Saturday, February 6, 2010

Majo considering to participate in the elections

Asked about the rumours that he could take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona this year (read more here), former Barcelona presidential candidate Jordi Majó has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that talks are ongoing but that a final decision has not yet been made:

"Nothing has been decided. It's true that we want to take a closer look at how the electoral panorama looks like but we're not in a hurry and even less now the elections will only be on 13 June.

We'll look at the situation and we'll see what we will do, we'll take a decision later on. I've always stayed motivated, I never lost that feeling. The thing is that you should do a good job and do everything at the right time, not in a hasty way."

Jordi Majó is a 60-year old agricultural businessman who finished third, out of six candidates, in the 2003 elections. Behind Joan Laporta and Lluís Bassat, Majó obtained 2.490 votes (4,82%). In 2006, he considered to be a candidate but he ended up giving his support to Jaume Guixà.

Read more:
Minguella confirms talks with Medina and Majo
Who will be the next president of FC Barcelona?
Former coach Rexach will not run for president

Vice-president Yuste won't take part in campaign

Asked about his role in the upcoming elections, Barcelona sports vice-president Rafael Yuste (picture, on the left) has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that he will stay at the club until the end of the term of the board and that he won't participate in the electoral process:

"I have said last week at the board meeting that I will stay on until 30 June, together with Txiki Begiristain. As sports vice-president, I think that I need to stay close to the team and the president. And after that, we'll see what will have happened in the elections. If Alfons Godall is elected president, something I hope will be the case, and he wants me to stay, I'm totally at his disposal to continue with this model."

The statements of Yuste came after Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claimed that Yuste would not be part of the campaign team of Godall, but would after the election join the new board if Godall would be chosen, although pointing out that there would also be a chance that Yuste could follow current Barcelona president Joan Laporta if the latter decides to enter politics.

Read more:
Vice-president Yuste still hoping for board unity
Directors considering to leave the club
The five vice-presidents of Godall

Benedito: "I shaped a reliable and solid model"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Catalan online paper El Singular Digital.

There are already people who point out that these elections will be a matter of two, Rosell and Godall...
Every now and then the club members of Barça have the rare ability to choose their representatives and this fact alone proves that the upcoming elections at the club cannot be a matter of two.

Give some reasons to believe in your candidacy.
I have worked with Laporta for almost fifteen years, before he was president and during his term in office. During that period, I have had the opportunity to shape a reliable and solid club model, a model that is different from the continuity one, and by intuition, also different from the one that Sandro Rosell will present.

Make your project a bit more concrete.
The defining element of Barça is that it is owned by 170.000 people and this is the reason of being that defines and orientates our model. I think that the projects of other candidates, like Sandro Rosell, will focus on other aspects. We'll focus on the club member.

Joan Carretero [catalan politician] said several months ago that the position of Barça president is more important than that of president of the Catalan government. Do you feel ready to take on this challenge?
Yes, but I do not share the words of Carretero. Catalonia is a thousand years old and has a splendid story ahead that is in the hands of the Catalans. Barça can not be explained without Catalonia, but Catalonia can without Barça. I can not accept that the president of the Catalan government would be compared with the president of Barça.

Evaluate the presidency of Laporta.
If we make an overall assessment, I don't have any problem in recognizing that Laporta has been a good president. Not recognizing that he made the start of a change would be unfair. He maybe has not been the best president in the history of Barça but he has been the president of the best Barça is history, that's a fact. On the other hand, it has to be said that there have been things he didn't do and others that he has done badly.

What is the economic situation of the club at this moment?
Barça's accounts are audited and we have to believe everything they say. There are nevertheless some elements, especially regarding assets operations, that suggest certain treasury difficulties that make one think that things aren't as good as they tell us. I can not think of any reason to hide information for the club member and if I am president I will therefore assure maximum transparency regarding this issue.

Projects such as the Foster remodelling attract the attention.
And the Miniestadi project too. The candidacies of Godall, and presumably those of Ferrer and Sandro, are in favour of the reclassification of the stadium of the second team. We believe that the assets' solvency ratio is what secures the future viability of the club and we are totally opposed to losses in that aspect.

Regarding the Foster reform, we are also against it, for the simple fact that this is about spending 400 million euros and because it is unacceptable to make these kinds of decisions without consulting the members.

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

Read more:
Benedito signs ex-campaign director Laporta
Introducing Benedito
Benedito: "Rosell has a different model"

interview: xavier march

Business partner Laporta in candidacy Godall

Barcelona news site Pelikano claims that Catalan lawyer Xavier Puig (picture, in the centre) will be part of the board team of current Barcelona first vice-president and presidential candidate Alfons Godall. Puig would become a vice-president in the next Barcelona board if Godall is elected as president.

Xavier Puig is a close business partner of Barcelona president Joan Laporta (picture, on the left). Puig is an associated partner in the Laporta & Arbós law firm, that was founded by the current Barcelona president, and is also chief executive of financial services company Financat, that is presided by Laporta.

Read more:
Board secretary Cubells to become vice-president
Godall: "I'm not the puppet of Laporta"
First female vice-president for Barcelona?

The Pundit: Colmena and Martin on preference Guardiola

« Some directors who accompany Ferrer are convinced that Guardiola would feel more comfortable with them than with Sandro Rosell, a president with a more interventionist profile, and will try to play that card during the electoral campaign. »

Dani Colmena and Ramiro Martín,
El 9 Esportiu

Friday, February 5, 2010

Soriano: "I don't rule out anything"

Former Barcelona economic vice-president and possible presidential candidate Ferran Soriano gave an interview to Barcelona Informació, a monthly magazine published by the city of Barcelona, in which he also talked about the upcoming elections.

What does the period 2003-2008 mean for you?
A fabulous, unique experience, with a lot of suffering and a lot of hard work, but is there anything better than to work in a place you value highly? We found the club in one situation and we left it in a totally different one. I feel proud about it and I would do it again, despite the ups and downs and the suffering.

What have you learned from that period?
Many things, but one thing that has also helped me in my new job from day one is that when you're in a difficult situation or company, you have to make all changes together and very fast because people expect that you will act and are willing to help for the common good.

After one year, changes are more complicated. We did 80% of the changes we made at Barça during the first year. Later, everything became more difficult, when we weren't losing money anymore and had started to win games.

A sports paper said that at this moment only Soriano is missing in the presidential pre-campaign...
I feel satisfied about Barça. As I said before, I have made an enthusiastic and honest contribution to the club during five years and I honestly think we came out fairly well and that we did good things. Therefore, I've already made my contribution to Barça and I'm not anxious or restless about becoming president of Barça.

That doesn't mean I rule out a return because I like Barça a lot, as we all do, but it will depend on the current and future circumstances. I don't rule out anything, but as I said, it's not something that worries me.

Read more:
Soriano still not showing his cards
Poll result: What should Ferran Soriano do?
Two options left for Soriano

Most read of the month

Check the most read blog posts of:

Ferrer: "Efficiency, discretion and renewal"

Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer has opened an account at online question service Formspring. This blog will follow the account and keep you updated on the most interesting questions and answers published on there.

You had already decided to run for president of Barça when you, after some doubts, ended up supporting the board after the vote of no confidence in 2008?
No, at that moment my position was simply an act of responsibility. President Laporta was motivated to continue and I decided to support him, accepting all the consequences that could have.

Do you think that the Catalan identity of Barça is crucial in the club's identity? If you think so, what role should Barça play within the Catalan nationalism movement?
Of course it is. Barça should always support the Catalan institutions, but never be used as a political instrument.

Don't you think that the president of Barça, as representative of a global club, should try to "take care" of the fans outside Catalonia? I think there have been some statements that should be avoided...
Without forgetting that we are a Catalan club and what we represent, we must keep in mind that not only people living in Catalonia are club members or fans. We need to accommodate the fans outside of Catalonia and try to make them also feel comfortable.

Who will be the sports director? And what will be your transfer policy? Will the youth players continue to be as important in the first team?
For the position of sports director, I continue to believe in Txiki Begiristain. I think he has done an excellent job and as far as I'm concerned it just depends on him wanting to continue. The transfer policy should not be dictated by other people than the coach, Josep Guardiola, and the sports director. And the first team should obviously be fed, as far as possible, with players of the academy.

Do you completely rule out a deal with Alfons Godall, Agustí Benedito or Ferran Soriano? Because you are all heirs of the best Barça in history, and the battle against Sandro Rosell will be very tough.
My candidacy continues to have the doors open, but I think that now is the time for everyone to make their program public.

Could you define your project in three words?
Efficiency, discretion and renewal.

What differentiates your project of that headed by Alfons Godall?
My candidacy is an innovative one that besides wishing to strengthen the economic model and the sports model, also wants to provide a breath of fresh air. I believe in the current model, but I also believe that the new president has to stay away from self-centeredness. The president of Barça has to limit himself to his job and let the professionals do their work, appear less in the media and make sure that everything functions in an efficient and discreet way.

Who will be part of your team?
As you already know I have the support of board members Albert Perrín, Alfons Castro, Jordi Torrent, Jacint Borrás and Josep Antón Colomer. There are also other new people who will bring fresh ideas and whom you will get to know soon.

Shouldn't the club give a little more importance to the other sports, especially basketball?
Without any doubt. During those years I got to know the other sports because I was responsible for the handball section. The club is not just a football club. Basketball, handball and roller hockey, plus the other sports, are also very important to us. Moreover, I am a big basketball fan and when it's possible I always attend the home games.

How will the support of Laporta for the other vice-president affect your campaign?
As a club member, Joan Laporta is free to support who he wants, like every other member who will be able to express himself the day of the elections. I have already said on more than one occasion that because of their friendship it is normal that Laporta supports Godall.

Read more:
Ferrer: "The homegrown players are the basis"

The Quote: Agusti Benedito

"I predict that the elections will go between two or three candidates. And one of those will be my candidacy."

Agustí Benedito,
Barcelona presidential candidate

read more election quotes here

Cartoon 26: Candidates asked to animate midweek

Customer 1:
The fact of not having mid-week games leaves one totally disconnected. I don't even know who we're playing next.

Customer 2:
If the presidential candidates at least would put up some fight... But not even that.

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by alex


see more cartoons here

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guixa: "I reaffirm that the club is almost bankrupt"

This blog had an exclusive interview with Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà.

PLAYERS You plan to contact players or their entourage trying to close pre-agreements or you won't enter the game of putting out names and transfers?
It's too early to talk about signings, although in the future we will announce what our intentions are regarding this issue.

Would you be willing to pay between 40 and 50 million euros for the return of Cesc Fàbregas?
Cesc wants to come back and we want him to come back, but as I said before: it is very early to talk about transfers. Either way, what is clear is that we will have to sign the players wanted by Guardiola and we will negotiate to pay the right price taking into account the circumstances of the market and the qualities of the player.

ECONOMY You have said in an interview with 'El 9 Esportiu' that the club is on the verge of bankruptcy. You can assure that this was not just a strategic statement in the built-up to the elections and that you have concrete and reliable indications that the financial situation of the club is disastrous?
I reaffirm my statement. We believe that the club member should be worried about the economic situation of the club. I do not believe the offical numbers.

What will be your plan to clean up the economic situation of the club? You have in your candidacy experienced people who are capable of doing this?
In our candidacy we have a person specialized in economics, who has a fantastic curriculum, is linked to this sector and is amply prepared to take charge of the economic area.

SHIRT Do you want to continue the collaboration with Unicef?
Of course. It is a good initiative that also perfectly matches with the value that Barça is "More than a club".

You consider a return to a "virgin" shirt in the future? A shirt with a commercial brand can be an option for you or this is totally excluded?
We want to maintain the design with the Unicef logo.

HOOLIGANS Do you agree with the policy of president Joan Laporta against the Boixos Nois, the radical fans, and do you want to continue to not give them any privileges?
Without any doubt we need to keep the violent people away from the stadiums. People are going to a football game to have fun and not to worry about their safety.

ELECTION DATE Do you agree with the choice of the date on which the elections will be held? Did you prefer another day?
We were prepared for any date that the board thought was the right one. We have been working for a long time and we are ready to lead an interesting candidacy that can persuade the Barcelona fans. 13 June seems a good date to us, because it won't affect the performances of the team and because they have listened to the opinion of the players.

SIGNATURES You need around 2100 signatures of members to be able to participate in the upcoming elections. You hope to reach this number? You in some way already have "secured" a certain number of signatures?
I fully believe in our possibilities. Moreover, we have a team of volunteers in place who, when the time is there, will work to make it happen.

In 2006, you said you got 1694 signatures (when 1804 were needed) but you never submitted them to the competent commission so it was not possible to check them. Some have criticized this decision by saying that you didn't act right towards the members who had given you their signature. You understand this criticism? And can you explain again why you decided not to submit the signatures in August 2006?
At that time I said that I would only submit the signatures if I would reach the number of 1804. Back then, I thanked the people who supported me for their help and I want to repeat that now.

BARCA IN THE WORLD You share the analysis that Barça can not grow a lot anymore in Catalonia or Spain while at the same time in other parts of the world there's an almost unlimited potential of fans and that this is why the club (apart of course from taking care of their roots) needs to have a more global focus? You have a plan to make Barça grow abroad?
We believe that internationalization is important - and I have experienced that in person during my recent trip to the United Arab Emirates because of the World Cup for Clubs - and we have prepared a great marketing plan that will allow us to coherently work on the issue. Either way, we will not forget the Catalan and the Spanish fans.

Many thanks for this interview and good luck in the campaign.

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

Read more:
More about Guixa
Three 'Dream Team' players in candidacy Guixa
Guixa: "The financial situation worries me"

How many people will be able to vote?

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that possibly more than 110.000 people will have the right to vote in the elections for president of FC Barcelona later this year.

To be a qualified voter on Sunday 13 June, the elector basically needs to be an adult and have been a club member for a minimum of one year (read more

At the end of last year, Barcelona had 173.187 club members, more than one fifth of which are minor. The number of members on 13 June 2009, one year before the elections, is estimated around 160.000. In the 2003 elections, 94.339 club members had the right to cast their vote.

Read more:
Who can vote in the elections?
Elections will be held on Sunday 13 June
Plan for internet voting rejected

Godall: "I'm not the puppet of Laporta"

Barcelona first vice-president and presidential candidate Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan newspaper El Periódico.

Do you understand that the suspicions are now growing that the spying of the vice-presidents (read more here) happened for electoral purposes? Coincidentally, you were the only one who was not investigated.
People have the right to think the worst if they want so. I wasn't the object of these investigations or these studies because at that time I was out of the electoral race. But I recognize that it was a sad chain of errors. I want to learn from the mistakes, and also from this one.

Having said that, unfortunately, when someone gets involved in the entourage of Barça at whatever level, he should accept that his private and professional life will be analyzed and often with unclear purposes.

Yes, but you didn't have to undergo it.
Now I didn't, but they did investigate me before: in 1996, when we started to make some noise with the 'Elefant Blau' [barcelona opposition group], when we took part in the 2000 elections and again in 2003, and during our time in office.

I know about it because I have been informed, for example by banks with whom I work, that there have been individuals or companies that have collected information about my business and financial situation, I imagine as a part of some study or audit.

But that didn't come from within the club. Would you accept to be investigated now for your own "security"?
I have no objection at all to be investigated if they want so because my life is very normal and I think I have very little dirty laundry to hide. It is true that there is always a more intimate circle, namely the family, where it is very annoying to feel being watched.

Why is a joint candidacy with Jaume Ferrer not possible when you say that you get along well with him? Because of the continuity of chief executive Joan Oliver?
The director general has done a brilliant management job in very difficult economic times. I like his efficiency and I am a strong supporter of him staying at the club.

Is it true that one of the reasons is that you don't want to include directors Albert Perrín, Jacint Borràs and Josep Anton Colomer in your list?
I don't want to be a prisoner of the board of directors I might have in the future. I think that a candidate has to chose people with whom he connects well and therefore I ask the freedom needed to make that decision. I want to make room for new blood and for a policy of alliances with other people.

This isn't about names, I don't want to personalize things by telling who I exclude. I want to choose my travel companions freely and according to my own preferences, and so far we haven't been able to find the right balance that could lead to this agreement with Jaume.

It's not only a matter of winning the elections, although this is of course the most important point, but also of being able to govern in a stable way after that.

You always speak about Ferran Soriano in a praising tone and without excluding a pact. Don't you think that Laporta would feel betrayed?
I told Laporta that I want to have the total freedom to develop the strategy of alliances that seems best to me. This shows from the start that I'm not the puppet of Laporta, nor the representative of anyone. I have my own personality and my own project. I hope and I am convinced that Jan will understand my choices, even when he's not feeling the same about them.

On the other hand you always kept distance from Rosell.
It's not a matter of persons but of moments and of reasons why they left. Rosell left early because in fact he didn’t share our sporting model. I think he wanted to be the sporting model himself.

Soriano on the other hand left a lot later, he shared the model and his reason was the interpretation of the vote of no confidence. He and the others felt morally obliged to resign and I respect that, although in my opinion they were wrong.

Do you think that both you and Ferrer don’t have to put down a bank guarantee?
I'm not considering the possibility of having to guarantee since the competent administration and custodian of the guarantee, which is the LFP, the Professional Football League, tells us that we don’t have to do it. And it's the same in the case of Ferrer.

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

Read more:
Godall officially confirms presidential candidacy
Boix will not choose between Godall and Ferrer
Team member Rosell asks Godall to resign

interview: david torras

The Quote: Sandro Rosell

"My doctor has forbidden me to talk about Barça."

Sandro Rosell,
Barcelona presidential candidate

read more election quotes here

The Pundit: Miguel Rico on Laporta era

« Over those seven years, it's true, FC Barcelona has won all the titles that they could win but, almost at the same speed, the president has been losing the essence of everything for which he was elected. »

Miguel Rico,
El Mundo Deportivo

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Godall chosing campaign songs

Through his personal Facebook page and that of his campaign team, Barcelona first vice-president and presidential candidate Alfons Godall is looking for songs that could liven up Godall's campaign events in the coming months.

One song that has already been selected is "Viatge a Ítaca" in the version of Catalan singer Beth (video above). The song was originally written in 1975 by Catalan singer-songwriter Lluís Llach based on a poem by Greek poet Kavafis that was inspired by the homeric return journey of Greek mythic hero Odysseus to his home island.

Other songs that certainly will be used during the campaign of the vice-president are "We Are the Champions" and "Viva la Vida" by British rock bands Queen and Coldplay. Godall also said that he would like to add one of his personal favourites, "You Got It" by American singer-songwriter Roy Orbison.

And after Godall appeared on Monday for the first time in "Crackòvia", a popular sketch comedy program on Catalan television channel TV3, he suggested that it might be an option to also include "Simply the Best" by American singer Tina Turner (video below, from 2'15").

Read more:
Godall: "I have a great feeling of relief"

How much will the elections cost?

The cost to organize the elections for president of FC Barcelona in June will be a little less than one million euro.

This number was announced during a press conference that was given last week by Barcelona economic vice-president Joan Boix and Barcelona chief executive Joan Oliver about the financial situation of the club.

Read more:
Plan for internet voting rejected
When will the next president take office?
Elections will be held on Sunday 13 June

Laporta: " 'More than a club' is not just a slogan"

Barcelona president Joan Laporta gave an interview to Catalan newspaper Avui.

You were deeply moved at the presentation of Alfons Godall as presidential candidate. Friendship aside, did you also see the event as the beginning of your goodbye?
No, it was basically because of friendship, he's a friend who has taken an important decision. But also because, as Xavier Sala said very well, I want the dream to continue to be a reality, that this model that has made us be recognized as the best club in the world and this period that is being the best in the history of Barça can go on.

He is someone who has always been there with me. It was a mixture of the respect I have for Alfons Godall and the fact of seeing him, who is for me the most suitable candidate, take this step and to show a lot of courage.

Do you picture the final stretch of your mandate in a special way?
I take things day by day, but if I take some distance, I see a lot of good football, a lot of those games that the Barcelona fans like. And as we want this era of success to continue, I would also want, with the elections coming up, that the candidate show their responsibility.

I do not think that anyone would dare to do things that could harm the team, although with the choice of the date I also think that we have made things clear now. As for me, I take everything that comes with the peacefulness of knowing that the end is near.

Looking back at your time at the club, what are you most proud of and what are you least proud of?
Especially of the sporting decisions. To have appointed Txiki Begiristain as sports director. We also have always had very clear ideas and we have defended them in the most difficult moments, which is also when we have learned the most. We had decided to change things completely, and we did it.

We have recovered the Catalan identity of Barça, and the most Catalan Barça in history is also the most global one. As you can understand, I'm very proud about that. We have made it very clear that 'more than a club' is not just a slogan but a declaration of principles.

Those who wanted to change us in just another club should re-think things because we became the best club in the world defending to be 'more than a club' because of our football, cultural and solidary identity. Because there's also the Foundation, a pillar of the club. The soul of Barça can only be understood through the Foundation, that is developing those programs to support the most vulnerable children.

We have a team of people who believe in these ideals. With the director of the Foundation Marta Segú, chief executive Joan Oliver, sports director Txiki Begiristain, the executive of the football area Raül Sanllehí, the squad led by Pep Guardiola now and Frank Rijkaard before. And the board colleagues, especially those who helped me to lead the way.

We also asked also what you're least proud of...
Of not having won more titles. I think we still could have won more. Apart from that, although we are broadly recognized by the fans and despite all what we have done, we haven't been able to achieve that the closest part of the entourage, the part of the opposition that always has to be there, the part of the media that always has to be critical, almost by nature because another group isn’t, we haven't achieved that they would overcome, so to say, their obsession.

There are people and media that have taken such a position that they cannot say anything good about what we have done in seven years. Those people need to get a check-up. Of course we have also made mistakes, but to take positions that are so radical, so visceral, seeing all those favouritisms, personal interests and in some cases obsession... As things have gone, I don't say there should be unanimity, but we should have had another kind of relationship with these people.

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

Read more:
Laporta: "We need someone who's able to resist"
Poll result: Can Laporta openly support Godall?
Godall: "I have a great feeling of relief"

interview: xavi xirgo and jordi cortada

Medina confirms he's working on a candidacy

Asked what his role will be in the upcoming presidential elections, former presidential candidate Jordi Medina confirmed last week in an interview with Catalan radio station Rac 1 that he is holding talks trying to form a candidacy ahead of the elections in June:

"We're motivated, we're excited, we have a project, we are talking with several people of the entourage of the club to see if we can link up. The moment will come when we will have to go public and I'm hopeful that we will be able to present a solid project that can be attractive."

Medina elaborated on the plans in an interview with Catalan radio station COM Ràdio on Monday: "We are working on a project and the moment will come when we will have to take a decision and make it public. We hope to make it work and to present an attractive project that the Barcelona fans will like.

Rexach and Minguella are involved? Personally I didn't meet with Charly. I know there have been some reports but I don't know where those were coming from. But it's true that we have been talking with Barcelona people, among which of course Josep Maria Minguella, a close friend of mine, but also others.

We have met, we have talked, but nothing has been decided. I shouldn't necesarily lead a possible candidacy. In all honesty, I have a lot of work and I don't have much time, which would make it difficult for me to head a candidacy. But so I'm working to help to form a list, although we're not in a hurry."

Jordi Medina is a 45-year old Catalan lawyer who was a pre-candidate in the 2003 and 2006 elections but failed twice to collect enough signatures of club members to take part in the final vote. Medina is the chairman of 'Un Crit Valent', an FC Barcelona platform.

Read more:
Minguella and Medina behind Rexach candidacy
Medina will again take part in the elections
Minguella confirms talks with Medina and Majo

Poll result: Should Guardiola stay no matter what?

Guardiola should continue at Barça no matter who the next president is?

Yes 91%
No 9%

total votes: 3238
start date poll: 28 january 2010
poll method: internet, free participation
source: el periódico

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New board member to be appointed this month

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Catalan lawyer Xavier-Albert Canal (picture) will almost certainly be appointed as new director of FC Barcelona at the next board meeting on Friday 26 February.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta had reportedly proposed during one of the last limited board meetings to add a new member to the board who should not be part of any candidacy and who should stay at the club until the end of the term with the main task of keeping an eye on the correctness of the whole eletoral process.

Although there would have been a consensus during the general board meeting last Friday to nominate Jaume Alonso Cuevillas, a university professor of law, the latter was at the last minute vetoed by someone within the club.

Club sources told the paper that the veto came from Barcelona ombudsman Agustí Bassols. This is confirmed by Barcelona site
Pelikano that claims that the position of Bassals was caused by an earlier business dispute with Cuevillas, whose appointment is said to have been strongly supported by Laporta and director Magda Oranich.

Everything would now indicate that Xavier-Albert Canal, a former president of the Catalan rugby federation, will become the new board member. Canal joined the disciplinary commission of FC Barcelona in October of last year. Before, he had already been a member of the club's sports commission.

Read more:
The Board Movements (2003-2009)
Vice-president Joan Franquesa resigns
First female vice-president for Barcelona?

Guixa: "The trophies have hidden the instability"

This blog had an exclusive interview with Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND You are a professor of business management at the Polytechnic University of Catalunya, an architect and a lawyer. Three jobs that seem very different. Is there a link between the three that we don't see?
Throughout my life, my intellectual interests have led me to get involved in different areas. Apart from my studies and professional activities, I am also a painter in my spare time.

REASONS TO TAKE PART IN THE ELECTIONS Why are you running for president of FC Barcelona? All observers are talking about Sandro Rosell and Alfons Godall, with Ferran Soriano and Jaume Ferrer as possible outsiders, and no one really thinks you have a chance to become the next president. You participate to make people hear another voice? Out of vanity? Out of love for the club? You expect someone from the other candidates to give you a seat in the board or in a commission?
We present our candidacy because we want to guarantee the dignity, the prestige of the club, the respect for the professional job done by the players and the coach and the protection of the club member, because the member is the true owner of the club and we want to give the club back to its owner.

As for the 'pools' that are out there, I think it is too early to know who will be the strongest candidate and the experience of past elections shows that the early predictions are unreliable. In the year 2003, Lluís Bassat started with a big advantage and with a ‘dream team’ and in the end it was Joan Laporta and his ‘Elefant Blau', who won the election starting from scratch.

I participate because I believe that during the mandate of Joan Laporta, the club has lost many things at the institutional level that need to be recovered by an institution with the fame of FC Barcelona.

I expect nothing from the other candidates. Ours is an independent candidacy and we are proving that we have ideas, a team and resources that will allow us to get to the final vote. If any good Barcelona fan shares our ideas and wants to join our project, he will be welcomes.

YOUR TEAM You have already confirmed ex-vice president Jaume Sobrequés as a member of your team. Other ex-directors of Barca will join you?
Jaume Sobrequés, Emma Gamper and Joan Segarra will be there with us and in the near future other big names linked to Barcelona will be made public.

ANTI-LAPORTISM You present yourself as the real alternative for the "laportism", as the only candidate (so far) who has not been linked with current president Joan Laporta. You also say that all board members have to leave. Why do you take this radical position? The term of Laporta has been a total failure for you, with the exception of the team's results? The problem is not just a problem of public image, of the personality of the president, but a management problem that affects all areas and the entire board?
I don't think it's a radical position, I just want to make my position clear. The board of Mister Laporta will go down in the history of the club as the most unstable one ever. Fortunately, the sporting successes have hidden all this, but it's a fact that there are only four or five directors left of those who started six years ago.

We have witnessed a little opera of resignations, of escapes, of firings and of spying that harms the prestige of the club. Moreover, the statements of Mister Laporta and his links to the world of politics have caused a division among the Barça fans. I think it's fine he wants to do politics, but then he should leave the club.

OTHER CANDIDATES You have said that you have no intention at all of making a deal with another candidate. However, if you would have to choose, to whom do you feel the closest in terms of personality and/or club model: Jaume Ferrer, Alfons Godall, Sandro Rosell or Ferran Soriano?
At this moment few details are known about the programs or proposals of the club members who have presented themselves as pre-candidates, but I do not identify with any of them.

Did you hold talks with other potential presidential candidates like Josep Maria Minguella, Jordi Majò, Jaume Llaurado or Jordi Medina to try to form a joint candidacy?

SPORTS DIRECTOR Why are you so hard for Txiki Begiristain? Can't he be considered as one of the main architects of a squad that has triumphed under both Frank Rijkaard and Josep Guardiola?
I think that we have to take our hats off for the work done by Pep Guardiola, his staff and the players, and that's why I say that they have all my confidence and support, but from Guardiola up I don't want anybody to stay.

If Txiki does not satisfy you, what is the profile a sports director should have in your opinion? And who will be the new sports director if you would be elected president? Would you choose to give more powers to the coach, Josep Guardiola, and to eliminate the function of sports director?
The position of sports director is important because he is the link between, on the one hand, the squad and the coach and, on the other hand, the board, which is why I think it's difficult to do without the position.

Our technical department will be divided in three sections, one for the first team, one for the second team and a third one for the other youth categories, all of which will be headed by members of the 'Dream Team'.

COACH Do you have a B plan in case Guardiola will not accept to renew his contract if you're elected?
In principle Pep has already given his word that he will renew and for us, the word of Pep is more than enough, so we count on him for next season.

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

Read more:
More about Guixa
Three 'Dream Team' players in candidacy Guixa
Guixa: "The financial situation worries me"

Weekly Round-Up (10): Fasten your seatbelts

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

The election for Barcelona president has an official date: Sunday, 13 June 2010.

This was announced by the club following a special meeting of its board of directors and after earlier statements by Barcelona president Joan Laporta expressing his preference for elections to be held at the end of the season.

Laporta explained that the date was chosen mainly for sporting reasons and in consultation with Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola and sports director Txiki Begiristain: “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.”

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta also earlier said that he would prefer if elections are held at the end of the season to avoid distracting the team. Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol, on his part, assured that the players will remain focused regardless of any decision taken concerning the upcoming electoral exercise.

>>> read the complete weekly round-up here

The Pundit: Raul Llimos on affect election on team

« Some are afraid that the whole campaign will affect the team. For now, it didn't and I doubt a lot that it will. On the contrary. If on 22 May Barcelona conquers the Bernabéu, there should be no doubt that it will be the team that will affect the campaign. »

Raül Llimós,
El Mundo Deportivo

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rosell confirms that he will run for president

Former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell (picture, on the right) has this evening at an event for young entrepreneurs in Barcelona confirmed that he will run for president of FC Barcelona in the elections that will take place on 13 June later this year.

Rosell, who didn't want to enter further questions about his candidacy, made the announcement at the start of the event, where he spoke and answered questions about his experiences as entrepreneur (read more here).

Read more:
Rosell could announce candidacy on Monday
The Rosell Project
Rosell skeptical about economic situation

picture: consell 2.0

Cruyff will support Godall

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that former Barcelona player and manager Johan Cruyff will support the candidacy of Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall in the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona.

With Godall as president, the Dutchman could keep his privileged position as external adviser of the club.

Asked about the issue, Godall, who confirmed one week ago that he wil run for president, said last week in an interview with Catalan radio station Ona FM that he would be delighted to receive the support of Cruyff.

Read more:
Which role could Cruyff play in the elections?
Rosell skeptical about economic situation
Laporta wanted to replace Rosell by Cruyff

Ferrer: "The homegrown players are the basis"

Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer has opened an account at online question service Formspring. This blog will follow the account and keep you updated on the most interesting questions and answers published on there.

How would you explain that all pre-candidates that have come out so far have been part of the board that won in 2003? It gives the impression that a position in the board is very important when running for president.
It is true that most people who are taking part were members of the board of directors in 2003. I sincerely believe that the important thing is not where the candidates come from, but to make sure that there is a wide range of candidates so that the members have many options to choose from.

As a member of Barça, I have my doubts about who to vote for. My suggestion is not to continue with Txiki as sports director and this will be one of the key points when deciding my vote.
Our plan is to strengthen the sports model that has led us to win six cups while playing excellent football. We believe that the club's technical department and the staff of team have demonstrated that they are a guarantee to keep on being successful, so at this moment we would like to continue with the current technical staff.

Some people think that the fact that there are two candidates from the board of directors is a strategy organized by the board. Can you assure that you will never make a deal with Godall and that you won't step out of the electoral process before the end?
What I can assure you is that I will be the person who will lead my own project. Although we are of course open to any member who wants to join our team.

If you were elected president of Barça, and I hope it will be like that, which player would you like to sign?
We believe that now is the time to talk about projects rather than about signings. In any case, the decisions on the transfers should be taken by the sports director and the coach.

Would you strike a deal with Sandro Rosell?
I think that we are now in the process where the pre-candidates have to prepare their projects and make it known to the public.

Like all of us, you probably want that Guardiola continues, but if he doesn't who would be your first choice to coach Barça?
Last week we received the excellent news of the renewal agreement between Guardiola and the club. For us, his word carries much weight and therefore our first choice is obviously him.

Do you think that the billionaire transfers (Kaká, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic) are needed in modern football and that Barça has to adapt to this, or are you totally against it?
We believe that the basis of first team have to be players who were formed at the academy and the youth teams of Barça. The international players we bring to the club have to be top level players who add some extra quality.

Read more:
A first look at the project of Ferrer
Boix will not choose between Godall and Ferrer
Former brother-in-law Laporta reappearing on stage

Minguella confirms talks with Medina and Majo

Asked if he will take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona (read more here), former players' agent Josep Maria Minguella has confirmed in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that he is holding talks with other potential candidates to form a united list:

"I won't deny that there have been talks, with people like Jordi Medina, Jordi Majò and others who would want to get involved. The key to go on with this project would be that we feel we can add important things to Barça.

We also want to avoid a division between 'laportistas' and 'anti-laportistas' like before you had the division between 'nunistas' and 'cruyffistas'. While I'm just a fan of Barça and I think there are many people like that who are looking for a third option and that's what we have been analizing for a while now.

We didn't yet make a decision, but we're talking and now that the elections will be held on 13 June, we really have more time and more peace. All those involved are people with a certain economic and social level and big Barcelona supporters, so if we would form a candidacy, I'm sure we would be able to contribute a lot of things."

Josep Maria 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 the 2008 vote of no confidence against the board.

Read more:
Minguella and Medina behind Rexach candidacy
Llaurado admits talks with Minguella and Rexach
Minguella: "Laporta didn't keep his promises"

Poll result: Laporta could assist presentation Godall?

You think it's good that Joan Laporta has assisted the presentation of the candidacy of Alfons Godall?

No 54%
Yes 46%

total votes: 3811
start date poll: 25 january 2010
poll method: internet, free participation
source: sport

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guixa carrying out own election poll

Earlier this month, Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà has carried out an online survey about the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona.

Below you find some of the questions that were asked.

Rate (from 1 to 5) the following characteristics of the pre-candidate in the FC Barcelona elections Jaume Guixà.
Proximity - Seriousness - Leadership - Popularity - Respect - Emotionality - Appropriate discours - Charisma - Confidence - Honesty

Rate (from 1 to 5) what the strengths of his candidacy are.
Seriousness - Leadership - Transparency - Closeness to the club member - Not being linked to Joan Laporta

What do you think are the points that should be improved to be the president of FC Barcelona?
Popularity - Closeness to the club member - Charisma - Others

Rate (from 1 to 5) the characteristics that the program of the new president of FC Barcelona should have according to you.
Transparency - Strengthening of the youth academy - Signing of new players - No political links - Strengthening of the non-football sections

Rate (from 1 to 5) the importance of these issues in the future Barça project.
Listening to the club member - Remodelling of the Camp Nou - Advertising on the shirt - Improvements to the stadium accessibility - Continuing the agreement with UNICEF

How would you rate the image of Joan Laporta as president of FC Barcelona?
Bad - Regular - Good - Very good

Do you consider it to be positive that Joan Laporta has linked FC Barcelona with the independence movement?
Yes - No - It is good that he has linked the club with Catalonia but not with the independence movement

In recent weeks I have seen Jaume Guixà through the following media or means of communication:
Newspapers - Radio/television - His website - His blog - Facebook/Twitter - I have not seen him - Others

Rate from 0 to 10 the pre-candidate in the FC Barcelona elections Jaume Guixà.

Would you vote for Jaume Guixà as president of FC Barcelona?
Yes - No - I don't know

Read more:
Ferrer feels backed by own poll
Poll Rosell confirms his big lead
Godall waiting for poll to announce candidacy

Most read of the week

Godall: "I have a great feeling of relief"

Barcelona first vice-president and presidential candidate Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan newspaper El Periódico.

Has your life changed a lot since you announced your decision to stand for election?
Yes, I have a great feeling of relief because I've taken a weight off my mind. I had already decided for a while to take this step and I was looking for the best moment to do so. And I did not want to wait any longer.

It seems as if everything happened very fast. We don't even know yet when the elections will be (note: the interview dates from before the announcement on friday that the elections will be held on sunday 13 june).
I wanted to clarify some things after a series of speculations regarding my role in the elections. My wish is to be pre-candidate, candidate and president, if the club members want so. It was time to stop all the uncertainty and the rumours. And my desire is to continue until the end.

When Laporta presented you as candidate to the board last season, you turned the offer down with the argument that you didn't want to lose your private life. Then there was a consensus, which isn't the case anymore, and you will anyway lose a part of your freedom.
At that time, my personal situation was different. There have been developments in my private life that have made me reconsider the decision. I also believe that everything was premature at that moment and that the consensus within the board was a false consensus.

Laporta has publicly supported your candidacy, a gesture that made it clear that he is not impartial.
I'm sure that the president Joan Laporta will be fair, just and guarantee an exemplary election process. That is what he wants and I know he will do it that way. Jan assisted the event, first as a friend and then as a board colleague.

That is why I invited him and why he accepted, as did some who will support me in the elections and others who still do not know what they will do. I appreciate the support of the president and I don't think that his presence is a reason to criticize him.

Do you intend to offer him a position if you're elected?
It should be clear that he cannot be on any list nor have any position in the board during the next term. There are people who have been speculating about a later appointment, but that is not an option and I would not do it either way.

But I believe that in the whole of Catalonia nor in the entourage of Barça, there's someone who knows as well as Laporta the authorities, the people and the institutions that are governing international football.

We have not yet talked about this, but if we win I plan to offer him some form of representation or delegation of Barça's interest at FIFA, UEFA, ECA or the local federations, where he has a lot of influence and where he has earned a general respect. Everyone admires our club model.

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

Read more:
Godall officially confirms presidential candidacy
Boix will not choose between Godall and Ferrer
Team member Rosell asks Godall to resign

interview: david torras