Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ingla: "We will change the style of government"

Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

Club members are holding you at the street after you announced your candidacy?
Yes, and the outcome is very positive. When talking face to face you realize that there was a real need for a solid and capable candidacy that ensures a genuine continuity of the current success model. It is good that there is a candidate besides the offical one and the one that wants the complete rupture and is opposed to the current model.

It's a challenge that the campaign will be quite short?
It is a small challenge, but it is better like this. The member should not be thinking about policies the whole time. It is important for the club that the member participates, but it is good that there is no competition going on, so that voters can analyze well the options and make the best decision without being distracted by sports isues.

The crucial element of the candidacy is a core of experienced people who are already known by the members. What do you want to transmit by that?
That we are the candidacy of the four most influential vice-presidents in the last seven years. That we have no link with the current president and that we offer the members a project for the future. That we will give total continuity to the sporting projects, trying to strengthen them. And that we will change what needs to be changed.

What needs to be changed?
The style of government. We will clearly change it. And in addition, we will give the club a new economic boost and make Barça the most participatory club in the world.

Your slogan is "More Barça than ever", more participation than ever... Which things Barça should have less of?
Less overuse of the office of president. The board should have more common sense than ever and put the interests of the club before the ideologies of the directors. We have to make a leap forward and achieve institutional excellence, which is what we propose.

Laporta said a few days ago that people should not forget that the one who represents the continuity is Jaume Ferrer...
The member should decide on the adjectives. We want to explain our project. The project of Ferrer is a continuism that has a lack of substance. It's a good person, but he stands alone. He has not been a key person during those years of success. He has been the treasurer during most of that time. He did not take any of the decisions that have made this club big.

How many candidates will pass the cut of the signatures?
Since a month I'm saying that there will be four. I do not know exactly who they will be, but I have the feeling that there will be four.

You think there will be pacts?
It is very complicated. Once the groups have their own dynamics, it is difficult to change them. At Barça, there are no ideologies, so it's all about group's dynamics. That is positive because it allows the members to have more options. Also for the candidates, because it makes us compete and make better proposals.

Would you make a deal with Ferrer?
I think that is very complicated.

If a deal would be possible, would you be willing to give up the number one position?
No. In all modesty, I believe that our candidacy has the most power, the most experience, and ensures the model. We have helped to shape it. I myself helped to arrange the transition from Rijkaard to Guardiola. Luckily, the sport project we set up is still in place.

Are you the center project?
We are the balanced project, with the most knowledge. At one side, we have the bureaucratic officialism and on the other side, we have the constant opposition to the current model.

You're in the center and you're a team...
I am fortunate and I have the honour to wear the captain's armband. Any of the other three companions could wear it. They have decided that it would be me. But our style is that of a group. We are distancing ourselves from the superegos.

How would you define your team?
Very polyvalent and very Barca, because we go out there trying to win from the first minute, with an attractive project, and creative in attack, like the Barça of Pep. We will go forward and when we will need to defend ourselves against the attacks by other candidates, we will do that without stopping to think about how to recover the ball and go forward again. It will be the style of a team, it won't be presidential.

Are you ready for the attacks in a campaign that is expected to be dirty?
I'm not ready for a dirty campaign, I'm ready for fair play and positive ideas. Dirty games don't interest me. We will make very clear that there is a man who opposes the current model and another one who represents a continuism that I don't I believe in.

Aren't you worried about presenting a team project in a football world that is very presidential?
The model of a president-star, who lives in outer space so that nobody knows where he is, is very unrealistic. We have the current example and we have a candidate who is very much like it and who is acting as a star for almost five years. The position of president of Barça has a certain danger to it and I - as anyone else - could be affected by it, so that is why for the good government of the club things should be done as a team. And I have the best.

What will be your style as president?
Delegating a lot, giving everyone their own areas of government. And discrete, with a rather low profile, I do not like the big gestures. It is a feature of my personality, and combined with the best team, we can find a good balance.

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

Read more:
Ingla wants global youth academy
Godall resigns as director ahead of the elections
Ingla denies he didn't want Unicef on shirt

interview: ramiro martín-llanos

[picture] Candidates take part in football game

This morning, members of several presidential candidacies, former players of FC Barcelona and representatives of the press have played a football tournament in Barcelona.

From left to right:
Agustí Benedito, Alexis Plaza, Santiago Salvat, Jaume Guixà, Carles Ayats [candidacy Jaume Ferrer] and Josep Maria Bartomeu [candidacy Sandro Rosell]

Former president Nunez will support Rosell

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that former Barcelona president Josep Lluís Núñez supports the candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell.

Núnez, who has been silent on club matters since he left as president ten years ago, would yesterday have decided to make that support public, although the way in which that will happen is not yet clear.

Josep Lluís Núñez is a 78-year old Catalan businessman from the construction and the hotel sector. He was elected as president of FC Barcelona in 1978. Núñez was five times re-elected before resigning from his post in 2000.

Read more:
Nunez takes distance from candidate
Poll result: Best Barcelona president ever?
Former president Nunez to run with support Cruyff

[picture] Soriano visiting Brazil

Former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano travelled last week to Brazil to present the "A bola não entra por acaso", a Portuguese translation of his sports management book "La pilota no entra per atzar" (The ball doesn't go in by chance).

While he was in Brazil, Soriano also visited the Barcelona fan club of São Paulo to talk about the presidential candidacy of Marc Ingla, of which he is a member.

The Quotes: Benedito, Ferrer, Salvat, Ingla, Rosell

"One of our ideas is to introduce voting by mail."

Agustí Benedito

"If Laporta would run, I would vote for him."

Jaume Ferrer

"Unicef is a good thing but if Barça needs more revenues you will have to look at the option of finding a shirt sponsor."

Santiago Salvat

"Both Rosell and Laporta are impulsive people who like to be the star."

Marc Ingla

"The fans now feel more like a customer than like an owner of the club."

Sandro Rosell

read more election quotes here

Weekly Round-Up (23): Who will succeed Laporta?

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

The club’s board of directors has officially called the elections for Barcelona president to be held on 13 June 2010 at the Camp Nou. The board has, in the exercise of its mandate, also set the electoral calendar and agreed on the proceedings that would be followed in the conduct of the elections.

As of May 20, the confirmed candidates are Jaume Ferrer, Sandro Rosell, Marc Ingla, Agusti Benedito, Jaume Guixa, Salvador Salvat, Alexis Plaza, and Francesc Mañe.

The qualified list of candidates, or those that have satisfied the conditions for candidacy and made the signature’s cut, will be announced on 3 June, ten days before the actual vote.

>>> read the complete weekly round-up here

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rosell: "Guardiola represents our core values"

Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell gave an interview to Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

You talk about recovering values. What do you mean by that?
I refer to sobriety, austerity, plurality, to understand that Barça is not a political option but that everybody can be part of our club.

But you are considered to be close to CiU [catalan centre-right nationalist party]. Is that going to influence Barça if you win?
No. It's true - and I'm proud of that - that my father was one of the founders of CiU, but I've never been a member of any party nor have I been to any political rally. It will have no influence at all. If we win the elections, we will be the board of all Barça members, no matter where they come from. What unites us is FC Barcelona and the values of the club, that are those I have mentioned plus our catalanism, which is at the heart of the club.

What do you think about the club being in favour of independence?
Bad. Barça has Catalan values but politics is another thing and it is not good to defend a political option through Barça.

You spoke about austerity. However, you have or have had businesses related with the world of football and it can sometimes be very difficult to separate things.
The important thing is to be honest. You can be honest or not honest while having a sports marketing business like mine or having a pizzeria, it doesn't matter. The important thing is not the sector in which you work, but your personal education. I dedicate 40 to 50% of my time to this company and what I will do is make time to lead the club properly. In addition, my company is dedicated to sports like skiing.

Barça is among the top clubs and Guardiola has been crucial in that. What does Guardiola mean to you?
Guardiola represents the core values of this club, like hard work, modesty, prudence, austerity, respect for all people, while at the same time the ambition to win by playing fair.

Do you agree that Guardiola has been the corner stone of the recent successes?
Guardiola has done a lot. He has build a bunker around the team, he has isolated them from the entourage. That has been one of the key decisions.

There are presidents who have a tendency of trying to have an influence on the sports area. You're a football fan, would you fall into that temptation?
No, I will not make that mistake. The dressing room and the team bus are of the players, those are sacred places.

You start as the favourite, there's a feeling that you will surely win the elections but the same could happen to you as to Bassat...
I want to have those feelings on Sunday the 13th at night. It's as hard to be the president of Barça than to not be it. For me, this is very clear. I know that if I win, I will know how to be president, and if I don't win I will be able to keep on being just another club member.

You have said that you agree that the club signs players now.
I hope that if Cesc and Villa are signed, that this is done for the good of the club, because Pep has decided that and that they do not pay more than they're worth.

Given the severe economic crisis, paying 40 or 50 millions for a player seems excessive.
You have to think a lot about it, you have to know the market price and know the financial situation of the club. In the cases of Cesc and Villa, you have to see if there are other clubs that would pay that amount and I think there aren't. So why hurry then? You have to think about the club, and if you can get them for 20 or 25 millions, the better.

Who will replace Txiki?
We need to talk with him. Rumour has it that he will leave. If he decides to leave, then we have a plan B. No employee of the club will lose his job, except for the general manager, who cannot spend the money of the member to investigate directors. That is immoral.

Are you against television debates?
We will go to all the debates the candidates agree to.

You say that the hours of the game should change. That has so far been impossible.
It is very difficult to do that until 2013 because there is a contract. But after that there will be a new round of negotiations. We want rational hours so children can go to the stadium.

Your proposals include the creation of a youth area in the Camp Nou.
Yes. I have met with leaders of the existing support groups to create a unified youth area.

Have you met with the boixos nois?
No. I am against violence. They have no place in this new group. But there are people who are against violence and who once were part of the boixos but are now integrated in other platforms.

From all the other candidates, with whom do you think you might end up making a deal?
With none of them. We have a team and a program. I think it's very difficult that people who have been fighting would again become friends and that this would work.

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

Read more:
Rosell wants to regulate new members
The program of Sandro Rosell
Rosell wants Guardiola for six more years

interview: dagoberto escorcia

Godall resigns as director ahead of the elections

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall has this morning offerred his resignation as director of the club in a letter that he personally delivered to the secretary of president Joan Laporta. As Godall explains on his Facebook page, his resignation will be officially accepted during the board meeting on Monday.

Godall is part of the presidential candidacy of former Barcelona vice-president Marc Ingla and according to the statutes of the club, the directors who want to be officially part of a candidacy must resign some weeks before the elections. The other board members who will participate in the elections are expected to resign at the start of next week.

Read more:
Godall: "It's a team project against ego projects"
Ferrer gets new support from board members
Godall confirms he is part of Ingla candidacy

Txiki: "My future will depend on new president"

Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain gave an interview to the club's official media.

Your career as sports director will end on 13 June?
That will depend on the new president. There are many questions that a president should ask the sports director and vice versa. If they give him the opportunity.

Do you want to continue or you've had enough?
I don't have a burn-out. We're again at the stage of building a new squad and I am very happy doing that, independent of whether I will continue or not. I'm very happy with the job. I like it a lot, I enjoy it, even though deciding who comes and who doesn't is sometimes difficult. But always with the certainty that you know you have the support of the coach. It will depend a lot on the new president.

There are already some candidates who have expressed their intention of keeping you.
Yes, but I have many more questions to ask than I did in 2003. Because of the experience, I feel a lot more secure and I have the advantage that I can ask a lot more questions to the new president. Because this job is not easy.

Read more:
Ferrer: "Guardiola and Begiristian are untouchable"
Plaza considers Alexanko as sports director
Begiristain proposes Zubizarreta as his successor

interview: sandra sarmiento

Poll Voting Intentions: One Month Before

This is the final result (in percentages) of this blog's Who would you vote for in the elections for president of FC Barcelona? poll that was held exactly one month before the elections:

Sandro Rosell 30.9
Marc Ingla 23.6
Jaume Ferrer 15.5
Agusti Benedito 11.2

Don't know/Don't answer 9.4
Alexis Plaza 5.6
Santiago Salvat 2.2
Jaume Guixa 1.7

compare with the results of february, march and april here

check more voting intention poll results

[picture] The kiss of Santiago Salvat

Barcelona presidential candidate Santiago Salvat kissing his wife at the presentation of his candidacy at the Olympic and Sports museum in Barcelona.

The Quotes: Benedito, Rosell, Laporta

"As happened with Villa, Cesc will sign before the elections. These transfers have electoral motives."

Agustí Benedito

"Villa has been signed for 50 million euros when you count the transfer fee, the fees of the agents and the incentives."

Sandro Rosell

"For Barça, it would be good if we can sign and present another player before the World Cup."

Joan Laporta

read more election quotes here

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ingla wants global youth academy

The candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla has yesterday explained at a press conference their program for the sports area of the club. Some of the proposals:

No intervention by the board
There is no vice-president and the board does not propose transfers to the sports director and the coach, who are responsible for the sports area.

Blaugrana manual
Elaboration of a written and audiovisual manual that describes in detail the football philosophy of the club, including playing schemes and training schedules, and that will be used by the technical staff of the youth academy.

Modernized players database
New technologies should allow the club to follow promising players in all leagues around the world in real time and online.

Global Youth Academy
Through association agreements with clubs in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, West Africa, Eastern Europa and Scandinavia, Barcelona will set up youth academies around the world. The ultimate goal is to have a pool of 1500 youth players (instead of 300 now) and to have a first team squad with 75% of former players in 5 to 10 year.

Barça Atlètic
The squad should consist of: 10 former youth academy players, 4 juvenil players, 4 players from the global youth academy and 4 experienced players.

Read more:
Ingla plans referendums on shirts and stadium
The program of Sandro Rosell
Ingla denies he didn't want Unicef on shirt

[2003] Main Catalan bank denies link with Bassat

source: el mundo deportivo, thursday 22 may 2003, page 10

La Caixa says they are not behind any candidacy

The bank issued a statement to clarify that it does not endorse any candidate

La Caixa yesterday issued a statement to clarify that they are not behind any candidacy. The bank stated that "we do not support, in particular, none of the candidates who take part in the upcoming elections of FC Barcelona".

With this brief statement, La Caixa distanced themselves from all the candidacies and made clear that their relationship with the club is independent of the president who will be elected on 15 June.

In recent days, the financial institution has turned into a key player in the electoral process of the club after Lluís Bassat announced the addition that Salvador Alemany would join his candidacy as future president of the Foundation. The publicist said that his plan that the Foundation would control the assets of the club.

This announcement provoked reactions from other candidates, who mentioned the relationship of Alemany with La Caixa and even went so far as to accuse the bank of wanting to take control of the club.

check more 2003 election stories

Benedito accuses paper of burying poll

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claimed yesterday that Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito had ordered a university poll regarding the upcoming presidential elections that was carried out on Sunday in the surroundings of the Camp Nou.

Of the 1.200 people polled, 54% reportedly didn't yet make their choice about who they will choose for on 13 June. Half of those who already decided, said they would vote for Rosell, 24% for Ferrer and 15% for Ingla. Benedito got 11% of the votes, while Guixà got 1% and Salvat and Plaza were not included.

Benedito confirmed yesterday on a press conference that they indeed had that poll but explained later on Facebook – while linking to the article in El Mundo Deportivo - that it was in fact Catalan sports paper Sport that had asked for the poll but later didn't want to make it public and instead reported on another poll (read more here):

"This is the poll that Sport had ordered with the Ramon Llull university but that they then decided not to publish. They have the right to publish what they want just as I can tell this, right? In this one we have 11%, while in the one they published we have 1,4%. Now I tell you…"

Read more:
Benedito: "Transfer of Villa won't influence vote"
Poll result: Who would you vote for?
The collection of the signatures has started

[picture] Japanese signature for Ingla

Japanese club member Hatsumi gave her signature of support to the candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla.

The campaign logo of Sandro Rosell

The campaign logo and the slogan ("We are all Barça") of Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Quotes: Plaza, Salvat, Rosell, Ingla, Ferrer

"None of the candidates can claim the successes of the team."

Alexis Plaza

"We have received information that Marc Ingla and Jaume Ferrer will end up making a deal."

Santiago Salvat

"Henrique and Keirrison? We will see what the audits say about the transfers of those two players."

Sandro Rosell

"It seems a contradiction that mister Rosell talks about financial austerity while his campaign headquarters are almost as big as two football fields, including television studios and hair dressers."

Marc Ingla

"In our polls we have three times the percentage of votes than in the poll of El Periódico and Sport, we're ahead of Ingla and the percentage of Rosell is dropping."

Jaume Ferrer

read more election quotes here

Son Camp Nou architect could lead remodelling

The candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Santiago Salvat has today announced their plan to remodell the Camp Nou stadium. The candidacy rejects the Foster project and proposes a new remodelling plan that would be carried out by Catalan architect Joan Pau Mitjans [picture], the son of the architect of the stadium, Francesc Mitjans.

The plan is to add 15.526 seats to the stadium, of which more than 15.000 will be for club members. The renewed Camp Nou would that way have 113.998 seats. The remodelling would cost 90 to 95 millon euros and would be financed through the pre-payment of the season-tickets for four seasons by the club members who would obtain one of the new seats.

Read more:
Guixa wants crèche at Camp Nou
Minguella and Medina to be vice-presidents Salvat
More about Benedito: On Txiki and Camp Nou

Rosell: "Barça is not only about goals and titles"

Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell gave an interview to Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

You have started your campaign as a candidate with a very peaceful message, without responding to the attacks that from the current president of FC Barcelona. Why are you so friendly?
Because that is our way of being and because we want to show the member how we will act in case we will win the elections. But one thing is being gentle, another thing is being soft. When we will have to make tough decisions, we will make them, but always respecting the rules of the game and the way of being of people.

Don't you think that the voters who have admired your way of being can now start to think that you are not the candidate they wanted?
There is freedom of expression and everyone can say whatever he wants, but to some extent. When one touches your honour or spreads doubts about your honesty, you have to respond differently. But we are no warriors. We are normal people.

Precisely your honesty has been questioned when you have been accused of wanting to receive a commission for a transfer.
We put out a press release in which we made our position on this issue very clear. But when there are false accusations and slander, you need to be strong and act accordingly.

Do you think the president will act neutrally in this election after everything he has been saying and suggesting about you?
He said he would neutral and I remain confident that at some point he will become neutral. Now he's not, but he will find out that the president of Barça must be neutral during an electoral process.

What is the difference between you and Laporta?
I don't like to talk about me and president Laporta who within a few days will be the former president. There are a lot of differences of personality and way of being.

Some say you are very similar, that you share a certain arrogance.
I think I'm not arrogant at all. You should talk with my friends, the people who know me.

And which differences will there be in the way of leading the club?
All I can say is how we will do it if we win, which will be by working as a team. If you look at the 18 people in our board team, you see that that everyone is skilled to deal with the area he’s responsible for.

At the beginning of the mandate of Laporta the entire management team was praised but it later ended up in the way we all know. Are there guarantees that this won't happen to you?
I think it won't happen. Because of my way of being, because of the education I received from my parents, because I have worked my whole life as part of a team and because of my track record, I would say it won't. But that is no guarantee because it's difficult to know what will happen. Any decision made by a team is always better than one made individually.

The difference between the board team of 2003 and the one led by you now is that this is a group that knows each other more?
That group got together in two weeks and was not a team but a combination of individuals. Now we have a team that has been working for a while, so that everyone knows each other's strengths and weaknesses.

You are being accused of claiming the model that has been so successful because you said you have also put your two cents.
Well, I put it. That's only fair. All that was decided in the beginning when I was there, from the transfers to throwing the hooligans out of the Nou Camp, were decisions taken by the board. So then everyone is putting their two cents. I was responsible for the sports aera and my task was to change the losing dynamics into a winning one, and that happened. And the team we formed won two league titles.

It is also said that you have been active in the opposition and that you were the man behind the vote of no confidence.
That is not true. Totally false. Opposition is what you do when you form a group to criticize and to make continuous statements about the policy of the board, and that has not been our case. When we resigned, we all did that because of a different reason. We have worked behind the scenes to present ourselves, trying to avoid statements.

The president complains that after so many successes you are only satisfied. What has failed to make you really happy?
Barça is not only about goals, victories and titles. That is a very important part, but not all of it. I am happy about the sports side of the club but not about the economic and social ones.

The president has failed?
He failed in the social area. We have spoken with many members and they aren't happy either. About the economic area and based on our analysis, we feel that we can't be too happy either.

Will you lift the veils if you win?
I dislike that phrase because it is belligerent. What I plan to do if I win is to inform the member of everything. That is a right of the member as the owner of the club. We will inform them of everything.

But you have suspicions that things that shouldn’t be done have been done.
As members we know that there's a lack of transparency. We do not know why pieces of land are bought and sold without informing us, how the tickets are distributed, we have seen spending that has gone up from 20 and a bit to 75 millions, it almost tripled. This is what people want to know because that money is not from the board, it's the money from all of us. We all are Barça.

Don't you think that this information may harm the image of Barça?
No, on the contrary. The member is open to the truth.

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

Read more:
Rosell wants to regulate new members
The program of Sandro Rosell
Rosell wants Guardiola for six more years

interview: dagoberto escorcia

Sala i Martin to leave the club in July

Speaking to Catalan radio station RAC 1, Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín has said he will most likely leave the club at the end of the current term: "The most probable thing is that I won't be part of any candidacy, that is at least the plan at this moment. So I will go home on 30 June. I will keep on doing the same things I'm doing now, except for Barça."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Sala i Martín has received offers from the candidacies of Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer and former Barcelona marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla but that he has decided to stay out of the electoral race and to leave together with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Read more:
Sala i Martin considering his position
Ferrer gets new support from board members
Sala i Martin to stay on until end of term

The process of collecting the signatures

by xaviniesta

According to Article 43 of the club statutes, the candidates in the Barcelona presidential elections must gather at least 2.095 letters of support from the club members and present these to the Electoral Commission. The candidates, who only have eight days to collect the signatures, have on Monday requested the official support forms from the Electoral Commission (read more here).

For a letter of support to be counted in favor of a candidate, the rules require that the member signing it is eligible to vote and supports only one candidate. Duplicate letters of support and those signed by members not listed in the electoral roll will be disregarded.

After the period for submission of support slips would have ended on 31 May, the Electoral Commission will carry out a verification process to check if the letters of support submitted by the candidates satisfy all the requirements and are authentic. The candidates who make the signatures' cut and who would have complied with all other conditions for candidacy will be announced on 3 June.

Read more:
The electoral proceedings
Official election calendar announced
The collection of the signatures has started

[picture] Sandro Rosell and the fun candidate

Barcelona presidential candidates Ferran Estrada and Sandro Rosell met on Monday morning when they both came to the Camp Nou to officially request the slips needed to collect the signatures of the club members.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Quotes: Perrin, Minguella, Ferrer, Ingla, Rosell

"Ferran Soriano tried a coup. Someone like that shouldn't return to the club."

Albert Perrín

"Someone has a paper that allows him to negotiate the transfers of Xavi and Ibrahimovic."

Josep Maria Minguella

"Rosell would probably prefer to be sports director instead of president."

Jaume Ferrer

"The poll of El Periódico? It will make our win more epic."

Marc Ingla

"There are 300 fan club who have only been created to get tickets. we will clean that up."

Sandro Rosell

read more election quotes here

Cruyff won't support any candidate

Asked if he will support a candidate in the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona, Barcelona honorary president Johan Cruyff has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu that he will not speak ouy:

"I won't. I have now a position that forces me to think about what is good for the club. I imagine that we all talk nonsense every now and then, but you should try to avoid it.

But I am curious to know why some of those who are running now have resigned before, and whether they would do it again, to know why they did not agree and if they still disagree or if they want to rectify. That wouldn't be an error, but recognizing that at the time of leaving, they were wrong. That is how athletes do it, you only improve by being self-critical."

Read more:
Cruyff becomes honorary president
The Quote: Sandro Rosell
Guixa and Benedito want members to ratify Cruyff

Guixa: "We won't win by promising a star signing"

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà gave an interview to Spanish football site Mercafutbol.

translation: jacob coronado

Why does a university professor in business organization, architect, and lawyer, want to be president of FC Barcelona?
First of all, these titles don't make you president of Barça, but if we add that I am president of the fan club of Sant Cugat del Vallés, that my electoral career for the presidency started back in 2006 and that I feel a great passion towards the colours of Barça it is clear that what moves me as a pre-candidate are the dreams and the desire for a different project.

As you said, you have already been a pre-candidate in the election of Barcelona in 2006 but you failed to make the cut... What makes you think that, this time, you can achieve the 2.095 signatures required to take part in the final vote?
In principle, in 2006 we said no to any more elections to the presidency of Barcelona in August because they have to be participatory, democratic and with maximum attendance. In 2010, Barcelona president Joan Laporta told us that there would be an election with maximum participation but he has once again violated this promise of democracy. Still, after the months of the pre-campaign, after I presented myself last December, we are excited and eager to campaign and propose an alternative to Laporta. However, we are seeing, unfortunately, that the current board of directors are continuously intervening to block the popular vote.

How did you take the club's decision to stop allowing the collection of signatures on the final match day in the Nou Camp?
Very bad because what the club, Joan Laporta, and the Elefant Blau have always defended has been transparency, participation, and democracy. Moreso, Laporta who at times has expressed desire to go into politics, is giving a bad example. Barça must support maximum participation so that the the highest possible number of members can exercise their right to vote.

The current board seems ready to take another controversial decision which would be to close a signing before the end of term. If so, what do you think of it?
We, as in the candidacy of Jaume Guixà, have always said that we will be respectful with the first team and we would not do as they did with the Beckham controversy. We do not have that line of conduct, we are serious and we will not win by a signing, but instead with the illusion of a project, and the desire and enthusiasm to convince the member, which is the only guarantee of the vote.

Do you think therefore, that if the current board would present a new signing it would be for electoral interests, rather than sporting one?
It is obvious and already showing at this time by them not allowing the member to participate on a very important game day. I'd like to see, finally, how this process ends because with the members of the Elefant Blau, with continuism, and with the people who have left the laportism, in the end there will not be plurality of projects and the member will not be able to discern one project from another.

You've already made it clear you will not use the promise of a star signing, but do you think that some other candidate could?
I can only talk about the candidacy of Jaume Guixà. For the other candidates, each can choose their own lines for a project and how to get the vote. We will not destabilize Pep Guardiola, we will not destabilize the first team, and we will not win the presidency with a star signing. This was our message from the first day and we are going to maintain that.

Why do you think you should win this election?
I think the members have to analyze and to put apart the sporting successes, congratulating Joan Laporta, as he will go down in history as the president of the six cups. But I think the member of Barcelona has managed to differentiate between the successes of Pep Guardiola and his coaching staff and the poor management by the current board. We believe that the continuism is all about Laporta, as he has shown as Barça president, who embraced his lifelong friend and when he saw necessary, he abandoned him and hugged another. In addition, there was a motion of censure in 2008 when some board members left because they understood that the mandate had expired. I would place them in the same bag. We have a different project, especially in the field of management. We are concerned about the economic situation of the club because there's a spending in short and in medium term which should be corrected, and a revenue trend that we clearly must change. We are also concerned about the treatment of the sports centre which is unfinished, and the process of reclassifying the Mini Stadium. I am in contact with the affected neighborhood associations and they oppose the project. And when we talk of holding the reins of the club differently, we mean that the member of Barcelona will participate in a voting process on the reclassification. We also say no to the Foster project, which is a project of megalomania of Laporta to leave behind a legacy that includes this pharaonic project that will have high lighting and maintenance costs.

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

Read more:
Guixa wants to export youth academy
The Decalogue of Jaume Guixa
Guixa: "You cannot trust the polls"

interview: elena fernández

Poll result: Who would you vote for?

Who would you vote for as president of Barça?

Sandro Rosell 54,8%
Marc Ingla 12,4%
Jaume Ferrer 9,9%
Santiago Salvat 1,6%
Agustí Benedito 1,4%
Alexis Plaza 0,4%
Jaume Guixà 0,3%

Others 1,0%
None 1,3%
Won't vote 2,3%
Don't know/Don't answer 14,9%

total votes: 800
date poll: 16 may 2010
poll method: interviews with club members who have the right to vote by polling agency Gesop in the surroundings of the Camp Nou around the time of the league game against Valladolid

source: el periódico and sport

check more election poll results here

Did Ingla want to sign Mourinho?

Since he publicly announced his candidacy for president of FC Barcelona, Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla has explained several times that he didn't want to sign José Mourinho as successor of Frank Rijkaard as was rumoured in certain media and how the club decided to appoint Guardiola as new coach:

"In november 2007, Txiki Begiristain and I met in my hotel room in Lyon during the afternoon, before the game against Lyon that ended 2-2. We worked for hours and went through the whole sports area. One of the things that came out of this meeting was that the sports project of Frank Rijkaard was coming to an end and that we needed a substitute for the next summer.

Already at that time, Txiki Begiristain said that the best candidate was Pep Guardiola, because he liked his tactics and his way of working. We agreed he was our best option but we knew it was a bold decision, so we said that if we would go with that to the board, we better also first took a look at the other options.

So within the same profile, names like Valverde, Blanc or Laudrup were put on the table, we studied them and we made progress in the process of chosing the new coach. In that process, mister Mourinho also appeared. He was very willing to coach FC Barcelona. He was in Lisbon, he knew our club and he didn't have a job, which also made him a candidate in case Rijkaard wouldn't finish the season.

We went to see Mourinho to hear what his project was, what kind of man he is. The conclusion was that he's a great coach but that his shortcomings made him not a candidate to become the coach of FC Barcelona. That is what we told the president when we were back in Barcelona and I have witnesses of that meeting. So whoever says something else or claims I wanted Mourinho, doesn't speak the truth.

The coach of Barcelona is the image of the club. He has several press conferences a week. So it should be a person who can explain the sporting issues but he should also transmit the values of the club. He has to be educated and not break some basic rules. I think that in this perspective we made the best choice."

Read more:
Ferrer: "Guardiola and Begiristian are untouchable"
Ingla plans referendums on shirts and stadium
Rosell wants Guardiola for six more years

sources: don balón and others

[picture] Campaign flyer of Alexis Plaza

This is the front of flyer that is used during this campaign by Barcelona presidential candidate Alexis Plaza.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Quotes: Benedito, Rosell, Salvat, Ingla, Plaza

"Since there are still 70% of the voters undecided, I'm sure the elections will be decided in the last week and maybe even on the last day."

Agustí Benedito

"In 2016, the vote will be online or people will be able to vote in Tarragona and the other Catalan provincial capitals."

Sandro Rosell

"Not all club members without a season ticket want to have one."

Santiago Salvat

"It's very contradictory that after having tried to kick out Rijkaard and Begiristain, Rosell is now trying to hug everybody."

Marc Ingla

"We continue to be independent and we don't plan to become a part of another candidacy."

Alexis Plaza

read more election quotes here

The collection of the signatures has started

Barcelona's official website reports that several Barcelona presidential candidates came to the Camp Nou this morning to ask the club for the slips that can be used to collect the 2.095 signatures of the club members that are needed to become a candidate in the vote on Sunday 13 June (read more here).

People can get a number of slips for free - 4.190, twice the signatures needed - and if they want to have more, they need to pay for them. The candidates have asked the following number of slips: Sandro Rosell 60.000, Marc Ingla 40.000, Jaume Ferrer 25.000, Agustí Benedito 20.000, Santiago Salvat 12.000, Jaume Guixà 9.000 and Alexis Plaza 4.190.

Three pre-candidates that didn't yet announce before that they have the intention to run for president of FC Barcelona also formally asked for slips. Francesc Liñan and Ferran Estrada asked for 4.190 slips, while Jordi Ruiz asked for 5.000 official papers that should be handed back to the club in two weeks with the signature of club members.

Read more:
Salvat wants to help others to collect signatures
[2003] The battle for the signatures has started
Pre-candidates need to collect signatures

Do you speak Catalan or Spanish?

With less than four weeks before the elections, the news is rapidly multiplying in the coming days and weeks.

And since my time is limited, we are looking for some people who would like to give a hand every now and then during the decisive weeks of the campaign by translating some Catalan or Spanish texts to English. The time you're translating, I can write other stories for the blog.

Your task would be very clear, you don't have to look up anything, you don't have to write an original story, you'll get the information necesary and you can translate the text.

The time you invest in it is of course totally up to you (and it's anyhow only until 13 June), deadlines won't be tight (the most urgent texts I'll translate myself) and we'll help out with problems that could appear during translating.

You for sure shouldn't be perfect in those languages, none of them are my mother-tongue either. Let's say you should be able to understand Spanish and Catalan and be able to write a text in English that is readable.

If you are interested, you can put your email address in the comment section or mail us at:

barcaelections2010 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Thanks in advance!

[2003] Poll: Bassat almost 50%, Laporta 0%

source: el mundo deportivo, monday 19 may 2003, page 63

Bassat takes a clear lead

He has a big advantage on the other candidates, according to a survey of RAC1

Lluís Bassat is the candidate for the presidency of Barça who has the most chances of being elected. At least that is what comes out of the survey that was carried out yesterday by the 'Café Baviera' program of RAC1, in which the publisher takes a significant lead over the second, Jaume Llauradó, and the rest of the candidates on the question: "What candidate do you intend to vote for?". The survey was conducted among 500 club members of Barcelona at the Camp Nou before the game against Mallorca.

While 48% of the people said they would vote for Bassat, Llauradó got only 7%, with the curiosity that 29% still doesn't have clear who they want to give their vote to regarding the future of Barça. Curiously, neither Jordi Medina nor Joan Laporta were voted for by those 500 members.

Bassat 48%
Don't know 29%
Llauradó 7%
Casas 6%
Majó 5%
Minguella 2%
Martínez-Rovira 2%
Won't vote 1%
Medina 0%
Laporta 0%

check more 2003 election stories

Benedito: "Transfer of Villa won't influence vote"

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

translation: jakob zsambok

Let's talk about Laporta, you know him since 1996. Did he change a lot over the past years?
Yes, he did change a lot, he went through a personal evolution, which wasn't foreseeable. I didn't expect it.

Did he change for the worse?
In the part which affects me directly, as a member and as a candidate, his change has been bad, yes. In his change of attitude I see the failings of fulfilling what he has promised in the 2003 elections, this is partly due to the changes of staff he had to endure during his tenure.

What promises didn't he fulfill?
Some very important core aspects of his program of 2003, to which I'm proud to have contributed. Transparency, responsibility, participation of the members and the issues of assets policy, those were major points of his 2003 campaign.

If the continuity candidacy, led by Jaume Ferrer, wins the elections, do you think they will continue to overlook those core areas of the 2003 program?
What I can say to Jaume is that he missed golden opportunities to do some of the things he now promises in his program while being an actual vice-president of FC Barcelona. In any case, we will listen to his proposals, but it's a fact that he and other people of the current administration were in the position to make or even force changes but they didn't do it. So he will have to do some explaining on how exactly he will do those things now, seven years later.

In the last weeks, several media confirmed that David Villa will be signed by the current board at the end of the season. Do you think this rumour is true?
We are entering the realm of speculation, and therefore I can't tell you anything certain, but it wouldn't surprise me if the current board would make such a move, especially with the election process ongoing. I wouldn't rule it out and it wouldn't surprise me.

If the rumor is indeed confirmed, do you think the signing of Villa will serve the continuity candidacy?
I think the valuation of the current administration will not depend on a new transfer in the last hour. The people have already formed their opinion. What we saw was the best season in sporting terms of the football team in the history of Barca, but despite that, I don't think they will win the elections. I have to believe that I will win it. I do understand however that they think a signing like Villa will benefit them in the election, but I don't share that opinion.

On the other hand, do you think, if the signing of Villa will be confirmed, other candidates will also try to announce new names?
In our case, we made the content of our program the priority. With regard to the sporting side, our priority is Pep Guardiola. So if other candidates want to talk about signings, we sure won't.

Do you think Sandro Rosell will be the next candidate to announce a new signing?
Yes to be frank, I wouldn't rule it out that candidates do that and Sandro could be one of those candidates who will chose this way to try to win, as has happened in previous elections.

Will you talk with Pep Guardiola about new signings if you win the election?
The coach, who will hopefully be Pep Guardiola for many more years, and the sports director will decide on this matter, and then present their plans to the board. It won't be me alone who decides it.

In your opinion, what positions do you think need reinforcements for the next season ?
You won't hear me talk a lot about sporting issues. I have my opinion as a fan, but if I am president, those matters will be handled by the sports department of the club. Personally I think we need people on the wing, but in the end Pep Guardiola will tell me if that's the case or not, my opinion in this matter counts for little.

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

Read more:
Benedito: "Our secret weapon are the people"
[pictures] Presidential candidates in Paris
Benedito says others have political and media links

interview: elena fernández

Rosell wants to regulate new members

Asked about his supposed plan to limit the number of club members of FC Barcelona, Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that his candidacy doesn't want to limit but to regulate the number of members:

"We don't have too many club members. All members are members of Barça, they are the owners of the club and have the same rights. But we should regulate the entrance of new club members for several reasons, in the first place because of the identity of the club.

We have already 3.000-4.000 Japanese club members, which is good but one day we could have 50.000. Or 50.000 Chinese or 50.000 Russians, it's the same. And those 50.000 Russians could one day decide that the president of Barça would be a Russian. He should have his legal residence in Catalonia, but that's easy.

So we should regulate the entrance of new club members to keep the identity of the club. Another reason is that you cannot have more club members than you have seats at the Camp Nou because a club member in the end wants to go and watch the games. We are happy with all club members we have but we should see how we can regulate things."

Read more:
Benedito could limit number of club members
Cardoner: "The member always has the last word"
The program of Sandro Rosell

[picture] Ingla taking part in run

The candidacy of Marc Ingla organized on Sunday morning a run in the surroundings of the Camp Nou.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Quotes: Ferrer, Salvat, Godall, Rosell, Ingla

"99% of the program is Rosell is the same as what the club is already doing right now."

Jaume Ferrer

"The Camp Nou should have some 19.000 more seats."

Santiago Salvat

"I think it's possible that we will have four or five candidates at the final vote."

Alfons Godall

"The Boixos Nois had a more violent faction and one that wasn't violent. Not all Boixos Nois were what the people thought. There are good Boixos Nois who love the club and who support the club in the stadium, and who are now part of other groups. We will unite all the non-violent animation groups in one part of the stadium."

Sandro Rosell

"I don't have the natural leadership of Ferran Soriano but I do have the same way of thinking."

Marc Ingla

read more election quotes here

Ingla denies he didn't want Unicef on shirt

Speaking at a meeting with Barcelona fans at his campaign headquarters, Barcelona presidential candidate and asset vice-president Jaume Ferrer has said that his opponent and former marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla didn't want to put Unicef on the shirt of the club in 2006:

"I'm happy that Ingla now wants to continue with the Unicef model, while he preferred another model which was that of Betandwin, now Bwin. He also approved the option of 'Beijing 2008', the Olympic Games in Beijing. So I'm happy that he at this moment wishes to keep the model of 'More than a club' that includes a solidary commitment."

Asked about the statement of Ferrer, Ingla denied at a press meeting organized by Spanish sports weekly paper Don Balón to have been against Unicef as shirt sponsor and that he, in his function of marketing vice-president, had presented all options to his board colleagues in order for them to make a decision:

"This is not true. What is true is that I led the search for what we would put on the shirts. My main task as marketing vice-president was to explain the different options to the board, with all the positive and negative aspects, so to give the directors the chance to make a decision.

I presented several options to the board, some of which included big amounts of money, more than Madrid is currently getting for their shirt. There was Betandwin and also Beijing 2008. The chance of being linked with the Olympic Games and China when the country had just started a process of opening itself to the world seemed interesting.

But in the end we thought that the Unicef project was the most revolutionary one. I was in charge of that decision and I in fact personally went to New York to present the project to Unicef, starting the contacts with Unicef representatives first in Barcelona and later in Madrid and Geneva. So I was one of the key people in that deal."

Read more:
Ingla: "Barça should be reference of 21st century"
Ferrer: "I know how do this"
Ingla plans referendums on shirts and stadium