Saturday, April 24, 2010

Talks between Ingla and Godall

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall, who withdrew his candidacy for the presidency of FC Barcelona last month, could join the project of former Barcelona marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla.

During a visit at a tennis tournament in Barcelona, Ingla would yesterday have confirmed to people that it's almost certain that he will run for president in the upcoming elections. Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu claims that Ingla has already made the desicion to take part in the election and that he will make a public announcement in the coming weeks.

Ingla and Godall would have had intensified contacts over the past days, they would have a good relationship and the two - who were together vice-presidents in the board of Joan Laporta from 2003 until Ingla left with seven other directors after the vote of no confidence in July 2008 - could team up ahead of the elections.

Read more:
Ingla has decided to run for president
Godall doesn't believe in Ferrer-Rosell duel
Former vice-presidents Ingla and Castells talking

Surgeon Miquel Llobet part of Salvat candidacy

Speaking to Catalan radio station COM Ràdio, Catalan doctor Miquel Llobet has confirmed that he is part of the project that was set up by former Barcelona presidential candidates Josep Maria Minguella and Jordi Medina and that will be headed by Catalan businessman Santiago Salvat (read more here).

Miquel Llobet is an orthopedic surgeon, specialized in arthroscopy, at the Teknon medical centre in Barcelona. In 1995, Llobet was part of the medical team that operated the right knee of then Barcelona player Jordi Cruyff against the advice of the medical services of the club but with the approval of then Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff.

In 2003, Llobet was a member of the board team of Barcelona presidential candidate Lluís Bassat. Since the beginning 2006, he was rumoured to be trying to set up a presidential candidacy together with notary Mario Romeo. In 2008, Llobet supported the vote of no confidence against the board of Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Read more:
Salvat confirms that he will run for president
Minguella and Medina behind Rexach candidacy
Santiago Salvat is Minguella-Medina candidate

Benedito: "Our secret weapon are the people"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Catalan online newspaper El Debat.

It could damage you that you have been linked with Laporta?
I have had opportunity to know Barça in detail as well as some of the mechanisms around the club. I won't be penalized for that, on the contrary. I think that they cannot label me as continuity candidate, since I have cut relations with Laporta and I'm now clearly situated on the opposite side. Anyway, I am proud to have participated in that project of 2003. I think that if it's renewed and upgraded it is still perfectly valid, and most members would agree with that. The problem is that there has been a moment where president Laporta drops out and forgets about the project.

How do you rate his time as president?
As I have already said before, he might not be the best president in the history of Barça, but he is the president of the best Barça in history. Therefore Laporta has done many good things, but then there are also some things he had said he would do and that he didn't do. And even worse, he said he would do some things in a certain way while he has done the opposite.

Where did he fail?
We wanted transparency in the communication, concepts such as participation of the members, raising the level of representation, defending principles such as integration and integrity, and more specifically the issue of the club assets. And in all these matters, that are essential for the club, Joan Laporta deserves to be suspensed. We also must add the political use and his politicization of Barça, one of the worst errors he has made.

How do you value the nomination of Johan Cruyff as honorary president?
Appointing someone that way, with a agreement in the board at the end of the presidency and without consulting the members, I think it's another mistake and one more electoral move of this board.

Do you have a star signing in the pipeline?
I think these elections will be the first ones in which the sports issue won't be so important. The fact that we have the best coach we can have, and I'm not even talking about the results, makes everyone think that we should continue on this path. That is why we will try to convince Guardiola to continue for many years. I anyway do not rule out that in the end a famous player will be used to attract votes, and the current board could be the first to act.

Finally, there are two months left to the elections. Who supports you?
I think that we will easily meet the requirement to get the 2.095 signatures to become a candidate and that our secret weapon are the people. Our candidacy is that of this land's entrepreneurial spirit and comes from the bottom and from all around the pitch not just from the main stands nor is it designed in offices. It is based on the idea that the club is of everyone and not for the private businesses of a few people and this is what drives us. I want to emphasize that 80% of members have not yet decided their vote. In 2003, Joan Laporta was given 0.5% of the voting intentions by the papers just three weeks before the elections, while Lluís Bassat got 72%, and we all know what happened. It is unpredictable, the elections are luckily very open and in the next two months we will continue to work hard.

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

Read more:
Benedito introduces campaign fundraising
Guixa and Benedito want members to ratify Cruyff
Benedito: "I will win the elections"

interview: gemma vialcanet

The Quote: Alfons Godall

"This evening I've met FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta. There was no need to say anything. I felt hugely comforted. Friends are forever..."

Alfons Godall,
Barcelona first vice-president

read more election quotes here

[2003] Majo talking with Van Nistelrooy

source: el mundo deportivo, saturday 26 april 2003, page 55

Jordi Majó contacts Van Nistelrooy

Sergi Bruguera, his sports director, revealed that he met with the agent but made clear that "there is no agreement"

Ruud van Nistelrooy is the first bomb in the pre-election campaign. Former tennis player Sergi Bruguera, who would be sports director of Barça in case Jordi Majó wins the election on 22 June, revealed yesterday on Cadena SER that he met this week with Rodger Linse, representative of the Dutch striker of Manchester United, but denied there was a principle agreement for a future transfer to the Catalan club.

"He came to the Juventus game and I had dinner with him two times. We have not reached any agreement but it was a first contact to know what philosophy the player has and what he thinks about Barcelona. At the same time I explained what would be our way of working," acknowledged Bruguera, who confirmed the strong interest in Van Nistelrooy: "He shares our way of seeing football and because of his way of seeing it and of how he works, he is one of those we like most."

Bruguera said the agent of the Dutch star player "knows him very well since he is 17 years old and they are friends, and he told me he would like to play in Spain some day. At first he was skeptical about meeting us but everything went well." The former tennis player wanted to clarify that "this is the only thing that has happened. There is nothing more."

At a personal level, Bruguera said that "I'm a fan of Van Nistelrooy for his character and his involvement. Besides, he is the only one at ManU who stays after the training to work with weights in the gym." Van Nistelrooy has a contract until 2006 and he arrived at United in 2001 from PSV, that received 30 million euros.

check more 2003 election stories

Friday, April 23, 2010

Three candidates take part in radio show

This Friday, Barcelona presidential candidates Agustí Benedito [2nd from the left], Jaume Guixà [2nd from the right] and Alexis Plaza [3rd from the right] all three took part in a radio show on Catalan radio station COM Ràdio.

Catalan businessman Manel Arroyo [on the left], who will be part of the board team of Sandro Rosell, and Catalan doctor Miquel Llobet [on the right], who will be part of the candidacy of Santiago Salvat, were also present.

Salvat confirms that he will run for president

Asked if the reports in the press that he will run for president of FC Barcelona are true, Catalan businessman Santiago Salvat has confirmed the news on his Facebook page:

"Of course it's true! I am proud to head a renewal project that brings together a large group of Barcelona fans that are full of enthusiasm and of love for the club.

Let us know how you want the Barça of the future to be. We want a Barça that becomes the pride of everyone and only with your support we can achieve that!"

Read more:
Santiago Salvat is Minguella-Medina candidate
Majo stepping out of Minguella-Medina project
Salvat starts campaign and unveils slogan

New group already preparing 2016 elections

At a press conference at the Hesperia Presidente hotel in the centre of Barcelona yesterday, a group of young Barcelona club members has presented a new Barcelona platform that is named 'Tots som Barça' [We're all Barça].

The group, that includes lawyers, engineers and businessmen and was founded at the end of last year, first wanted to take part in the presidential elections in June but has postponed their plan until the 2016 elections because they couldn't fulfil the requirement of depositing a bank guarantee of around 60 million euros.

Changing the Spanish legislation regarding the bank guarantee is one of goals of the platform. If the next Barcelona president doesn't act to solve the issue they want to organize a popular legal initiative and gather the 500.000 signatures needed to change the law. The elimination of the bank guarantee would be compensated by reducing the powers of the board and giving the general assembly more control.

'Tots som Barça' also wants to put in place measures that would improve the ethics and the transparency at the club. Besides that, they want to focus on the role of the young people by creating a youth board within the structures of the club (including a youth president), promoting volunteer work among the young members and reducing the costs to travel with the team.

The president of 'Tots som Barça' is Jaume Barroso i López [picture, on the right], a young Catalan lawyer. Barroso is the founding partner of the
Barroso López law firm in Barcelona. He is specialized in business law and assessment.

Read more:
Benedito says he will also run in next elections
Alexis Plaza presents his candidacy for president
Businessman linked with Nunez to run for president

Guixa: "We have been working since 2006"

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà gave an interview to Catalan local television station Teletaxi TV.

Mister Guixà, how do you look at the election campaign so far?
The electoral events in 2010 are quite entertaining and surprising. I do not know if the picture is already getting any clearer. For our candidacy it's clear that we want to reach the end of the process with a totally alternative project to that of Laporta and we are working in that sense. If in the meantime the others start to fight or to play games that could limit the participation in the elections, I feel bad about that. The member of Barça wants to be able to compare projects, see the alternatives, study them and think about them. The real owner of the club, which is the member, has to be able to exercise his right to vote. I hope that in the end there will be real alternatives.

Do you really think that the members of Barcelona are interested in the programs of the candidates?
I think that the members of Barça are living a moment of enthusiasm and excitement, a historic moment because everything that has been given to us by the coaching staff headed by Pep Guardiola and his players. But it is true, and I am feeling this in the talks I have with members and fan club members, that they can perfectly make the difference between the coaching staff, the players and the sporting results on the one hand and the board on the other hand. They know the difference between what they see looking down at the pitch and what they see looking up to the president's box. People are really amazed and do not understand anything of what is going on up there and that the board of Laporta, with all the successes and the good decision to appoint Guardiola as coach, is playing some kind of game between themselves, to now supporting this one and the other day another one. People cannot get that.

It must be clear to you that it is very difficult to get enough signatures to make the cut and to win the elections?
I saw the last game in Tárrega in the province of Lleida and the truth is that people really supported and encouraged me. At Easter I was in Felanitx, on the Balearic Islands, and I can say that we are getting signs of support, of enthusiasm and above all of closeness because I could be the first president of a fan club who could become president of FC Barcelona. That is what inspires us.

Your cv is magnificent. You are a university professor and the president of a Barça fan club in Sant Cugat. But I insist that things are very difficult for you, and it's not only me or the polls who are saying this. Right now, people are looking at the continuity candidacy of Ferrer, the one of Sandro Rosell, who has a lot of chance, and a third one who is raising his voice is Agustí Benedito. I don't want to be cruel, but at this moment I think you don't have any chance.
By explaining me this, you encourage me even more. It's obvious that the challenge will be to make the cut of the 2.100 validated signatures and it's on that we are currently focusing our work by going to the people and organizing meetings. It's possible that the media don't really know much of the work we're doing, but we were the first candidates to create a Facebook profile and anyone who goes there can see what we are doing. I think we will prove it by passing the cut.

Are you telling me that the media only speak about the continuism and Rosell and forget about you and Benedito?
No. I'm very happy with our work. I can not enter the issue of the media. Each one will have their preferences, their own standards to evaluate the information, but we cannot influence that. Our job is to address the members, get in touch with them and try to meet the first objective, which is to make the cut.

In 2006, you took part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona and you did not pass the cut of the signatures. What has changed since then so that the same thing won't happen again?
A lot has changed. Now we are not in an election process in the month of August. We are not in a process where a judge orders that elections have to be organized. We are in a process where the candidacy of Jaume Guixà has matured and has continued to work since 2006, and that is what helps us to be convinced that we are a clear alternative to the laportism and we will show that both by the people and by the project.

These elections are totally different from those we have lived until now. To start with, the current president cannot run according to the statutes. I also think that the member of Barça doesn't want too many changes when the team is doing better than ever. The changes need to focus on the forms and the management model?
President Laporta was in 2003 the most voted club president in the history of the club thanks to the 'Elefant Blau', thanks to the transparency and thanks to wanting to make a club for the member. He said that Barça would be first. Now let's see. Has he fulfilled all this since 2003 until now? We think that we cannot maintain the management model of Laporta among other things because we don't want to continue with the Foster project. All those lights on the outside of five-star stadium don't make sense. We want to involve the member more in the decisions of the club. A general assembly of members where 300 of the 3.940 electors show up, where is the transparency? Where is the 'Elefant Blau'? Our idea is to make it possible for the members to participate in the decisions. We want to have a Miniestadi in excellent conditions, we want to finish the training centre and to help making the first team even better, and all this together with the members who are now being shut out. There are many things we want to change and for some we will have to change the statutes of the club because we see that in many cases it's not possible that the club member participates. We have the vision and the desire to think about a Barça that is closer to the member. We can achieve this if the member wants it.

this was the first part of this interview. you will be able to read the following parts on this blog in the coming days with guixa talking among other things about the economic situation of the club and the nomination of johan cruyff as president of honour.

Read more:
Guixa wants clarification on Ronaldinho commission
Guixa not considering pact with other candidacies
Guixa wants representative fan clubs in board

Rosell and Laporta attend funeral Samaranch

Barcelona president Joan Laporta [picture below] and Barcelona presidential candidate and former sports vice-president Sandro Rosell [picture above, on the left] attended yesterday the funeral ceremonies in Barcelona of Juan Antonio Samaranch, who was the president of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Former vice-presidents Ingla and Castells talking

Catalan news site E-notícies claims that former Barcelona vice-presidents Joan Castells (2000-2002) and Marc Ingla (picture - 2003-2008) are holding talks trying to form a joint candidacy ahead of the presidential elections on 13 June.

The remaining problem would be that Castells only wants to join Ingla if he can lead the candidacy. Because of the same reason, the ex-director earlier rejected an offer by Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer. Castells reportedly also didn't accept a proposal by former presidential candidates Josep Maria Minguella and Jordi Medina to be part of their project.

Castells would have told former collaborators about the negotiations with Ingla during a dinner on Monday. He and Ingla would shortly hold a meeting in which they would decide if they will in the end team up. If he doesn't get the support of the team of Ingla, Castells would not take part in the elections, although he could later publicly announce which candidate he prefers.

Joan Castells is the 57-year old chairman and chief executive of Spanish mutual insurance company Fiatc. In 2000, he was a pre-candidate in the elections for president of Barcelona but he ended up joining the candidacy of then vice-president Joan Gaspart.

After Gaspart won the elections, Castells was appointed as economic vice-president of the club. In December 2002, Castels resigned as first vice-president after Gaspart refused to call early elections. In the 2006 elections, Castells decided not to run and supported pre-candidate Jordi Medina.

Read more:
Former director Castells considering election role
Soriano confirms support for Ingla
Former vice-president Castells unlikely candidate

[2003] The board of directors resigns

source: el mundo deportivo, thursday 24 april 2003, pages 1 and 5


5 May: The board of Barça announced that they will resign together the day of the assembly


The management commission will take charge of the club and call the elections

The first possible date for the vote is Sunday 8 June

The countdown begins

The candidates are preparing for an imminent election campaign

The countdown has begun for those who have expressed their intention to stand for election. The European elimination against Juventus has made any attempt of Enric Reyna to continue impossible. The possible candidates are already starting to get ready for a campaign that could be imminent, after the board yesterday announced their resignation during the Assembly of 5 May.

Until now, six potential candidates have announced their wish to run. Three of them have already presented their candidacy: Josep Martínez-Rovira, Jordi Medina and Jordi Majó, in chronological order. Three others have shown their intention to take part in the elections: Lluís Bassat, Jaume Llauradó and Josep Maria Minguella.

No one doubts that there still have to change things before the actual start of the campaign. Various 'hidden candidates' may appear, like Joan Laporta or even Iván Carrillo. But the key to the election process could be Salvador Alemany [former vice-president], who remains in the background while a group tries to convince him to make a step forward.

check more 2003 election stories

Salvat starts campaign and unveils slogan

Although Santiago Salvat has not yet officially announced that he will run for president of FC Barcelona in the upcoming elections, his candidacy has today set the first steps of their campaign on internet by launching a website and opening accounts on social social networking website Facebook and microblogging service Twitter.

The campaign of the candidacy that has been set up by former Barcelona presidential candidates Josep Maria Minguella and Jordi Medina is called 'La Tercera Via' [The Third Way] and will use the slogan "Perquè som un equip" [Because we're a team].

Santiago Salvat, who is 38 years old and a club member for around 25 years and whose family founded in the 19th century the
Salvat Editores publishing house in Barcelona, has several business activities, mostly related to marketing and consultancy.

Salvat is managing partner and marketing and financial director of pr and communication agency
Pendulum, partner and member of the board of real estate consultant Bruch and owner and general manager of marketing agency Excelsior. Since this month, he is also a member of the board of directors of portfolio management company Interlaken.

Read more:
Santiago Salvat is Minguella-Medina candidate
Alexis Plaza presents his candidacy for president
Minguella-Medina project has found candidate

Benedito: "Rosell left the ship very early"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Catalan online newspaper El Debat.

You are seen as the candidate of the third way. What would you bring to the club?
I have been linked for over 13 years with FC Barcelona, with Laporta and many other people – in the entourage since 1996 and as part of the club since 2003 until I left a year ago – and that has given me the opportunity to design a club model I would like to promote. This well-defined model is different from the project that could be defended by the continuism of Jaume Ferrer and the one of Sandro Rosell.

Can you advance some proposals?
There is an issue that differs us greatly from other candidates, namely that we oppose the sale of assets and more specifically we are against the sale of the Miniestadi. It is a very important issue that is linked to the assets solvency of the club and therefore to its future solvency. Our program is very extensive, but I also want to mention the civic dimension of the club, because we think that as a famous institution, we have the responsibility to pass on a set of civic values to the society.

Whom do you feel closer to, Rosell or Ferrer?
At a personal level, I have a very good relationship with Jaume Ferrer, with Sandro Rosell and with their teams. Regarding the programs, although mister Rosell hasn't yet presented his, I have the feeling that I'm distanced as much from it as from that of Ferrer.

An agreement with one of them is an option?
Our model of Barça is certainly not compatible with the model defended by the continuism and by intuition not with the model of Rosell either. This is the reason why we are having an own project and why a pact is not viable. We are talking about different models and I don't think it's possible that we could team up and write a program together. If the member decides that we are not the ones who should preside the club, we will continue with our project, and maybe in the next elections we will have the opportunity to present it another time because we feel it is the right thing. But I can say that we won't make a pact.

Can you anyway tell me what you think is a virtue and a defect of the other candidates?
As far as I know and hear, both are big Barcelona fans and good people. As a negative point, I would say that Rosell has left the ship and his position of vice-president of Barça very early and very fast. Although I admit that he had lost an internal power struggle when he wanted to change the coach, I think that he should have been aware that a board is a collective body, that there is a president and that you cannot always have things your way. On Jaume Ferrer on the other hand, I would say that he has problems to make decisions and that he often has missed the right train.

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

Read more:
Benedito introduces campaign fundraising
Guixa and Benedito want members to ratify Cruyff
Benedito: "I will win the elections"

interview: gemma vialcanet

Poll result: Who would you vote for?

Whom of the current pre-candidates would you vote for?

Jaume Ferrer 29%
Sandro Rosell 25%
Agustí Benedito 21%
Jaume Guixà 9%

Other candidates 8%
Don't know/Don't answer 7%

total votes: 501
date poll: 10 to 18 april 2010
poll method: internet (website, facebook, forum, e-mail), free participation
source: el mundo deportivo (blog)

check more vote intention polls here
check more election poll results

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Laporta not considering to return in the future

Asked if he could return to the club in the future, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that he at this moment doesn't consider this option:

"I don't know about that. What I do know is that I'm living the last months of my mandate. And what I can assure you is that I'm trying to improve the club every day and I will do that until my mandate ends.

We'll see what tomorrow can bring but in principle you have stages in your life and this stage has come to an end. It has been an honour, a privilege, and I think I have added my bit to make this the best Barça in history."

Read more:
Could president Laporta become vice-president?
New developments regarding Ronaldinho commission
Ferrer doesn't want Laporta to campaign

Rexach confirms his support for Rosell

In his weekly column in Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo, former Barcelona player and coach Carles Rexach has confirmed his support for Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell:

"I recently had the occasion to speak at length with Sandro, and I must admit that his enthusiasm, his ideas and his nobility have convinced me.

I might not know anything else, but few can give me lessons about football. And I must admit that Sandro knows something about football. And he has clear ideas about how a club should be managed in the 21st century.

Sandro Rosell can count on my support. He told me that he would want me to add my experience if he is elected as president. I told him that, if I can, I'll be happy to cooperate, but my dream is to continue enjoying the football of Barça and to feel proud of the club's president."

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Rexach met last week with Rosell and told the former sports vice-president that he would publicly announce that he would vote for him. Because there wouldn't be any more vacancies in the sports structure of Rosell, Rexach wouldn't for now get a specific task within the candidacy.

Rexach reportedly made his decision last-minute after he had first considered to run for president and was then close to joining the candidacy that was set up by former Barcelon presidential candidates Josep Maria Minguella and Jordi Medina and that will be led by Catalan businessman Santiago Salvat (read more here).

Asked about the rumoured support of Rexach, Rosell had said on Monday evening during a seminar: "Charly is a living myth, a great person whom everyone would want to talk with if he would be here today. He is a guy who knows a lot about football, he knows how Barça is working and it would be pleasure if he would join our team."

Read more:
Rexach will join the candidacy of Rosell
Santiago Salvat is Minguella-Medina candidate
Rexach still thinking about running for president

Soriano confirms support for Ingla

Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano has said that he would support a presidential candidacy of former Barcelona marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla, who left the club together with Soriano in 2008:

"Marc Ingla is excited with the idea of running for president. He is a colleague and a friend and I think as part of the group of directors both he and myself are among the fathers of the management of FC Barcelona in recent years.

The last seven years of club management have been positive, the club has moved forward and I think that it is right and good that all those who participated in one way or another are also present in the elections and I don't think this campaign should be reduced to 'all against one'.

If Marc Ingla decides to participate, I will help him the way I can, but I don't yet know how. I have already said that I would certainly take part in the campaign, but always in a positive way and I won't come out until the campaign starts."

Read more:
Ingla preparing his election campaign
Soriano awaiting election events
Ingla has decided to run for president

[2003] Bassat wants Xabi Alonso and Joaquin

source: el mundo deportivo, wednesday 23 april 2003, page 59

Joaquín and Xabi Alonso in the agenda of Bassat

Cadena COPE unveiled the plans of the future presidential candidate

Lluís Bassat, one of the people who has already announced that he will take part in the elections at FC Barcelona, wants to do that with two aces up his sleeve to attract the votes when the elections are called: the right winger of Betis and the Spanish national team Joaquín, and the midfielder and the motor of the splendid season of Real Sociedad Xabi Alonso, as was explained yesterday afternoon in the 'Tiempo de juego' program of Cadena COPE.

According to this report, Bassat has planned a meeting with the representatives of both players for next weekend to discuss the contract situation of the players and, if possible, to reach a pre-agreement to enable him to present them as transfers in his election program.

There has already been talk about the interest of Barça in Xabi Alonso on several occasions, given the fact that it's a player whose style is liked a lot in Barcelona, but no potential candidate had yet put him on his list.

On the other hand, that the name of Joaquín is mentioned is more surprising because, while it is true that Barça could use a player with his qualities in that position, the club that has been linked the most with signing him was Real Madrid.

check more 2003 election stories

The Quote: Sandro Rosell

"We will use the new technologies to make the club more transparent."

Sandro Rosell,
Barcelona presidential candidate

read more election quotes here

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weekly Round-Up (19): Casting shadows

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

As reported by the blog last week, presidential candidate Sandro Rosell is currently fighting claims he had maneuvered the sale of former Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho to English club Chelsea in 2004, a deal reportedly worth 100 million euro to the Catalan club and a 10% commission to himself.

Presidential candidate Jaume Guixa is now asking Rosell and Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who made the allegations in his book “Un somni per als meus fills” ( A dream for my sons), to clarify their involvement in the aborted sale, claiming that “no candidate for the presidency should enter the electoral race with doubts on his reputation”.

It is speculated that Laporta’s revelations in his book could only be the tip of the iceberg and that reportedly, a “bomb” is being prepared by Rosell’s opponents that could force the poll front runner to withdraw his campaign for the presidency.

>>> read the complete weekly round-up here

Guixa not considering pact with other candidacies

Asked if he would join another candidacy if he would get an offer, Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà has repeated in an interview with Catalan local television station Teletaxi TV that he doesn't plan to accept a proposal like that:

"We have made this clear from the beginning. We are a clear alternative for the laportism and that is our seal of guarantee. We have a project for a different Barça that brings the club closer to the member who should in a way be involved in the decisions. We open our arms to anyone who wants to join our candidacy but always with the condition that the candidacy is led by Jaume Guixà."

Read more:
Guixa wants crèche at Camp Nou
Rosell most popular candidate on Facebook
Guixa wants representative fan clubs in board

Former politician Molins to take part in elections

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Catalan businessman and former politician Joaquim Molins could take part in the elections.

It would not be clear if Molins will participate in the campaign as candidate for president of FC Barcelona or as member of a new project.

Joaquim Molins, a former member of the Spanish and Catalan parliament and a Catalan minister from 1986 to 1993 for the Catalan nationalist centre-right party CiU, is currently executive director of Spanish telecommunications and internet services provider
Jazztel and member of the board of cement and concrete manufacturer Cementos Molins.

The 64-year old Catalan, who retired from politics in 2001, is also the older brother of lawyer Pau Molins, who rejected an offer to lead the project set up by former Barcelona presidential candidates Josep Maria Minguella and Jordi Medina, although he could still support the mentioned candidacy (read more

Read more:
Businessman linked with Nunez to run for president
Molins rejects offer to lead Minguella-Medina project
New candidates getting ready to appear on stage

Benedito: "I will win the elections"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Spanish football site Madrid-Barcelona.

Laporta recently presented his book, in which he reports on something very serious, namely that mister Rosell told him, when Ronaldinho wasn't yet at Barça for one year, to sell the player to Chelsea for 100 million euros and that they were offered a 10% commission, this was 5 million for both of the them. Mister Laporta explains that, shocked by what Rosell proposed to him, he never reported it. Do you believe this?
What I believe is that we are dealing with an extremely serious event. We are talking about a president of Barça accusing a vice-president of having offered him a deal of around 1.700 million pesetas. I haven't been in a situation where a vice-president of mine could offer me something like that, but if he would do it I can assure you that he wouldn't stay in office for 24 hours. Therefore, the comments that I make are the following ones. First, why does Laporta maintains mister Rosell as vice-president? Second, why doesn't he inform the rest of the board of what happened? And third, why does he wait six years to make this public when this is a very serious matter? I also want to say another thing. I am very eager to hear the explanations of mister Rosell. Barcelona fans have a big problem at this moment. People do not know who to believe. All I can say is that if the allegations of mister Laporta are true I have only one wish: that a person like this will never be president of Barça.

Couldn't it be that mister Laporta is the one who is lying to torpedo his worst enemy and to help the continuity candidacy?
In Barcelona, where in recent days there has been a lot of discussion about this, it was told to me that the version of Rosell is just the opposite, namely that it was Laporta who made the proposal. If true, it would be equally bad that Rosell didn't denounce him. As a candidate, I am at this moment also very interested in the opinion of mister Jaume Ferrer, treasurer of the Barça board at the time and who I haven't yet heard. I wonder if he believes that Laporta's statements are true or if he thinks that Laporta is lying. It is very important for the club of today and the future that this issue would be resolved.

The media don't have a lot of attention for you. Wouldn't it be ideal for you to have a debate between mister Ferrer, mister Rosell and yourself or do you think they would never accept it?
I hope the club members will have the opportunity to live a debate between those who aspire to be president. I hope that the democratic spirit and the interest of communication will prevail over other types of more specific interests. I have the hope that the day will come when there will be a debate.

Do you think that the mainstream media, or some of them, are at the service of certain candidates?
I think it is clear that the two major media groups in Barcelona are positioned alongside one of the two main alternatives. Some defend the candidacy of Rosell and others defend the continuity candidacy. I don't think that I'm saying anything that is not a reality.

Image that one of the major media concerns is positioned at the side of Rosell and the other at your side. Would you win the elections?
I believe that, against all odds, we will win the elections. I think it will be important to discuss and to publicly compare our programs, maybe through some debates. It's true that the media are supporting other alternatives, but they have a problem: the media don't vote. Thank god, when there are elections, the one who votes is the club member, who is also the owner of Barça, and he has the last word. That will cause a surprise on 13 June.

Which percentage of the voters are according to you still undecided about whom to vote for?
We have some polls that tell us that 80% of the voters are not convinced of whom to vote for. Therefore, we consider these elections to be totally open. I think the vote will be decided in the last days of the campaign, as is usually the case. We think around 70.000 people could come out to vote on 13 June and therefore they will be open elections. In any case, I can confirm that we will far exceed the number of signatures needed. We are getting a lot of support, I would even say that the support is multiplying, and I can assure you that with absolute certainty we will be one of the maybe three people eligible to the office.

Finally, tell us what that third way of Agustí Benedito is.
Despite the interests there can be to make this a two-men race, we are absolutely confident that the elections are open, that the day will come when we will have the opportunity to talk about our project and to defend it against that of the other two. That will be the time when the member will finally have the opportunity to evaluate them and make his choice.

this was the third and last part of this interview.

Read the previous parts:
Benedito: "I do not feel bitter"
Benedito: "We're not choosing a sports director"

The Quote: Daniel Sanchez Llibre

"I hope that we will be able to normalize the relations with Barca's new president. If that will be Sandro Rosell, that will surely be the case. And if the members of Barça choose someone else, I hope so too."

Daniel Sánchez Llibre,
Espanyol president

read more election quotes here

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rexach will join the candidacy of Rosell

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that former Barcelona player and coach Carles Rexach will join the candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell.

After a first contact and a principal agreement, the final co-operation would be established during an upcoming new meeting between Rexach and Rosell, although it's not clear when the news will be made public.

Rexach would be part of the sports area of the club, although there is still uncertainty about the concrete position the former player, assistant coach, coach and sports director would occupy. He would become sports director [currently txiki begiristain], youth director [currently alexanko] or director of football [currently raul sanllehí].

The 63-year old Catalan, who has mainly been working as a football pundit since he left the club in 2003, was a Barcelona player from 1967 to 1981, coached the team on three occasions as caretaker and was the manager of the team during the 2001-2002 season.

Read more:
Rexach still thinking about running for president
The three areas and vice-presidents of Rosell
Rexach could join Minguella-Medina candidacy

Former vice-president Vicens will not take part

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that former Barcelona first vice-president Albert Vicens, who resigned as board member after the vote of no confidence in July 2008, would not take part in the elections.

Despite the fact that former marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla, who is likely to run for president in the upcoming elections (read more here), reportedly wants to include Vicens in his board team, the ex-director would have decided not to get involved.

Read more:
Ingla preparing his election campaign
The Board Movements (2003-2009)
Ingla has decided to run for president

Villa to be presented before the elections

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Barcelona and Valencia have reached a principal agreement on the transfer of Valencia forward David Villa (28) after a formal meeting between Barcelona chief executive Joan Oliver and Valencia representatives in Valencia last week.

Apart from the determination of the final transfer price, the deal between the two clubs would be complete. The rumoured fee would be around 30 million euros but Valencia would want to include some Barcelona players in the deal because cash money would go directly to the bank that has refinanced the club's debts.

Pressured by their creditors, among which Spanish bank Bancaja is the most important one, Valencia would be forced to sell players for between 40 and 60 million euros this summer and reduce the cost of the players' salaries from 90 to 60 millions.

The plan is reportedly that the deal could be closed soon after the end of the league season and that Villa would be presented as new player of Barcelona before the presidential elections in 13 June and before Villa, who was already a transfer target of Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola during the past two transfer summers, travels to South Africa for the World Cup.

Read more:
Laporta blocks transfer plans Rosell
Rooney could become electoral transfer target
Rosell preparing bid for Cesc

Rosell taking part in city run

Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell yesterday took part in the Bombers city run (10 km) in Barcelona.

The Quote: Agusti Benedito

"If I'm elected as president, I will cut the number of club members. There shouldn't be many more members than there are season-ticket holders."

Agustí Benedito,
Barcelona presidential candidate

read more election quotes here

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Pundit: Lluis Simon on board of 2003

« With the pre-election marathon still going on I've remembered the first phrase that I heard Joaquim Maria Puyal [catalan journalist] say when asked in 2003 what he thought of Laporta and the new board that had just been elected, with the shiny Sandro Rosell, Ferran Soriano, Alfons Godall and Marc Ingla up front. "You can see they are very intelligent and, above all, very, very clever." He stopped for a second to clarify the message: "Maybe even too clever." »

Lluís Simon,
El 9 Esportiu

New developments regarding Ronaldinho commission

Over the past week, there have been several new events regarding the story in a book written by Barcelona president Joan laporta that Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell, in 2004, when he was sports vice-president of the club, wanted to sell Ronaldinho to Chelsea and cash a commission fee (read more here).

Speaking to Catalan radio station RAC 1, Laporta confirms the story: "I've only explained what I have lived. The reaction of Sandro Rosell has surprised me because I think it would have been a lot more honest to confirm what he has told me. He informed me that there was an offer from Chelsea of 100 millions and he indeed added that they were prepared to give a commission of 10 per cent.

He later told me about it a second time - as I explain in my book the first time was in Madrid, the second in Paris. I am sure because he spoke to me directly, there were no intermediaries. And now I have serious doubts about his intentions because it would have been normal that he would have confirmed the story saying that he had informed me but that he didn't want to do it.

But if he reacts like he is doing now, by lying, I start to think in another way than I did. I think that with this totally inappropriate way of reacting - and he knows that he is lying - I think one should start to think that he was not only mentioning the commission of 10 per cent to inform me.

It's true that from then on, our relationship wasn't the same anymore. I started to have serious doubts about his person and although he said 'I'm just telling you about it, nothing more' our relation deterioriated since that happened. It was in the spring of 2004 and you know what has happened afterwards.

Before he already wanted to throw out Rijkaard in December 2003. Then in June 2004, he wanted to throw out Rijkaard again, as well as Txiki. There were the transfers that summer, like that of Eto'o, when he had an irrational fear for Madrid because according to him mister Florentino Pérez would kill us or destroy us.

And then during the 2004-2005 season, he and four others directors were constantly going against all decisions taken by the board until they resigned just after winning the league and after a year of internal crisis due to their immature behaviour. They gave up and made clear that it would be the apocalypse from then on, but everyone can count the trophies we've won since then."

Laporta gives in a statement on his personal website a detailled report of how Rosell mentioned two times the commission fee offered by Chelsea, the first time in Madrid on 25 April, the second time the following month in Paris where Laporta and Rosell shortly met with Chelsea representatives in the Crillon hotel.

Laporta explains that at that time he thought that Rosell didn't want the sale to actually take place and that he was just informing him about the proposal, but that after Rosell's reaction now, it would look as if he did want to sell Ronaldinho and receive a commission fee:

"Now six years later, and having seen the reaction of mister Rosell, I feel that he certainly did want to close that deal. I say this because I don't understand that he has been denying what he told me back then, both in Madrid and Paris. I don't understand that he has issued a statement threatening with legal actions when the book makes it clear that he only informed me.

He knows perfectly well that what I have described above is true and has occurred. So why is he so nervous? Because mister Rosell lies? Today, after seeing his reaction, I am increasingly convinced that he didn't only want to inform me, but also wanted it to go through. If before I was angry about his attitude, today, as president of FC Barcelona, and as Barcelona fan, I am getting even more indignant because he dares to deny it."

A story about the case published two weeks earlier by British tabloid The Sun shows up in the Catalan press. In the report, a Chelsea spokesman denies that the English Premier League club has offered a commission fee and is quoted as saying: "It's total nonsense. We never made such an offer."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Chelsea wants Laporta to rectify what he has said in his book and has contacted Spanish law firm Garrigues. Laporta could next week be summoned through a letter to erase the references to the English club and their offer in the digital version of the book.

Other media have taken over the report. Catalan sports paper Sport claims that a notarial affidavit has been sent to Laporta asking to withdraw the book of the market. Spanish radio station Cadena Ser claims that Rosell could also summon Laporta to deny the story or even to withdraw the book.

Read more:
Guixa wants clarification on Ronaldinho commission
Benedito wants to be the third way
Rosell wanted commission fee for sale Ronaldinho

Ferrer: "Guardiola and Begiristian are untouchable"

Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer gave an interview to Catalan newspaper El Periódico.

All what has happened in the board is the main ballast of your candidacy?
I think it is the only ballast because, as for the rest, it has been proven that the club is working well with this sports and economic model we have developed and followed. Although they might be designed with good intentions, we do not know how things will go with alternative models. The only thing they can reproach us is what happened in the board. When in a group, people think and give their opinion there are debates, discussions and possible conflicts.

Godall has criticized you and announced a pact between you and Rosell because of political interests.
I do not know where he got the pact with Rosell, he must have been dreaming. It is impossible, because of the people in our teams and because both candidacies are already formed. If we wanted to make a pact, we would already have had time for it since 23 December.

Soriano could have a place in your candidacy?
I'm open for someone like Soriano to work together us. I have talked with him and he knows we would accept him. The doors are open for him, as for all those Barcelona fans who want to work for the good of the club. I want to end the divisions.

So Laporta is giving you the freedom to decide?
That should be very clear. The president does not want a puppet either. He knows that his term ends on 30 June and that the candidacy we announced on 23 December is led by me, and Laporta won't have anything to do nor will he intervene. I have been part of all the good and the bad things that happened over the past seven years. Of everything. Very good things have been done and that is our project for the future, but with the style of Jaume Ferrer.

Guardiola and Begiristian are untouchable?
For me, yes. We know that Txiki wants to quit but we will try to convince him to stay. With Guardiola we have spoken more than once, we are part of the same club, but you have to let him do his job now because he is focused on the competitions and on preparing the players.

The continuity of Guardiola seems to be guaranteed with this board while it could be put in question when someone else comes to power.
He already knows how we work, he feels comfortable and that is a guarantee for his continuity.

The issue of the delegate commission stays the same after having left upon a decision of Laporta?
The statutes say it should be formed by the president, a vice-president, the secretary and the treasurer. And that is the case for over a month now. I don't want to re-enter, I shouldn't have more rights than other candidates and know more about the day-to-day of the club.

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

Read more:
Ferrer invites Godall and Sala to join him
Cartoon: With dramatic affect
Ferrer: "I know how do this"

interview: david torras and joan domènech

Guixa and Benedito want members to ratify Cruyff

Barcelona presidential candidates Jaume Guixà and Agustí Benedito have last week stated that they want the club members of FC Barcelona to vote on the appointment of Johan Cruyff as president of honour of the club.

Guixà [on Facebook]:
"Johan Cruyff has been a very important person in the history of Barça, but now was not the time to make this decision. If our candidacy receives the support of the club members, we will ask the general assembly to ratify it. We do not like impositions, we want the active participation of club members and democracy at FC Barcelona!"

Benedito [during a meeting with Barcelona club members after already having suggested it earlier in an interview with Catalan local television station Teletaxi TV]:
"One of the first things I will do if I win, will be organizing a referendum so that the club members can decide whether or not they want Cruyff as president of honour. For me it is a decision that should be taken with consensus and not while thinking about the elections."

Read more:
Cruyff doesn't see link nomination-elections
Poll result: Will Cruyff stay honorary president?
Cruyff becomes honorary president

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