it's maybe an option to have them at the end of the season, on a non-match day, and then we would organize some events to attract the voters.
I would like that everyone within the club - the general director, the board, the coaching staff - knows the date and that they consider it to be the right date in terms of not damaging the interests and the functioning of the team and the club.
We'll make a decision on the date of the elections when we think it's best for the club. The issue is not on the initial agenda of Friday's board meeting, although the directors can still at points to the list. I think it might be better to know the date by the end of February."
Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà has said in an interview with Spanish news agency EFE that three footballers that have played at Barcelona during the period Johan Cruyff coached the team will be part of his candidacy and will replace Txiki Begiristain as sports director:
"My sports model is of course based on keeping Guardiola. Besides, we will count on a team of three sports directors and all three of those executives have been part of the Dream Team. I cannot yet reveal the name of those people, but I can tell that one of them will be reponsible for the first team, the second for the youth teams and the third for Barcelona Atlètic.
I also think that we should try for Barcelona Atlètic to promote to the second division and that's another reason why our candidacy is in favour of keeping the Miniestadi. This would give the players the opportunity to make their debut there, which is a good step for every youth player on their way to the Camp Nou."
Barcelona presidential candidate and former sports vice-president Sandro Rosell gave an interview to the Spanish version of men's monthly magazine Esquire. Some excerpts.
The presidency "The biggest danger of being president of Barça is that you lose it. That is why you should surround yourself with competent people, who have a solid head on their shoulders and who always tell you the truth. I sure will not allow the club to get involved in political issues."
The economic situation of the club "I'm skeptical. Each week new things come out. The truth is that it's difficult to believe everything that is said by the current board. The club members have the right to know the truth and if I get elected, I will convoke a general assembly to inform about the real economic situation. I also think the sale of the Miniestadi should be reconsidered because it looks like Barça in the end won't earn a lot from it."
Johan Cruyff "I cannot forbid anyone to give his opinion. Besides, even if I would, he would continue talking."
Speaking to Catalan television channel TV3, former Barcelona economic vice-president and current chairman of Spanish airline Spanair Ferran Soriano has repeated that he will take part in the upcoming elections but didn't specify what his role will be:
"I respect those who are announcing their candidacies, but I think the right moment to talk is when the elections are called. That's when I will take part by explaining what I think and what my opinion is, because I have learnt a lot of things during my five years at the club.
What happened in 2003 was extraordinary and it's important to explain what we did and which things were important. I will talk when the process start, something I didn't do when I left the club because I didn't want to stir things up.
One experiences and thinks about Barça with emotion and love and I cannot wait for the electoral period to start. I hope they will be called as soon as possible. Elections are a fabulous time, very emotional, because all of us will be able to intervene in the process in a constructive way.
Fans of other clubs like Manchester United or Arsenal are jealous of a club like Barça, because they cannot decide in any way who will preside their club and they're totally dependent of the owners.
I don't know how many candidates there will be in the end because not all of them will pass the signatures' cut. I think it's important that there's a diversity of opinions and I think it's good that several voices from the 2003 boad can be heard."
Speaking at a press conference at this campaign's headquarters in the centre of the city of Barcelona on Monday evening, Barcelona first vice-president has publicly announced that he will take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona later this year. As this blog revealed on Sunday, the slogan of the campaign of Alfons Godall will we "+BARCA" (More Barça).
Barcelona president Joan Laporta showed his support for Godall by being present at the event. Except the five board members who support Barcelona vice-president Jaume Ferrer (read more here), all other nine directors were present.
Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio nevertheless claims that vice-president Joan Boix and director Maria Elena Fort, despite their presence, didn't yet decide whose candidacy they will join (read more here).
« Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to live a turbulent period in which, besides the nice words, the intoxication in its multiple and most appetizing forms will prevail. As far as I know, the built-up to the elections consists of defending your project and, at the same time, throwing dirt on the others. Those are compatible and simultaneous activities. »
Tonight at 7 pm local time, Barcelona vice-president Alfons Godall has called a press conference, in which he is expected to announce his candidacy for the presidency of FC Barcelona.
This blog will follow the events. Re-fresh!
Two hours before the press conference, Alfons Godall put a last message on his Facebook page: "Friends. I will put on a suit and a tie and I'm going to our seat!! I've prepared everything and now i can only hope that everything goes well!! Come join us there!!!! Visca el Barça i Visca Catalunya!!!!"
Godall has not appeared yet in his headquarters.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is present at the candidacy's seat in the centre in Barcelona, as are vice-presidents Rafael Yuste and Joan Boix.
Alfons Godall appearing on stage, gets supporting hug from Laporta.
All board members are present, except the five who support Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer.
Sala i Martin will take the word.
Sala: "We are here to announce that all club members will be able to vote for the continuation of the dream we are currently living, among others thanks to the best president in the history in the history of the club.
The president is a key figure, he should stick to a model. And that's not a galacticos model or a samba model. Our model started in the 1970s with Rinus Michiels and was continued by Cruyff in the 1990s. For Laporta, this model was clear from the start. And one man was by his side from the start as vice-president: Alfons Godall.
A president should also be able to take decisions. And Laporta has taken them. In December 2003, he took the right decision not to dismiss Frank Rijkaard. Godall was by his side, while a certain vice-president wanted to replace Rijkaard.
A few months later, Laporta took the decision to sign a player from Madrid, Samuel Eto'o, whil one vice-president had doubts because he didn't want to annoy the president of Madrid. But Alfons Godall was on the right side.
In 2008, the president took the correct and brave decision to sign Josep Guardiola. And by his side, there was Alfons Godall, again. I present you: Alfons Godall."
Godall takes the word.
"Sorry for the people who are having to stand outside because of the number of people present. Welcome to my friend Jan Laporta and everyone who is present.
I announce that Alfons Godall will take part in the elections. We present the slogan and the logo: +BARCA. Mes Barça. More Barça. We also present this headquarters, that has proven to be too small today.
We have lived the best period in the history of the club, as several older members who are presented will be able to confirm, like my father who's a member for over 50 years.
The team has won 11 trophies in 6 years, and there could follow more. The trophies have been won by a certain model, based on the Holland school. Besides the sports results, we have also cleaned up the economic situation.
We want more Barça, more successes, more economic growthe, a turnover of 1.000 millions in six years. We want more assets, more fan clubs, more youth academy, more emotions, more sections, more members, more solidarity, a more global Barça. That's why I present my candidacy."
Possible presidential candiate Josep Maria Minguella gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu. This is the second part of the interview.
What is clear is that it won't be a campaign based on transfers. When there has been a change of president - whether in the case of Núñez, Gaspart, Florentino... – it was always because the sports part of the club didn't function and because there was a general feeling of discomfort. Here it's completely different. Everyone is happy with the successes.
It's not a matter of signing a new sports director, a coach or a centre forward. Everyone will want that Guardiola continues. And that's good. First because the team does well, but it will also allow to put more emphasis on the social aspect. On the transparency of the board, the participation of the club members, on the management of the club. In short, on what I'm already defending for many years.
Explain yourself... Barça and Real Madrid are great clubs that are owned by the club members and it is not normal that the latter don't know what happens. Here there has been criticism when Madrid did the reclassification without hearing the members and now they are doing the same. They have sold land, approved the reclassification of the Miniestadi and the member hasn't been informed at all. In what other fields can such important movements of money happen without even consulting the owners of the club?
The future of Barça has to be a board and some executives who take care of the day to day business, but at the same time creating zones of influence, control and participation where the members can give their approval. You should create a senate or a parliament, name it how you want, who receive direct information from the board. The main policy areas, like the club's assets administration, should be subject to the will of the member.
In summary, more transparency? That's the key. I cannot understand that a president of a club like Barça doesn't explain the things he does. The last example is the friendly in Kuwait. Economically, it has been an excellent deal. Receiving two million euros for a holiday game with a team that almost entirely consists of youth players is a great operation. But, very soon there are reports claiming we received only one million eight hundred, others say one million seven hundred...
Wouldn't it be better if the club would say: "We have received this amount". And in case there was a commission fee: "That amount for us plus a commission of that much". Then the matter is clear at once. Now they don't say anything and afterwards all kinds of doubts arise. People say: "Didn't Laporta, his brother and Yuste go to Kuwait a month and a half ago? And now it turns out that..." You should keep thing simple.
Why can't they openly explain what the club has received? Everything should be explained. I'm not talking about making the contracts of the players public, but about those other things. Why do we have to be informed indirectly about what the general director earns? If we know what the prime minister and the ministers earn, why can't the members of Barça know what the executives earn? It's something I have never understood. I'm not talking about making the salary of a secretary public, but about important things that would make the relations with the members more fluid.
How do you look back at the presidency of Joan Laporta? Laporta is white and black. He has done excellent things, like signing first Rijkaard and then Guardiola. You just have to take a look at the results. Despite the last period of Rijkaard, the titles cannot be questioned. Some will say he has been influenced, but it's always the president who makes the final decision. But having done all that, he has also undertaken personal actions that are incomprehensible.
When things go wrong, if the results aren't there, no president in the world can withstand the pressure. He, however, has been fortunate – although it has to be said that that's also his merit - that the sporting results have been excellent. But instead of enjoying the good times, he has gotten involved in a series of unnecessary incidents.
And he didn't assess the risk, nor the consequences of all this. All those things have caused people to say: "I support Guardiola, but I don't support Laporta". He wasted a unique opportunity to present himself as a unique winner in the history of the club. He has a great sporting legacy, but on a personal level he has done things that the club member has not accepted. People will more remember the teams of Rijkaard and Guardiola than the mandate of Laporta.
Has he disappointed you? When we meet, which is not often, our relationship is very affectionate, but I do feel disappointed because I believed in him. When he arrived, he put an end to twenty years of dealing with thing in a certain way and he had very clear ideas. He wanted to open the club, in every sense, democratizing it, bringing it closer to the members, making it transparent.
It was totally groundbreaking. Until that point that in the middle of the campaign when I was asked who I wanted to win if I wouldn't win myself, I said Laporta. Then later, when he came to power, he hasn't done anything of what he had promised. The club has won titles but everything that he had promised regarding the revolution of the club is still a pending issue.
this was the second and last part of this interview. you can read the first part here.
Asked about the upcoming presidential elections, Barcelona player Andrés Iniesta has said in an interview with Catalan television channel TV3 that he prefers that the vote would take place after the end of the season:
"The ideal thing would be that everyone who will take part in the elections behaves in an appropriate way and that everyone does his job with respect, but if I have to give my point of view I would prefer them to be held at the end of season to not distract the team.
Everyone will be talking and giving opinions and so it's better that the season is over by then. But if that's not the case, we’ll try to let it not affect us."
The Catalan press is still having doubts on what the role of Barcelona economic vice-president Joan Boix will be in the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona later this year.
Boix was generally believed to be one of the main supporters of a united board candidacy and it's not clear what he will do now that it has become almost certain that Barcelona vice-presidents Alfons Godall and Jaume Ferrer will separately run for president.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Boix supported Ferrer before the latter was vetoed as board candidate by Barcelona president Joan Laporta. Boix would now be seriousy considering not to join either of his colleagues, although the more flexible opinions of Ferrer over the past weeks could make him decide to support the assets vice-president.
Catalan weekly paper El Triangle claims that Boix will support Godall, Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu says that it's possible Boix won't take part in the elections at all and Catalan sports paper Sport isn't able to take a stand.
Things could become clear tonight at 7 pm local time, when first vice-president Godall will officially present his candidacy in Barcelona. Sport nevertheless claims that Boix could maintain the doubts by attending the press conference as a mere listener in an act of courtesy towards his board colleague.
This blog can exclusively report that the slogan of the candidacy of Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall, who will on Monday officially announce that he will take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona (read more here), will be "+Barça", which stands for "More Barça".
A Facebook group under that name has earlier today been created and it has been confirmed to this blog that the slogan and the above-pictured logo will be used by Barcelona director Godall in his run for the presidency of the club.
The extended version of the campaign slogan will be "More team, more successes, more country, more emotions, more fan clubs, more global, more sections, more youth, more club members, more solidarity, more Barça".
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claimed last week that Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell wants to create a new function within the social area of the club. José Maria Barnils (picture) would become the club's "Penyes' embassador" and would be the link between FC Barcelona and the fan clubs abroad.
Barnils confirmed the news in an interview with Barcelona opposition site Pelikano: "A while ago, during one of my trips to Barcelona, my friend Jordi Cardoner told me about the plans they had regarding the internationalization of Barça, which included encouraging the foreign fan clubs, club members and supporters.
Since I have lived abroad for over 20 years and I know the concerns and the problems foreign Barça fans can face, Jordi Cardoner asked me to work on the subject. It seemed an interesting and original project and that's why I gladly accepted his proposal.
If Sandro Rosell is elected president, I would become a member of the club's social commission as the 'correspondent' abroad with the function of being the contact person for the foreign fan clubs, their representative and all foreign club members and fans. I will help to promote the Barça brand abroad."
José Maria Barnils is a 45-year old Catalan lawyer, specialized in company law, who is living in Denmark for more than twenty years. His father, Carlos Barnils, was in the 1960s and 1970s the editor of 'Barça' and 'R.B.', two magazines that focused on FC Barcelona.
Speaking at a press conference in a hotel in Barcelona, Francesc Mañé, the president of a Barcelona fans' club, has yesterday announced that he will take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona later this year (read more here).
Spanish news agency EFE reports that the project of Mañé targets the fans' clubs and that he will campaign with the slogan "Per al soci de peu" ("For the small club member"). One of the key points of his program is to cancel the position of sports director and to give all sporting powers to the coach.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo adds some other proposals of Mañé: building a retirement home and a sports area - that would be free to use for the club members - on the grounds of the Miniestadi if those are reclassified, the creation of members' commissions that have direct contact with the board, significant discounts at the Barça shops and not raising the season tickets for two years.
The candidate admits that it won't be easy to be able to participate in the final vote but he's nevertheless confident: "I didn't go mad. I know it will be difficult to collect the signatures needed, but I can obtain them. The club member will have the final word."
Francesc Mañé has over the last years been very active in the world of Barcelona's fans' clubs. He is the president of Barcelona fans' club Som-hi and the former president of Barcelona fans' club Paral·lel.