Saturday, March 27, 2010

The withdrawal statement of Godall

With the following statement, Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall withdraw his candidacy for the presidency of FC Barcelona on Thursday evening (read more here):

"Dear all,

I firmly believe that the +BARÇA project that was born on 25 January is totally valid, but at this moment, the circumstances needed to make it happen are not there.

The +BARÇA project intended to guarantee the successful management model that has led us to live the best years in the history of our club. This model has worked very well in the sporting, economic and social areas, has defended the Catalan identity of the club and has made FC Barcelona the club with the biggest social commitment and the most global club in the world.

This model still could go a long way, there are many challenges ahead, but we also need new people and new ideas to improve what has been achieved so far. I've always been in favour of joining forces and overcome old disputes, because projects are more important than people, and above all that is our beloved FC Barcelona. Therefore, I have never seen my leadership as a necessary condition for the +BARÇA project.

I will continue working to participate in a project that fills the huge space between the continuity because of the continuity and the change because of the change. I am sure that new opportunities and new hopes will arise in the 2010 elections at FC Barcelona.

I want to thank you for all the expressions of support and encouragement I have received since 25 January and especially during the past week. You are wonderful people, we will stay in touch through my profile on Facebook.

Visca el Barca and Visca Catalunya!

Alfons Godall."

Read more:
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Sala i Martin considering his position
Godall not leaving electoral race

Benedito: "I'm sure I can convince Guardiola"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Spanish web portal Terra.

Will you maintain the model of Cruyff?
I don't know if Cruyff started the model. But yes. Whoever the president will be, we should continue on this path. We will certainly strengthen the youth section as much as possible, with transfers that improve the quality. This will keep on staying the same as it is now.

Some people at the youth section have been there for many years, like Alexanko [youth director]. Will you replace Alexanko, or someone else?
If we win, Alexanko will not stay. He will not be in charge of the youth section.

Even if Pep would ask you that he continues?
We would talk with Pep and we would come to an agreement with Pep, I am convinced that I can convince him.

And what of about the sports directors of the other sports sections?
Regarding the basketball section, I'm an ardent supporter of their management and we must strengthen the model and the work that has been done. Creus [sports director] and Pascual [coach] are doing an excellent job. The other three sections are also doing a good job, but without getting to the level of excellence of the basketball section.

Will the club continue to finance those sections with the money of the football team?
Our policy is to give autonomy to the sections, both regarding sporting and economic decisions. But the level of the competitions makes it necessary for the club to give money so that we can be competitive because our competitors have aides we don't have. I am aware they are of strategic value to the club. We also need to care more about the non-professional sections.

It's easy to criticize Laporta, but can you give us three virtues of Laporta and one weakness of yourself.
To have led and implemented the bases for a necessary change. As far as the results of the first team are concerned, he is the best president ever. Although I'm critical about him using his position for political use, at the start he opted for a catalan identity that was right for the club. The problem is the change from the natural Catalan character of Barça to personal use. You cannot do this. My weakness... More than one. It depends on the candidate to whom you compare me. But it's a fact that I have a lack of fame.

Your project has no weakness?
I have no doubt that it's by far the best. Certainly compared with the continuity candidates. From what I know of that of Rosell, I am sure that it is also a lot better than his.

Give me a strong point of the other candidates and, if you know their plans, also one of their projects.
If Godall ends up being a candidate, there will be club members who will value that he has been part of the board that has had the best results in history. I think Ferrer is a good person and you can see that, he transmits it. The fact that Rosell left so early is his main problem, that he abandoned the club that easily hurt his image.

this was the third and last part of this interview.

Read the previous parts:
Benedito: "Stadium shouldn't be visible from the moon"
Benedito: "Barça should transmit values"

Former vice-president Ingla considering to run

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that former Barcelona marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla is considering to run for president in the upcoming elections.

Ingla would over the last months have been working on a candidacy together with former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano but now that Soriano has decided not to run for president (read more here), Ingla could take over as number one.

Soriano would have given his approval to this option and Ingla will reportedly make a decion after Easter. Asked if Ingla could take part in the elections, Soriano said in an interview with Catalan television channel TV3 that he doesn't know what Ingla will do but that he certainly has the skills needed.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that people who supported Soriano first asked former Barcelona first vice-president Albert Vicens to head a list, but Vicens would not be very willing to accept the offer. The group of supporters would now in the coming days try to convince Ingla, who is said to be thinking about the situation.

Read more:
The Board Movements (2003-2009)
Soriano could lead united board candidacy
What will the original 2003 board members do?

Cartoon 30: No Soriano

Ferran SoriaNO

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by kap

el mundo deportivo

check more election cartoons here

The Pundit: Dagoberto Escorcia on board battle

« At this pace, the fight for the presidency of Barca will have led to more bloodshed inside the club than out on the street. »

Dagoberto Escorcia,
La Vanguardia

Friday, March 26, 2010

Guixa wants crèche at Camp Nou

During a meeting with several female Barcelona club members earlier this week, Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà had said that he wants to strengthen the women's football section and open a babysitting service during the games at the stadium:

"I have seen that a lot of women have to take care of their children who come and watch the games for free. That is why I think it would be a good idea to create a space for little children where there are people who look after them, so mothers can leave their children under the supervision of an adult while they enjoy the game."

Read more:
Guixa getting ready to collect the signatures
Ferrer has biggest media impact
Guixa, Benedito and Rosell react to latest events

Cruyff becomes honorary president

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Barcelona chief executive Joan Oliver claims that the board of directors of FC Barcelona has unanimously decided during today's board meeting to nominate former Barcelona player and manager Johan Cruyff as honorary president of the club:

"At the proposal of the president the decision has been approved that Johan Cruyff is from now on the honorary president, a position that also other clubs have.

The Board considered that Cruyff meets all the requirements as player, coach and person who has inspired or founded a model and a way to understand the club that has led us to the successes of the last years. He is the father of the successes of 2009. Guardiola, Alexanko or Txiki, who are now part of the club, are sporting sons of Johan and this is a form of recognition.

This is a honorific post that is included in Article 16 of the club statutes. It is a reinforcement of him at the institutional level but it does not affect the daily life of the club. Cruyff knew about the decision because everyone who knows the club knows that if you don't talk to him before you decide something like this, you're comitting suicide."

Article 16 of the statutes of FC Barcelona, entitled 'Meritorious and Honorary Members and Protector Members', reads as follows: "The Board may distinguish those individuals and legal persons who deserve it with the nomination as meritorious or honorary members, in recognition of their dedication or importance to the Club [...]."

Johan Cruijff played for Barcelona from 1973 to 1978. In his first season he helped the club win the first league title since 1960. As a player he also won the Spanish cup in 1978. In 1988, Cruijff returned to Barcelona as manager.

As the coach of the so called "Dream Team", he won four consecutive league titles between 1991 and 1994, the club's first Champions League in 1992, one Spanish cup in 1990, one European cup winner's cup in 1989 and two European super cups in 1989 and 1992. Cruijff left Barcelona in 1996.

Read more:
Which role could Cruyff play in the elections?
Laporta wanted to replace Rosell by Cruyff
Cruyff will support Godall

Vice-president Yuste also supports Ferrer

Asked about the majority of the board now giving support to Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer in the elections (read more here), Barcelona sports vice-president Rafael Yuste has said in an interview with Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia that he now also supports Ferrer:

"Godall said that he wanted to include Soriano and the president reminded him that there had been agreed that the candidate had to come from within the current board.

Now all members of the board, with the exception of Godall and Sala i Martín, have decided to support Ferrer. We got what we wanted, to have a single board candidacy. We supported Alfons, but Jaume is a candidate who also deserves all our respect."

Read more:
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Vice-president Yuste to leave after elections
Ferrer becomes official continuity candidate

Cartoon 29: Godall retires after some mathematics

It's clear that operation +Barça didn't have the expected result.

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by caye


check more election cartoons here

The Quote: Jaume Ferrer

"The support of the president is very important but my project stays the same as before. We want to impose another style, that includes a president who is less prominent, although we'll have continuity in the management."

Jaume Ferrer,
Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate

read more election quotes here

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Godall withdraws his campaign for the presidency

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall has decided to withdraw his "+Barça" campaign for the presidency of FC Barcelona.

Although he doesn't exclude to be part of another candidacy, Godall won't be a presidential candidate himself in the elections on 13 June. Godall would announce his decision in the next hours. The news has meanwhile also been confirmed to this blog.

[Update:] The news has been confirmed through an official announcement of the candidacy.

Read more:
Godall officially confirms presidential candidacy
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Sala i Martin considering his position

Soriano confirms he won't run for president

Former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano has said at a press conference this afternoon that he won't run for president of FC Barcelona in the elections that will take place in June:

"Over the last days, I have thought some more about the issue and I have come to the conclusion that I won't be a candidate in the elections of 2010, due to the big challenge I have at Spanair. Although I keep on thinking that my position at Spanair and that of president of FC Barcelona can be combined, the opinion of the shareholders has had an influence. I love my club but this isn't the right moment."

Soriano nevertheless repeated that he wants to take part in a constructive way in the elections but that he at this moment doesn't have the intention to be part of a candidacy, although he doesn't exclude it either, saying that he will wait to see how things will evolve and see if there appears a project "between" those of Ferrer and Rosell but that he certainly won't try to set up a candidacy himself.

Asked if he could run for president in the future, Soriano said: "I have never left Barça. I have been working at the club for five years and I think I served the club in an honest way. And I left when I had to leave and when in my opinion the people asked it. 2016? Who knows how things will look like then but it's not an objective."

Read more:
Soriano will not run for president
Candidacies carrying out polls
Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy

Businesswoman could become treasurer Rosell

Spanish news agency EFE claims that Spanish businesswoman Susana Monje [picture] could be a member of the board team of Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell. Monje would become the club's treasurer if Rosell is elected as president in June.

Last Sunday, Susana Monje assisted a meeting that Rosell had with Barcelona club members and fan club members in the Spanish autonomous community of Asturias in the north of Spain, where the Monje is family is coming from and where the former Barcelona sports vice-president presented the project of his candidacy.

Susana Monje is the 37-year old chief executive of the Essentium Group, a holding that includes companies that are active in several sectors, among which raw construction materials, renewable energy and real estate development. The group also sponsors Spanish third division club Toledo.

Read more:
Rosell wants three women in his board
First female president for Barcelona?
The Rosell Project - Part 4: The Board (2)

Soriano will not run for president

After Catalan radio station RAC 1 brought the news first yesterday late in the evening, almost all Catalan media confirm today former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano will announce later today that he will not run for Barcelona president in the upcoming elections.

Soriano would have made the decision yesterday around noon. The pressure from the shareholders of Spanish airline Spanair, of which Soriano is the chairman since last year, would have been decisive in his final decision. Catalan newspaper El Periódico claims that there has also been political pressure.

Despite of not heading a candidacy himself, Soriano would leave the door open to be part of another project or give his support to another candidate who will take part in the elections.

El Periódico claims that Soriano and his right-hand man, former Barcelona sports vice-president Marc Ingla, could try to look for someone who could lead the project they have been working on. Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu on the other hand claims that Soriano could join the candidacy of Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer.

Read more:
Soriano calls press conference for tomorrow
Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy
Soriano to make a decision before Friday

sources: rac 1, el mundo deportivo, el periódico, la vanguardia, el 9 esportiu

The Pundit: Tomas Guasch on easy victory Rosell

« The late Helenio Herrera, called The Wizard, made Barça great in the 1950s and Inter after that, and left us memorable quotes like "we will win without getting off the bus". This could be applied to Sandro Rosell in these elections. »

Tomás Guasch,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Soriano calls press conference for tomorrow

Former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano will hold tomorrow at 5 pm local time a press conference at the Porta Fira hotel in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat near Barcelona, where he will explain what his role will be in the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona.

Read more:
Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy
What will Evarist Murtra do?
Soriano to make a decision before Friday

Guixa, Benedito and Rosell react to latest events

The non-board presidential candidates yesterday also reacted to the latest event that led to Barcelona president Joan laporta and a large majority of the current board of directors give their support to Barcelona assests vice-president presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer (read more here):

Jaume Guixà [picture]
"I'm not surprised by what has happened, the continuism is in trouble. Laporta is playing with all of them. Generals who abandon their wounded soldiers never win wars. These events only generate more distrust among the members and put an end to the credibility of the continuism."

Agustí Benedito
"We continue to work on our project, as we have done since October. We believe that the club is above any personal interests and what has happened in the last hours is a sign of the deterioration of a project where people have become more important than the interests of the club."

Jaume López, campaign director of Sandro Rosell
"We fully respect all options and all candidates. As far as the events surrounding Alfons Godall are concerned, it is clear to us that this won't be the last thing that happens, that there is more to come over the next weeks and that the current situation will not be the final one but that it's logical things will still change."

Read more:
Godall not leaving electoral race
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Sala i Martin considering his position

Candidacies carrying out polls

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the position of Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall during the informal board meeting on Monday - wishing to set up a joint candidacy with former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano - was based on his candidacy's latest poll result (read more here).

The poll would show that Godall or Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer could not win the elections alone, with former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro in that case being the winner, but that Soriano can already count on 20% of the voting intentions without having confirmed his candidacy and that a candidacy that would include Soriano, Godall and Ferrer would win the elections.

The candidacy of Ferrer would carry out a new poll this evening among 400 club members before the game against Osasuna. An earlier poll, dated 27 February, would have had the following result: Rosell 40%, Soriano 10%, Godall 7% and Ferrer 3%. According to that poll, 30% of the voters would still be undecided.

When the same poll included a Soriano-Godall-Ferrer candidacy among the options, that candidacy reportedly got more than 30% of the votes, while the percentage for Rosell dropped and the number of undecided voters stayed the same.

During an informal meeting an Monday evening, Ferrer would have told people that were present, among which some Barcelona bloggers, that polls show that 30% of the members would vote for Rosell, but that the other 70% would not consider in any case a vote for the former sports vice-president.

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito meanwhile said on Monday during the presentation of his logo that his polls show that a large majority of the voters do not yet have an idea about who they will vote for: "Our studies tell us that 99 days before the elections, 83% of the club members didn't yet made a decision of their vote."

Read more:
Soriano carrying out election poll
Poll Rosell confirms his big lead
Ferrer feels backed by own poll

Rosell to come out in second half of April

Spanish sports agency EFE claims that Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell will officially present his candidacy in the beginning of the second half of the month of April (read more here).

Rosell, who reportedly has regular private contacts with the press, would have initially planned to hold the first public meeting immediately after the official calling of the elections but would now have brought the presentation forward.

The former sports vice-president would already have made a decision on his headquarters, that will be inaugurated soon, and would have a campaign budget of between 700.000 and 800.000 euros.

Read more:
Rosell could present project year after goal Iniesta
Rosell will have board of 17 or 18 directors
Rosell planning to reform club statutes

Sala i Martin considering his position

A few hours after the board meeting in which was decided that Barcelona president Joan Laporta would support Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer and not Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall in the presidential elections on 13 June (read more here), Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín, who was part of the candidacy of Godall, put yesterday early morning a note on his Facebook page:

"First of all, thanks to the hundreds of people who have sent me private and public messages to express their concern about my state of mind. I can assure all of you that I am fine. Secondly, I can confirm that some of the stories you've been hearing and reading about Barça are true.

You all know that Alfons Godall had my unconditional support but the circumstances have made it look like as if he will not lead a candidacy. Taking this into account, I feel the freedom to make the decisions that I feel are appropriate and to support that person who I think will serve our club best, if I will in the end give my support to someone.

What is beyond any doubt is that the commitment I have towards president Joan Laporta and the commitment that I have towards all the club members to work with body and soul (and heart) for Barça remains strong and I will continue to work for Barça until the last day."

Later that morning, Sala i Martín commented on the events in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 saying that he didn't yet know what his role in the election process now will be:

"I'm not sure what to do now. My main option was a candidacy of Alfons Godall with the support of Joan Laporta that included others. As this now doesn't seem to be possible, I take the freedom to decide what I will do now. At this moment I cannot say to whom I will give my support or if I will support someone.

It is true that the president has asked me to run, first last Friday, and Saturday again. But I said no, that my option was the one I was part of. I explained him my reasons, but I basically refused because Laporta leads the laportism and Sala i Martín should lead the salaimartinism and because of intellectual coherence I've said no.

Will I just stay until the end of the season and then leave? That has always been and is an option. I don't know what I will do. What I do know is that I want to thank Joan Laporta for giving me the chance to be part of this board that has created the best Barça in history and to be a witness of those great successes.

Because of my commitment towards Joan Laporta and the club members I will fulfil my task with heart and soul until the end, that is guaranteed. What I will do after 30 June is something I don't yet know."

Read more:
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Godall not leaving electoral race
Sala doesn't exclude future candidacy

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Soriano to make a decision before Friday

Spanish news agency EFE claims that former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano will decide before Friday if he will take part in the campaign ahead of the elections for president of FC Barcelona in June.

A source close to Soriano would have told the news agency that Soriano wants to announce his decision at next meeting of the board of directors of Spanish airline Spanair, of which he is the chairman, on Friday.

Soriano would think that his position at Spanair is compatible with that of president of FC Barcelona and that the latest events in the Barcelona board could be in favour of a joint candidacy with Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall, but the former vice-president on the other hand doesn't want to put in danger his relationship with the shareholders of his company.

A few directors of Spanair would be against a candidacy of Soriano, although one of them is reportedly Jordi Mestre, who could be part of the board team of presidential candidate Sandro Rosell (read more here).

Read more:
Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy
Ferrer becomes official continuity candidate
Soriano to announce candidacy next month

Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer

Early this morning, a few hours after the board meeting in which was decided that Barcelona president Joan Laporta and the majority of the board members would support Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer and not Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall in the presidential elections on 13 June (read more here), Laporta put the following statement on his personal website:

"On Monday afternoon, I met with fellow colleagues of the board of directors, two members of which - Alfons Godall and Jaume Ferrer - were, as is publicly known, leading two pre-candidacies ahead of the upcoming elections at FC Barcelona. The other board colleagues were also present, with the exception of Albert Perrín, who is in Argentina, Magda Oranich and Alfons Castro, who were excused because of professional reasons, and Patrick Auset, who lives in Perpignan. Magda and Patrick have been following the decisions by phone.

In recent months I have looked for unity among the members of the board I have the honour to lead in the forthcoming elections on 13 June because all of them have shown their ability to guarantee the continuity of the club model that we have used over the past seven years. All of them have shown strength to resist and courage in difficult situations and they have all been firm in the decisions we have taken and applied in the benefit of the club.

And now, by a large majority, we have decided to close the ranks and to have one candidate coming from the current board, which will ensure the continuity of the current model that has brought Barça to live the best moments in its history. We have put an end to historical urgencies. We have Champions Leagues, the World Cup for Clubs, leagues..., we have entered a new international dimension, we are respected by the world of sports, there's the success of the sections... We are a reference. The current Barça model is the reference.

Jaume Ferrer, according to a large majority of those present at the meeting, will head this united candidacy that will guarantee a responsible project so that our club continues to enjoy the sports, social and economic successes of recent years. I think, and I'm convinced of it, that the work we began in June of 2003 after having received the support of the majority of the members still has a long way to go. And that the candidacy that has a large majority and has my full support ensures the best future we all want for our Barça. This project, which will be full of content and new existing proposals, will be explained in detail in the coming days.

Visca el Barça!"

Read more:
Godall not leaving electoral race
Ferrer becomes official continuity candidate

Godall not leaving electoral race

Barcelona first vice-president and presidential candidate Alfons Godall has put out the following statement after the latest reports about Barcelona president Joan Laporta and the majority of the board giving their support to Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer (read more here):

"Regarding to reports in the last hours, I want to clarify that:

I'm not withdrawing.

The president and other members of the current board of directors of FC Barcelona have decided to give their support to another board colleague to lead what they call the continuity candidacy.

I believe in the +BARÇA model.
My proposal for the future Barça that is called +BARÇA guarantees the successful management model in the sports, economic and social area, the catalanism of the club and the solidary and global commitment of the club.

I represent an integrative candidacy.
I've always been a supporter of coming together and joining forces, overcoming old disputes, and leaving room for new people and new ideas. In this regard, I have always been open to reach an agreement with other people because I believe that joining forces is a wonderful opportunity to win and to guarantee a good management proposal.

I do not believe in self-centredness.
I did not want to accept dictates about not integrating other people in my project. I think that projects are more important than people; therefore I will never put my leadership before the project.

I continue working.
Because of all that, I wish to declare that I continue working to make possible this future option, that is open and integrative, that guarantees the successful model, the catalanism of the club and its commitment to solidarity.

I thank you for the expressions of support I have received in the last hours and we will stay in touch through the usual channels."

Read more:
Ferrer becomes official continuity candidate

Ferrer becomes official continuity candidate

Yesterday evening at 7 pm, Barcelona president Joan Laporta organized an emergency board meeting at the offices of his law firm in Barcelona. The point of discussion were the results of polls carried out by the candidadcy of Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall and by the club.

The polls showed that it would be difficult for Godall to win the elections on his own, that Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano was doing better than him and that a joint candidacy of Godall and Soriano, led by the second, would win the elections in June. After been informed about the results, Godall told Laporta during the weekend that he didn't want to continue as candidate.

Godall yesterday repeated that he would not lead a candidacy that would not be supported by Soriano and that he would accept Soriano to head the project, something that was opposed to by Laporta and Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer. The president, who also would not have been happy with the way of campaigning of Godall over the last weeks, withdrew his support for Godall.

Laporta, who did not want to support Soriano leading a candidacy with Godall, then proposed to Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín to run for president. After Sala i Martín rejected the offer, as did Barcelona economic vice-president Joan Boix, Laporta decided to give his support to Ferrer, who wants to continue with an own candidacy without making a deal with Soriano.

Laporta after the meeting personally called with the board members who could not be present, among which vice-president Albert Perrín and directors Magda Oranich and Patrick Auset, to explain them what had been discussed and decided. Almost all directors would now support Ferrer.

sources: rac 1, sport, efe, el mundo deportivo, el 9 esportiu, la vanguardia

President Laporta supports Ferrer instead of Godall

Catalaan radio station RAC1 claims that Barcelona president Joan Laporta has decided to no longer support Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall in the elections for president because of Godall's negotiations with former Barcelona vice-president Ferran Soriano. Laporta would now support Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer.

Spanish news agency EFE has confirmed the news.

(more soon)

The Quote: Xavier Sala i Martin

"What would I do if someone offered us 1.000 million for Messi? Barça is not a company that should make profits but a factory of emotions, and emotions are not for sale. Not even for 1.000 millions."

Xavier Sala i Martín,
Barcelona treasurer

read more election quotes here

Monday, March 22, 2010

Logo and first campaign slogan Benedito revealed

This afternoon, Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito has revealed the logo that he will use during his campaign, that is called 'L'Alternativa Benedito' [The Benedito Alternative]. Benedito also made public that his first campaign slogan will be "El club a l'alçada de l'equip" [The club on par with the team].

Ferrer: "I'm the current management without Laporta"

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 president, will you get involved in politics? Will you use the media coverage the position brings along to comment on non-sports related issues?
My involvement in politics is limited to my concerns as a citizen. I don't think that the Barça president has to get involved in politics and if I would end up being the president of the club I will not do that, nor will I ever take part in a demonstration. Barça should not be an instrument of anything.

What do you think about the atmosphere at the Palau when the different sections are playing and what will you do to improve it? And will you only talk about football or will the other sections also have a place in your program?

I have been the person responsible for the sections and as the current head of the handball section it is clear to me that not only football has to play an important role in the club. The sections are very important and to improve them we need to build a new Palau with a better visibility and a larger capacity.

I think that, rather than opening football academies outside Catalonia, it would be good to have one in Girona, Tarragona and Lleida [capitals of the three other catalan provinces]. I know that there are a lot of young people who cannot attend a football school because of financial reasons.
Our academy already counts on young talents from different regions, like Fontàs, Muniesa, Dalmau or Bartra. The first three are from the province of Girona and the last one comes from the region of Tarragona. That's part of the role of our own youth academy. Those from outside Catalonia have the task to look for future stars in an international environment. All this with the final goal to have a team on the pitch that includes players from our own academy and players with international fame who make the difference.

I'm a club member of FC Barcelona and I would like to know which three things you would improve, things in which you think the club did not act properly and that you now, with the experience you have, would change?
Basically, I think we have to put all our attention on improving the social area of the club. We need to have a club that is closer to the member, that gives an answer to their concerns, that makes things easier for them and that allows them to particpate in their capacity of owner of the club. It is clear that the economic and the sports area are functioning well and we can only strenghten them to continue making Barça known around the world as more than a club.

I would like to know a bit more about the difference between your project and that of Godall, because I don't see things clear.
It's very simple: Jaume Ferrer is the current management without Joan Laporta, and Alfons Godall is the current management with Joan Laporta.

Do you think a unification of your candidacy and the one of Godall is possible? And with the candidacy of Rosell?
This is not the moment for pacts and I didn't consider any other option than that of leading an own candidacy.

Read more:
Ferrer: "The homegrown players are the basis"
Ferrer: "Efficiency, discretion and renewal"
Ferrer: "My project is totally innovative"
Ferrer: "Focus on America, Asia and Africa"

Ex-players Amor and Migueli linked with Rosell

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell is still looking for people who will be in charge of the sports area of the club if Rosell is elected as president. It would not yet be clear who would become the new sports director and the new youth director.

Two of the names that are reportedly being linked with the candidacy of Rosell, are those of former Barcelona players Guillermo Amor (42) [picture] and Migueli (58). Amor has been the head of Barcelona's youth academy from 2003 to 2007 and is now acting as television pundit.

Rosell would also consider the return of former youth director Josep Colomer, who was dismissed after Sandro Rosell left the club in 2005 and replaced by current youth director and former player José Ramón Alexanko. Colomer has over the past years been working for Rosell's sports marketing agency BSM.

Read more:
Begiristain proposes Zubizarreta as his successor
The Rosell Project - Part 2: The Team
Godall: "Txiki will be my sports director"

The Pundit: Lluis Mascaro on Rosell-Soriano duel

« In the end, the elections will be decided in a one-on-one between Sandro Rosell and Ferran Soriano. The former sports vice-president will unite all the 'anti-laportistas', while the former economic vice-president will include in his candidacy all the supposed 'continuistas' of the laportism, among which Godall y Ferrer. »

Lluís Mascaró,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy

Spanish news agency EFE claims that the board of directors of Spanish airline Spanair is divided on a possible participation of Spanair chairman and former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano in the elections for president of FC Barcelona later this year.

In general lines, Soriano would have the support of the institutional shareholders, some of whom would also want to have the company's name on the Barcelona shirt, while the private shareholders think the candidacy wouldn't be a good idea. One of the strongest opponents is said be former Barcelona president Joan Gaspart, the chairman of hotel group Husa.

On Friday 26 March, the next board meeting of Spanair is planned. Soriano doesn't need to have the approval of the board to run for president but a certain consensus would be desirable. Sources close to the shareholders would have said that there's a growing support for the candidacy of Soriano, who could combine the two position if he's elected.

According to some directors, the presidency of Soriano could also benefit Spanair because of the airline being linked with a brand known around the world. Those in favour of the candidacy would prefer Soriano to start with an own candidacy, which could then later be joined by - among others - the team of current Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall, who would be open for this option.

Read more:
Soriano to announce candidacy next month
Polls could lead to electoral pacts
Soriano preparing candidacy

Benedito feels neglected by media

Asked about the role of the Godó group and the Zeta group - the two main Catalan media groups - in the electoral process, Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito has said in an interview with Catalan local television station Teletaxi TV that he's not getting the same chances as others:

"As I'm already involved in this for several years - these are my fourth elections - I know certain mechanisms and I understand how things work. And I think I'm not saying something new when I'm saying that those two important media groups each seem to support a different option. That's at least the feeling I have.

So if they want it to be a two-horse race, we are too much. It asks a lot to appear in some media, but I understand the logic of the powers behind it. And that's fine by me. The pre-campaign will be very long and the time will come when we will be able to present ourselves in the way we want.

It's true that we might not appear that much in the media, as if we don't exist. But I think that when we've passed the cut of the signatures and there will be three of four candidates left, which I think will be the case, at that moment there will be twenty days left before the elections.

And during those twenty days, the elections will be decided. And I hope that during that period I will be treated equally as the other candidates and have the chance to explain our program, of which I'm sure it's the best. I fully believe that if the club members can hear about our project, and can compare it with the others, we could cause a surprise."

Read more:
Sala accuses Rosell of being behind opposition paper
This blog involved in the election campaign
Catalan journalist rejects offer to run for president

Most read of the week

Laporta in favour of Godall-Ferrer-Soriano deal

Asked about the elections for president of FC Barcelona that will be held on 13 June, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has suggested in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Cope that a joint candidacy including Barcelona vice-presidents Alfons Godall and Jaume Ferrer and former vice-president Ferran Soriano is still an option:

"Since we made the decision on the date of the elections, the entourage of the club is very focused on the league and the Champions League and knows that once the season has finished there will be enough time to express or listen to the arguments, to know more about the programs and the projects of the candidates.

So I think the whole issue has for now been put aside a little and that the supporters are now in the first place interested in football. Will I try to set up a candidacy that includes Godall, Ferrer and even Soriano? You know, I like to talk with you because you always give me good ideas."

Read more:
Laporta wants exemplary elections
Poll result: Should Laporta stay neutral?
Could president Laporta become vice-president?

Ferrer hanging flag on headquarters

Last Friday, Jaume Ferrer hung the Barça flag
at the balcony of his campaign headquarters in Barcelona.