Saturday, February 20, 2010

MotoGP businessman part of board team Rosell

Jordi Cardoner, probable member of the board team of Barcelona presidential candidate, has confirmed to Catalan local biweekly newspaper El 9 Nou that Catalan businessman Manel Arroyo is part of the candidacy.

Asked about the presence of Arroyo at a meeting of Rosell with presidents and vice-president of Barcelona fans clubs in Catalonia, Cardoner said: "If Sandro Rosell wins the elections and becomes the next president, Manel Arroyo will be part of the board."

Manel Arroyo is the 49-year old managing director of Dorna Sports, an international sports management and marketing company, that is among other things the exclusive holder of all commercial and television rights of the MotoGP World Championship since 1992.

Read more:
The Rosell Project - Part 3: The Board
Team member Rosell talking about their project
Rosell wants three women in his board

Llaurado to announce candidacy at last minute

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that former Barcelona vice-president Jaume Llauradó will particpate in the presidential elections in the summer but that he will only make his candidacy public at the very last moment because he doesn't want the elections to affect the team performances.

Llauradó would be convinced that he will be able to collect the signatures of club members needed to take part in the final vote on 13 June, although the ex-director wouldn't exclude the option of joining another candidate and become that way a member of the future board.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Llauradó will certainly actively take part in the campaign but that he will only make a decision on his exact role - as part of a candidacy or as observer at the the sideline - when the elections are officially called some 40 days before the day of the vote.

The 65-year old Catalan businessman would nevertheless already been negotiating with Catalan advertising agent Fernando Martorell, the former president of Espanyol Barcelona, to take charge of his campaign if he would in the end decide to run for president.

Jaume Llauradó was a pre-candidate in the elections of 1997 and 2000, when he ended up joining the candidacy of the later president Joan Gaspart, in whose board Llauradó was a vice-president from 2000 until he resigned after one year because he didn't agree with the way the club was governed.

In 2003, he was a presidential candidate but finished 6th and last in the elections won by Joan Laporta. He obtained 987 votes (1,91%), which was considerably lower than the number of signatures he had been able to collect (read more here). Llauradó is also the president of FC Barcelona think tank Fòrum Samitier.

Read more:
Llaurado confirms that he will run
The Pundit: Miguel Rico on chances Guixa and Llaurado
Llaurado admits talks with Minguella and Rexach

Ferrer: "My project is totally innovative"

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 questions and answers published on there.

As a club member without a season-ticket, I want the next board to give a 50% reduction on the price of the tickets offered to members without season-ticket instead of the current 20%, which is not enough.
We agree that we should give more facilities to the member that has no season-ticket so he can come and watch the games at the stadium. The reductions will be bigger.

Would you support the creation of an 'animation stand' at the Camp Nou, like there was the "Youth Stand" in the nineties?
Of course. We want to stimulate the animation in the stadium and we should see what is the best way to do it. We will soon present new proposals to encourage this.

Do you think the club can gain 1.000 millions a year as was stated by Godall?
That would represent a yearly increase of 17 or 18%, something that is possible for Barça. We could be talking about 800 or 900 millions.

Will someone like Mr Soriano or another popular figure be part of your candidacy? Couldn't Mr Borras [current director] take up the role of Mr Casaus [former vice-president responsible for the social area], but then in a good way?
Our candidacy includes people of the board of directors, who believe in the current sports and economic model and want to strengthen that, but we will add new people because this will certainly enrich our program. We want people who believe in our project and Mr Borras is one of them.

Do you think it is ethical to continue as vice-president given that you have already announced your intention to take part in the elections?
All opinions are respectable and I understand your point of view, but the statutes of the club clearly indicate the day we should resign.

Do you exclude a deal with Sandro Rosell?
I can assure that I will get to the end alone. Despite my good relationships with Sandro Rosell, as well as with Alfonso Godall, my project is totally innovative.

You think that Laporta has been a good president for Barça?
Joan Laporta will go down in history as one of the best presidents, as happened with Miró-Sans, Núñez or others.

Why did you stay on after you were spied upon?
Continuing at the club was an act of responsibility. Otherwise it would not have been possible to give continuity to the model that led us to win everything.

Read more:
Ferrer: "The homegrown players are the basis"
Ferrer: "Efficiency, discretion and renewal"

Godall invites fans to watch game together

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall and his campaign team have invited Barcelona fans through social networking website Facebook to watch the first game of the Champions League 1/8 finals against Stuttgart together with the presidential candidate. The initiative, that wants to bring the fans closer to the candidate, is called "Grada 2.6" [Stands 2.6].

75 fans will be chosen from the requests Godall will receive at a mail address and will be able to watch the Stuttgart-Barcelona game on Tuesday evening at the campaign headquarters of Godall in the centre of Barcelona together with the vice-president, Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín and other members of the candidacy.

Read more:
Godall: "I'm giving up my private life"
Godall chosing campaign songs
Sala: "Presidential transfers are against our model"

The Pundit: Alex Santos on Jaume Guixà

« Guixà is the kind of candidate whom people, and especially the press, do not like and who annoyes a lot, because they need to spend time and energy on a figure who is believed not to deserve that. »

Alex Santos,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spanish fan clubs not positive about board

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol held a poll among the non-Catalan Spanish fan clubs ahead of the elections in June. A questionnaire with eight questions was sent by mail to fifty Barcelona fan clubs from outside Catalonia, spread over the rest of the territory of the Spanish state, that were picked at random. Below you find the results.

Do you think the date of the elections, 13 June, is right?
No 92%
Yes 8%

Rate the players, Txiki, Guardiola and the board of directors from 1 to 10.
Pep Guardiola 9,3
Players 8,1
Begiristain 5,7
Board of directors 4,1

If Laporta could continue, would you vote for him?
No 78%
Yes 22%

Who do you think has, at this moment, the most chances to win the elections?
Sandro Rosell 50%
Ferran Soriano 26%
Alfons Godall 14%
Jaume Ferrer 6%
Others 4%

What should be the most important thing for the new president of Barça?
To keep Guardiola and the squad 66%
To continue winning 22%
To distance oneself from politics 9%
Others 3%

How do you value the presidency of Laporta?
Very good 6%
Good 12%
Regular 35%
Bad 41%
Very bad 6%

What do you think about the treatment of the fan clubs from outside Catalonia by the current board?
Positive 24%
Normal 41%
Negative 35%

What do you think about the politization of the club by the board of directors?
Very good 1%
Good 3%
Normal 20%
Bad 44%
Very bad 32%

Read more:
Eighty percent of the voters still undecided
Poll Voting Intentions: Four Months Before
Polls lead to Cesc transfer rumours

Godall and Ferrer no longer part of 'core board'

Catalan newspaper El Periódico claims that Barcelona president Joan Laporta has excluded Barcelona vice-presidents Alfons Godall, Jaume Ferrer and, possibly, Albert Perrín, from taking part in the meetings of the Delegate Commission, the club organ that meets almost weekly and takes the majority of the key decisions.

Since the election date was announced at the end of January, the Delegate Commission hadn't been organized because of the tensions inside the club ahead of the elections. Laporta has now reportedly decided that, starting today, the meetings will again take place but that the number of people allowed to assist the meetings will be reduced.

Spanish news agency EFE confirms that Godall, Ferrer and Perrín are no longer part of the Delegate Commission. Club sources explained that Laporta has taken the decision to avoid possible misunderstandings as a result of the fact that the two presidential candidates would keep on playing an active role in the highest executive body of the club.

EFE claims that the decision has caused some unrest in the board, especially amongst the directors close to presidential candidate Ferrer, with one of the affected people telling the agency: "The measure is only taken because Laporta no longer wants to have Ferrer by his side and that is why he has decided to throw him out of the meeting.

He has put Godall in the same 'pack' to give an sense of logic to the decision, but it's just an electoral move to try to limit the possibilities of Ferrer and to benefit Godall. This is just another inconsistency of Laporta. Why don't they just throw us out of the board? This maneuver doesn't make sense apart from the intention of Laporta to eliminate Ferrer."

The Delegate Commission would from now on consist of six people: president Joan Laporta, economic vice-president Joan Boix, sports vice-president Rafael Yuste, treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín, board secretary Josep Cubells and chief executive Joan Oliver.

Article 34 of the statutes of FC Barcelona deals with the Delegate Commission and reads as follows: "Within the Board of Directors, a Delegate Commission may be constituted containing a maximum of two thirds of the members of the Board of Directors, which will be made up of members designated by the President and which must necessarily include the President, a Vice President, the Secretary and the Treasurer.

The Delegate Commission will meet at the behest of the President as many times as necessary and will have the following functions:

a) To study and prepare the items that are to be subjected to the Board of Directors.
b) To provisionally adopt any decision that is the competence of the Board of Directors, when for reasons of urgency it is not possible to wait until the next meeting to be called, under the obligation that the Board will be informed of this at the immediately following session and its ratification will be obtained.
c) To make decisions regarding any matters that have been expressly delegated to it by the board of Directors and to inform about these at the next meeting of the same."

Read more:
Ferrer: "Sala started the division in the board"
Godall: "We believe in the North-American market"
Former vice-president Franquesa to support Ferrer

Elections could be called earlier

Barcelona blogger Sisco Pinyol reports on his blog that Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer has said on a meeting with representatives of Barcelona fan clubs on Wedneday that the elections for president of FC Barcelona could be called earlier because of a judicial decision that same day.

After the elections in 2006, the Barcelona board didn't put down a bank guarantee because they considered themselves to be a continuity board and because they had made profits since they took power in 2003.

On Wednesday, a court in Barcelona nevertheless ruled that the losses made in the last eight days of the 2002-2003 season after Laporta became president should be taken into account, something that previously didn't happen.

This now means that in the end the board didn't met the conditions necessary to not put down the guarantee after the 2006 elections and that the eight directors who were part of the 2006 board and are still in office – Joan Laporta, Alfons Godall, Jaume Ferrer, Albert Perrín, Rafael Yuste, Joan Boix, Alfonso Castro and Josep Cubells – would still have to pay the 2006 guarantee.

The club has announced in an official statement on Wednesday that they will take the case to the Suprme Court but Catalan sports paper Sport claims that this doesn't stop the enforcement of the Wednesday decision if the complainant asks for the immediate payment. In interviews with the paper, both the complainant, Barcelona club member Vicenç Pla, and his lawyer have said they plan to do this.

Catalan news site E-notícies claims that each of the board members would be responsible for 3 million euros. Ferrer said during the meeting on Wednesday with fan clubs' representatives that some directors wouldn't want to pay their part which could lead to the elections being organized earlier than 13 June.

Read more:
Elections will be held on Sunday 13 June
Marketing expert: "It will be an Obama-type campaign"
How many people will be able to vote?

Poll result: Will Soriano take over Godall candidacy?

Will Godall hand over the number one position of his candidacy to Soriano?

Yes 53,68%
No 46,32%

total votes: 95
start date poll: 10 february 2010
poll method: internet, free participation
source: e-notícies

check more election poll results here

The Quote: Sandro Rosell

"I remember that, when I was a kid, every Sunday we had dinner at my grandmother's house. In the morning, I accompanied her to the mass, and in the afternoon, in those good old days when the games always began at five on Sunday, I left for the Barça stadium with my grandfather, my father and my uncle."

Sandro Rosell,
Barcelona presidential candidate

read more election quotes here

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Benedito starts second phase of campaign

With a meeting with members of his campaign team at the Park Hotel in Barcelona yesterday evening at 7 pm, Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito has started the second phase of his campaign ahead of the elections that will be held later this year.

Benedito can count on a team of more than 200 people, 150 of which were present at yesterday's gathering where the strategy and some guidelines for the coming months were explained to the volunteers. Before the closed meeting, Benedito told the press that he is confident:

"We have a large campaign team of 214 people. This evening we will give the starting shot. Today we will coordinate the work and we will start the second stage: 'Straight to the 13th of June'. I am very optimistic because of the support we have received. Our people are our strength."

Read more:
Benedito: "We want to repeat the historical results"
Eighty percent of the voters still undecided
Benedito signs ex-campaign director Laporta

Soriano says current job compatible with presidency

Asked about his role in the upcoming presidential elections, former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano didn't speak out on the issue at an economic conference in Barcelona, although he didn't exclude the possibility of taking part suggesting that he could combine his current job with that of Barcelona president:

"It's not yet the moment to take a position. What I can say is that being the chairman of Spanair is a job that can be combined with other tasks. I'm a non-executive chairman and we have a chief executive with 25 years of experience in the aviation sector.

Spanair is currently living revolutionary times and I'm totally dedicated to the company. I have a long-term commitment with Spanair. But in theory and in practice I can take up other jobs. The president of Barça has traditionally always done something else so that should not be a point of discussion."

Read more:
Soriano to run for president
The Pundit: Dagoberto Escorcia on Rosell-Soriano duel
Godall rejects Soriano leading board candidacy

The Catalan Cave: Edu Polo (Ona FM)

in this section, we ask catalan and spanish sports journalists five questions about the elections for president of fc barcelona. today: edu polo from catalan radio station ona fm.

1. Is it possible that Ferran Soriano joins the candidacy of Alfons Godall as number two?
Yes, it is possible, either as number two or even as number one. It's still a long way to 13 June and past elections have learnt us that a lot of deals can be closed until a few days before the vote. Soriano will have a decisive role in the elections, but it's not yet clear if he will be the number one or the star number two of the Godall candidacy. I think that we will soon hear from Ferran Soriano, although what will be said now might not be definitive since there are more than three months left and a lot of things can still happen.

2. How can it be explained that Sandro Rosell, the candidate who until now has spoken the least, is leading the polls?
Because people are already talking for many years about Sandro Rosell as a future president of Barça. And because an important part of the media have done a lot for him. It is, of course taking into account the differences, a similar case as that of Florentino last year. He did not talk, but everybody talked about him. And that way he won easily. So far Sandro's case seems pretty similar, although Rosell will have more competition than Florentino had and in the next polls Godall will certainly have risen a lot. Sandro is the big favorite, but he should be careful. Bassat also was.

3. How many candidates will be on the ballot paper on 13 June?
I think there sure will be three. Rosell, the one that heads the Godall-Soriano candidacy and Benedito. I'm not that sure about Ferrer and Guixà.

4. Joan Laporta would be re-elected if he could again take part in the elections?
It is impossible to know and it depends on factors that are still uncertain, like for example Barça winning the Champions League at the Bernabéu. But it is clear that many club members would want to keep what is working and Laporta, although he has many detractors, has a lot of charisma. He could be. One should also take into account that the electoral roll has grown a lot and that there are thousands of club members without a season-ticket, mostly young people, who have never voted and nobody knows what members with that specific profile will do.

5. Do you think it will be a tough campaign, between the candidates and/or in the media?
Everything indicates that it will be a very dirty campaign. You only have to recall the case of the detectives or Sala i Martín attacking Rosell at the presentation of Godall to foresee a tough and dirty campaign.

As a club member of Barça, who will you vote for?

I am a member and I always vote. It does not seem right to answer, but I also first want to hear about the projects of the candidates. At this moment we hardly know anything, we only know that Godall wants to maintain the current model, but little more.

All your possessions are at stake. Give the top-3 of the elections on 13 June.
I stick to what I said about those who will arrive at the vote. 1 Rosell, 2 Godall-Soriano, 3 Benedito.

Thank you for this interview and your time. Good luck in covering the rest of the season and the elections.

read the previous episodes of this series:
francisco ávila (efe)
miquel pellicer (el mundo deportivo)

The Quote: Jaume Ferrer

"In the year 2003, when we arrived at the club, on 25 June, Barça had no cash money at all, several credit lines were exhausted and the banks were asking back their money, the club had a turnover of 120 million euros and spent 200 millions, on 30 June we needed to pay the salaries of the players, taxes, social security fees, the first thing the financial institutions told us was that they didn't want to take any more risks with FC Barcelona... But we managed to turn the situation around and today we have a budget of 400 million euros and we're amongst the big European clubs."

Jaume Ferrer,
Barcelona assets vice-president

read more election quotes here

Poll: Guardiola was right to not yet sign?

Guardiola made the right decision by waiting for the next president to sign his renewal?

Yes 89,19%
No 10,81%

total votes: 111
start date poll: 21 january 2011
poll method: internet, free participation
source: e-notícies

check more election poll results here

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Opposition figure offered place in candidacy

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that former Barcelona assistant-director Lluís de Val (picture) has been offered to take part in the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona as member of a candidacy.

Lluís de Val is a 56-year old Catalan businessman from the audiovisual sector who was part of the candidacy of Joan Castells in the 2000 elections. Castells joined the candidacy of then Barcelona vice-president Joan Gaspart and was appointed as vice-president after Gaspart was elected as president.

As part of the deal between Castells and Gaspart, several people linked to Castells got a position in the club, among which Lluís de Val, who became a member of a large board of advisors and was some kind of assistant-director until he left the club together with Castells in December of 2002 (read more here).

After his exit of the club, De Val has been active in the entourage of the club, at certain moments acting as a voice of the opposition. In 2003, a few months after he left Barcelona, he tried to organize a vote of no confidence against president Joan Gaspart.

In October of 2005, he revealed that director Alejandro Echevarría, then the brother-in-law of Barcelona presidente Laporta, was a member of a foundation in honour of former Spanish dictator Franco, which led to the resignation of Echevarría (read more here).

And earlier this month of February, De Val accused the current board of having bought in 2008 a piece of land in the Catalan city of Viladecans, close to Barcelona, for a value that was far more than the market value.

Read more:
Former vice-president Castells considering to run
Llaurado confirms that he will run
Former brother-in-law Laporta reappearing on stage

Sala: "Presidential transfers are against our model"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall and Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín gave an interview to Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Why do you want to be the president of Barcelona?
A magnificent era in the history of Barça, with spectacular sporting, economic and social results, is about to come to an end. The mandate of Joan Laporta will end and it would be a pity that this era would stop just like that, while we see great opportunities for further progress in all areas.
Sala i Martín: In addition to the fact that everybody likes him, Alfons was always on the right side of the decisions.

And you, Mr. Sala i Martín, would you have liked to be president?
Sala i Martín:
Any Barcelona supporter who is not capable of playing in the first team, as is the majority, and to score a goal in the Champions League final, would like to be president. Everybody would like that.

Would your professional life change a lot if your candidacy wins?
I studied economics, I am a modest colleague of Xavier Sala i Martín, and I devoted myself to manage family businesses that are related to real estate. Things are going well, we have been fortunate to avoid the housing crisis because we have always been very cautious. With respect to Barça, things are very clear. I know I will have to continue spending many hours to Barcelona, but also that we want to make progress in the professionalization of the club. We want to delegate the daily management of the club to a team of high-skilled executives who are the ones who will do the main job.

With a chief executive like Joan Oliver at the head?
Joan Oliver is not under discussion. He has closed the past year with profits, in a situation of a serious general crisis, without selling players or assets.
Sala i Martín: And, moreover, spending dozens and dozens of millions in bonuses because we have won everything. Despite the bonuses, the wage variables, on which we have spent more than 50 millions, and the economic crisis that affects the whole world, Barça has been profitable.

Do you think that in a time of economic crisis, the club member may be annoyed about the salary of Joan Oliver [900.000 euros including incentives]?
Sala i Martín:
Does anyone know what the salary is of the chief executive of Madrid? Or the one of Manchester? In this past year, Barça has saved around six millions in expenses. And that has been done by the chief executive. Do you think that it is worth it to pay 600.000 euros to someone who reduces the costs with six millions? In addition, the salary of 900.000 euros includes all the bonuses.

What will be the political positioning of the club in case you win the presidency?
Barça and the country have a common commitment regarding the Catalan identity. Barça has to be a tool to promote, to teach and to let people around the world know about the Catalan national reality.

The mandate of Joan Laporta has been characterized by strong political activism.
Sala i Martín:
But what is meant by political activism?

That there are events at the Camp Nou, like Correllengua [campaign to promote the use of the catalan language].
Sala i Martín:
When the Catalan government, regardless of the political party in power, asks the club to defend the Catalan language, I don't think this is something political, but about defending something that is so linked with Catalonia as the language.
Godall: This is what we call 'forming a nation'.
Sala i Martín: Forming a nation. Having said that, being Catalan and Catalan nationalist means being open and universal. Half the population of Catalonia today, doesn't come from Catalonia. Including myself, for example. My name is Martín because my grandfather was from Salamanca. Being a Catalan and being a Catalan nationalist does not mean excluding the others. In this sense, we are very comfortable about the idea of continuing being Catalans. We will not give it up and as we will not ask anyone to change his way of being or to be ashamed of his origins, we are not going to apologize for being Catalans. Now, if the deeper question is whether you will see Alfons or myself at a political demonstration, the answer is no. Although Laporta has every right to have his political beliefs and to express them as he wishes.

Do you think the political parties can be bothered by the fact that Laporta plans to take part in the political game?
More than bothered, I think they are worried about it.

Regarding the sporting aspect and looking at the football team, do you think that talking about possible signings will be less important in this campaign than before?
Sala i Martín:
We won't pull rabbits out of our hat, no great players or anything like that. That is incompatible with our model. Who is to say which players will be signed is the coaching staff. If a president arrives at the club saying 'I will sign this or that player', it means he has not understood anything. In this model, the president does not sign who he wants.

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

Read more:
Godall: "Txiki will be my sports director"
Sala: "Rosell was always on the wrong side"
Polls lead to Cesc transfer rumours

Candidate has deal with Ribery

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that one of the people who will run for president of FC Barcelona in the elections that will be held later this year, has reached a personal agreement with Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribéry to join Barcelona in the summer.

The candidate would have informed Ribéry, who should become the substitute of Barcelona forward Thierry Henry, that he is willing to pay the price that will be asked by the German club but that the transfer will in the end depend on the approval by Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola.

Read more:
Ribery on wish list Rosell
Polls lead to Cesc transfer rumours
Transfer battle between board and Rosell

The Pundit: Miguel Rico on profile Godall

« Godall has such a stamp on him, that his future depends on whether there are more 'laportistas' than 'anti-laportistas'. But he has the advantage that the 'anti' votes will be divided among all the others. »

Miguel Rico,
El Mundo Deportivo

Weekly Round-Up (12): Of Cesc And Men

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

The Barcelona presidential race is shaping up to be a contest of wills, personalities and issues, and also, quite predictably, of which candidate would most credibly promise to bring back into the Barcelona fold its prodigal son and former La Masia poster boy, Francesc “Cesc” Fabregas.

In the latest media frenzy involving the Arsenal midfielder and captain, Barcelona president Joan Laporta is once again pitted against presidential candidate Sandro Rosell this time, in the race to sign Fabregas, with some reports claiming that Laporta intends to secure the player’s return before his term expires in June this year. Fabregas is said to be not aversed to the idea of returning to his boyhood club but would prefer to first resolve his situation with current employer, British club Arsenal.

The parties concerned have yet to confirm or deny the Fabregas rumour, with Sandro Rosell confining his recent media statements to an elaboration of his plans to give current Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola full responsibility over all sporting areas, including transfers and new signings.

>>> read the complete weekly round-up here

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bassat hoping for non-Laporta linked candidate

Former presidential candidate Lluís Bassat, who was the runner-up in the 2000 and the 2003 elections, has said last month at an event organized by Spanish sports weekly paper Don Balón that he hopes a candidate that has not been linked with the board of current Barcelona president Joan Laporta will take part in the elections:

"With the current pre-candidates, there won't be any renewal. Rosell, Godall, Ferrer and Soriano all come from the same project and if only those will run, they will end up talking about why one left and the other stayed. The debates would be little interesting and everything would be reduced to a very limited group."

Read more:
Bassat: "Laporta invented Beckham transfer"
Catalan journalist rejects offer to run for president
Bassat rejects offers to take part in elections

Poll Voting Intentions: Four Months Before

This is the final result of this blog's Who would you vote for in the elections for president of FC Barcelona poll?

Alfons Godall 45%
Sandro Rosell 24%
Agusti Benedito 5%
Jaume Ferrer 1%
Jaume Guixa 1%

Someone else 12%
Don't know 11%

check more voting intention poll results

Guixa: "Barça can sign any player"

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà gave an interview to Spanish newspaper 20 minutos.

What do you criticize about the club management by Joan Laporta?
He will go down in history as the president who had to deal with the most resignations in his board, a total of 15, and that says a lot. He doesn't take into account the opinion of the club member, he's not working together with the fan clubs to plan the trips or to distribute the tickets, he spies on his own vice-presidents, he fights with his driver, with the scanner at the airport, with local autonomic presidents...

Okay, okay, any good thing?
He had the courage to appoint Guardiola when he almost didn't have experience, but even so Pep has wanted to distance himself. He only agreed on a verbal renewal and he was not very comfortable when Laporta wanted to get on the picture with him. I think that the coach does not share his management model.

Is it difficult to face up to Laporta after the six trophies?
No, because the success is thanks to Guardiola who has managed to make abstraction from the problems in the management. The member is smart and separates the work of Pep from the management of Laporta.

You will continue to count on Pep?
Of course, but Begiristain will not continue. I think his contribution to Barça has come to an end. There have been signings that have not even stepped on the grass of the Camp Nou and negotiations that have been somewhat unclear.

Have you thought about some transfer?
We want to strengthen the youth academy, but we will sign what Guardiola considers to be necessary. He will decide and Barça can sign any player.

What do you think the political aspirations of Laporta?
As a citizen he has the right to do so, but then he should resign as president of Barça. He uses the club to prepare his entry into politics and to put his heir, Alfons Godall, at the Camp Nou. His ideas do not represent the entire fan base of Barça, which is a universal club, that unites cultures and ideologies. That's why Barça is more than a club.

Why should people vote for you?
I am the only alternative to the laportism. All other candidates come from the current club board. We want a more transparent club, to improve the training centre, to keep the Miniestadi...

Read more:
Guixa: "I reaffirm that the club is almost bankrupt"
Everybody knows Sandro Rosell
Guixa adds female historian to his team

interview: j. alcutén

Ferrer denies support former brother-in-law Laporta

Asked about the rumours that former Barcelona director Alejandro Echevarría (picture, on the right), the ex-brother-in-law of Barcelona president Joan Laporta (read more here), is supporting his presidential candidacy, Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer seemed to say in an interview with Catalan radio station COM Ràdio that Echevarría isn't part of his team:

"That's not important, that's irrelevant. Alejandro Echevarría was a colleague within the board of directors and we kept good relationships after he left. I think I can call him a friend. About some things we think very differently, about others we think the same.

He's someone who alwasy acted very good towards me, it's someone who I talk to about a lot of issues but he isn't linked with FC Barcelona anymore, he has distanced himself from the club and so in that perspective he's irrelevant."

Alejandro Echevarría, at that time still the brother-in-law of Laporta, joined the Barcelona board in February 2004. On 20 October 2005, he left the club after accusations that he was a member of a foundation dedicated to the life and works of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco (read more here).

Read more:
Former brother-in-law Laporta reappearing on stage
The Board Movements (2003-2009)
Former vice-president Franquesa to support Ferrer

The Quote: Luis Racionero

"The next president should be Rosell and then, a few years later, Guardiola."

Luis Racionero,
Catalan writer

read more election quotes here

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sala accuses Rosell of being behind opposition paper

Asked about some news reports in Catalan sports weekly paper Gol, Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín has accused presidential candidate Sandro Rosell in a note on his Facebook page of being behind the paper:

"That pamphlet is Sandro's. The assistant director of this pamphlet is called Juanjo Gonzalez although, instead of facing up, this man is hiding behind the pseudonym Diego Valor.

According to confessions by Sandro himself that were published on 25 April 2006, among the people who convinced him to write the book 'Benvingut Al Món Real' there was Juanjo Gonzalez, whom he calls "a friend of mine and of my father".

So while they're telling the people they are playing it clean, the campaign of Sandro also consists of throwing dirt on the others through pamphlets such as this one or Pelikano [Barcelona news site]. But so they don't face up. Everybody is how he is. We are not doing it that way."

Read more:
Rosell organizing press dinners
Barcagate (9) - A crucial dinner
Sala: "Rosell was always on the wrong side"

Eighty percent of the voters still undecided

Speaking to Catalan news site E-notícies, Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito has said that surveys carried out by his candidacy show that most of the voters still didn't make a decision:

"The continuism has little support so far. They will have difficulties and that seems unbelievable after the best year in the history of the club. Alternative candidates almost shouldn't have a chance, but that's not the case. The majority feeling is that the club members are not very enthusiastic about the continuity candidates.

Our polls tell us that around 80% of the members have not yet decided on their vote and could give it to the continuity candidates. The majority of the remaining 20% is today leaning towards Sandro Rosell, but the part of the members who should still make a decision is very high."

Read more:
Everybody knows Sandro Rosell
Guixa carrying out own election poll
Ferrer feels backed by own poll

The Catalan Cave: Miquel Pellicer (El Mundo Deportivo)

in this section, we ask catalan and spanish sports journalists five questions about the elections for president of fc barcelona. today: miquel pellicer from catalan sports paper el mundo deportivo.

1. On Monday 25 January, Alfons Godall announced that he will run for president. A man who has always been on the second row, and whom many people didn't know very well, is now giving interviews on an almost daily basis. What impression did he leave in those three first weeks in the limelight?
Alfons Godall bases his candidacy on continuing the current board project, which means that the trophies are his primary backing and that might be the strategy to follow in this campaign. However, Godall should get out of the shadow of Laporta, his 'older brother' and main defender, and get rid of a certain sense of provisionality that hangs over his campaign, given the rumours about his alliance with Ferran Soriano.

2. Rosell's decision not to speak until the formal calling of the elections is the right one?
It's obvious that the strategy of Sandro is defined by a large team of advisers and his campaign seems planned millimetre by millimetre, minute by minute. For now, the polls say he's the big favourite and both Alfons Godall and Xavier Sala Martín insist that he should come out to explain his program. It seems a paradox, but with his strategy, Rosell is getting more attention from the media. One should also take into account that Sandro is already appearing in public for a while - through events, conferences, interviews and so on - and in advertising and marketing it is said that you often communicate more by doing things than by talking.

3. Jaume Ferrer will arrive at the final vote on 13 June as the head of a candidacy?
We should keep in mind that before 13 June there is a key moment with the collection of the signatures of club members. The mergers between candidacies will lead to the fact that we will only have two or three candidates on 13 June. The diversity of brands, names and projects is only interesting for few people.

4. A few weeks ago, you interviewed Ferran Soriano. What kind of person is he?
A person who has the very big responsibility to stabilize a company like Spanair and who, no matter if he will run or not in the next elections, is very eager to explain things he did not explain when he left the club in 2008. We are all waiting to know his intentions and his next moves.

5. There is a lot of talk about the fact that the elections will be "2.0 elections". You are closely following the new technologies. To what extent and how can social networks like Facebook, Twitter and others play a decisive role in the campaign?
Over 120.000 club members of Barça are going to decide on the next president of the club. It's obvious that not all these people have Facebook or Twitter, for example, but it is a fact that all of them have children, parents, relatives, friends or acquaintances who are involved in those social networks. Therefore, these elections will serve as an example to update the electoral campaigns and strategies to be followed by political parties for the upcoming elections for mayor of Barcelona, the Catalan parliament and even the next general elections for the Spanish government.

Furthermore, I hope that the communication strategies will later be used to set up a club that is up-to-date regarding 2.0 communication so the members from all over the world can be heard wo we can have in the end a club model that is more global.

Thank you for this interview and your time. Good luck in covering the elections.

read the previous episodes of this series:
francisco ávila (efe)

Medina continues to work on candidacy

Asked about his role in the upcoming elections, twice presidential pre-candidate Jordi Medina has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that he keeps on working trying to form a candidacy: "We're working on a project, but it's not yet sure it will lead to an actual candidacy.

Because of a communication problem with another member of the project, Jordi Majó, who could have been one of the leading figures, prefers not to keep on investing time and effort in it. Josep Maria Minguella, myself and other people continue to work hard.

We don't know who will lead the candidacy. It could be Josep Maria, myself or none of the two. That is something we're discussing, analyzing and if we can launch this project, the candidate will be the one we agree on to be the most suited person.

We have been talking with many people, also from outside our group. Some are still considering it, some have rejected the offer for personal reasons - something we understand - and with others we're still talking.

Xavier Bosch? That has been published, so I can now confirm that we have been talking with him but because of his professional situation it wasn't possible. Charly Rexach? I didn't talk with Charly personally, but I know there have been some meetings and dinners that I didn't attend. He has the profile of a good candidate but I don't have more information on that.

It's true that we plan to come out as late as possible because we first want to work hard, prepare the program, not reveal anything. We could start thinking about a calendar when the final decision to take part has been made but nothing will be organized or announced before the month of April."

Read more:
Majo stepping out of Minguella-Medina project
Catalan journalist rejects offer to run for president
Medina will again take part in the elections

The Pundit: Dagoberto Escorcia on transfers Godall

« The big name Godall wants to sign is not Cesc but Soriano. »

Dagoberto Escorcia,
La Vanguardia

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Polls lead to Cesc transfer rumours

Madrid sports tabloid As claims that the recent rumours regarding a deal on the transfer of Arsenal midfielder Cesc to Barcelona this summer are a consecuence of vote intention enquiries.

Private polls among club members and fans would show that Barcelona vice-president Alfons Godall is going behind and the leaking of names of players that could join Barcelona would be a strategy by the club to attract more votes.

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that, because of the polls, the current board wants to present two big transfers before the elections, with Cesc and Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribéry suggested as possible targets. The club would be trying to make a budget of 100 million euros available for the signings.

Read more:
Rooney could become electoral transfer target
Laporta and Rosell contacted Cesc
Ribery on wish list Rosell

Most read of the week

Probable new director helping Benedito campaign

Barcelona site Pelikano claims that Catalan lawyer Xavier-Albert Canal (picture), who could be appointed as new member of Barcelona's board of directors at the end of this month (read more here), was part of the candidacy of Agustí Benedito.

Sources close to the presidential candidate would have told the site that Canal would already have been actively helping Benedito in the preparation of the elections, but would now nevertheless be willing to accept to become a board member for the coming months.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo confirms that Canal has made the decision to enter the board if he is offered the post by Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who still has to decide between Canal and another lawyer (read more

Read more:
New board member to be appointed this month
Benedito: "We want to repeat the historical results"
The Board Movements (2003-2009)

Ferrer: "Sala started the division in the board"

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

What do you think about the political positioning of the club should be?
I think that the club should not be used as an instrument to do politics. Since the start, Barça has always identified itself with the Catalan society and we will maintain that. As we will maintain the co-operation with the authorities of the country. But what we will not allow is that the club is used. We will try to make all members feel comfortable, both those from here as the ones coming from elsewhere, without giving up our roots.

Do you aim for a budget of 1.000 million euros as Alfons Godall is promising?
That would mean an annual increase of the budget with 18% over the next six years. We shouldn't exclude that because we still can improve a lot as far as revenues are concerned but a lot of factors have an influence.

You can assure that you won't make a deal with anyone?

There has been talk about your good relationships with Sandro Rosell.
Those are comments by people who don't know what they are talking about or who have certain interests. I have a good relationship with Sandro Rosell, as I have with Godall and Soriano, but that does not mean that there should be an agreement. It has been some time now that he decided to leave because he did not agree with some decisions of the board and now he should present his own project.

Would you like Soriano to join the electoral race?
I wouldn't like or dislike it. If he wants to do it, then he should.

Do you think agreements between other pre-candidates are possible?
I do not know that, that's science-fiction. People talk about the Godall-Soriano pact, but I don't know if that is true.

If Soriano confirms that he will run, there will be four pre-candidates - five if you count Augustí Benedito, a member of the 'Elefant Blau' - that were part of that original group that arrived at the club in the year 2003...
Yes, we were a group of big Barcelona fans, with a lot of motivation to work for Barça, and it seems that we didn't lose that feeling.

During those seven years, however, up to 15 executives have resigned. How do you explain that?
Being a director of Barça is very complicated. There are a lot of pressures, you have to dedicate many hours to it, you should know how to play down things... For some people, the only way to solve these problems is to leave the board. I don't see any other explanation.

The latest to resign was Joan Franquesa. You count on him to be part of your project?
He has been a good board colleague and he would be welcome. At this moment he has to deal with some personal issues that forced him to leave the board and that he must solve, but when he wishes, he knows he can join us and that he will play the role he wants.

One of the first changes you will make if you are elected as president is to change the chief executive?
I'm not very objective when talking about Joan Oliver. He is a capable person, but he made a serious mistake at a given moment and those things cannot be forgotten. We can discuss that further when the campaign has started, but I don't think that he will be a key figure in the election debate.

But at this moment he is a key figure in the functioning of the club and the decision making...
In principle, his powers are those of a chief executive. At anoter level, we have the personality of each one...

The famous audits was the most tense event you lived during your seven years at the board of Barça?
It surely was, namely when they were made public. The vote of no confidence was also complicated. And the elections of 2006, because we believed that we were not obliged to call them at that moment.

Another person who has gained more power in recent months is Xavier Sala i Martín. Laporta, in fact, thought about him as a possible successor. His entry in the board harmed the unity of the board?
Maybe it did. It was the start of the division. Until that time we were all very united and his entry led to separation.

In that regard, do you foresee a dirty campaign?
I hope not. I won't do so and I think that the members of Barça don't want that. I hope that we will talk about projects, about how we want the Barça of the future to be.

You can also promise not to give names of possible signings?
We won't give them, because there's no debate on the sport area. The coach will continue and talking about transfers without consulting him would be a mistake. If the candidactes want to act as coach, we're wrong. Giving names during the campaign can also gives ideas to rival teams and make the price of the transfers go higher.

this was the third and last part of this interview.

Read the previous parts:
Ferrer: "I started thinking about this a year ago"
Ferrer: "The club needs a more discreet president"

interview : ferran correas and dani colmena

The Quote: Joan Gaspart

"The elections are a matter of two. The group of six candidates will be reduced to two, maximum three."

Joan Gaspart,
former Barcelona president

read more election quotes here