Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Benedito: "We want a new Barça culture"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Spanish newspaper El País. Read the previous part of this interview here.

Are you in favour of introducing an ethical code?
I am in favour of it, at least in case it's not being used to gain election profit, like could happen with the new initiative that is supported by Rosell. In general, I think it's an interesting and good idea.

Which is the difference between the project that will be supported by Laporta and the one lead by Rosell?
Laporta has had seven years to do what he wanted to do, so it would be hard to understand he would now start doing things he hasn't done before. Rosell, on the other hand, still hasn't explained his program. In any case, I know him and some of the members of his theoretical candidacy and as far as I see it, his program also won't be similar to what we will present.

Who's in your team?
Members of an independent, different candidacy that is the result of hard work. We want to stimulate the participation of the club members in the life of the club. There are a lot of people involved, people with great human and professional qualities, big Barcelona fans.

The elections will apparently focus more on the club than on the team, especially because the squad of Pep Guardiola has done amazingly well. It's difficult to imagine that a big name like David Beckham would have the same impact as in 2003.
It seems that the sporting issues won't be the centre of the campaign, although I'm not sure about that. In any case, I think that everyone will agree that Guardiola has done an excellent job and that we all will want him to continue for many more years. We sure will run a campaign that will be direct, different, clear, always keeping in mind that the owners of the club are the members.

You won't close a deal with others?
A deal with other candidacies is not part of our model. It wouldn't make sense. We will try to transform the club in a way that, at this moment, I don't see in the other alternatives. Certainly not in the continuity list and the one of Rosell. I don't know what will happen with others who might take part.

You didn't offer yourself to Rosell?
Since I resigned in February until I took the decision to run in July, I have been in contact with a lot of people, with people who now could be part of the candidacy of Rosell, with directors who continue, with former directors who, apparently, won't take part in the elections. I was interested in knowing their plans, the projects that were being formed and that's when I got the certainty that none of those is similar to ours.

With some seven months to go before the elections, how are the club members doing in your opinion?
There is a crisis of behaviour, of responsibilities and of participation in the club. The board of Laporta has done good things, some bad ones and others haven't been done at all. And despite the excellent results of the team, there's still a feeling of disaffection, of distance, of not fully living the experience of being club member of Barça.

We want to end the passivity and strengthen a new Barça culture, a new way to live things. I want to change the experience of being a member. We'll make an honest Barça, more participatory, we'll use the instruments needed for a good governance and we'll raise the standards for those who represent the members. The essence and the rarity of our club is that we can choose our directors.

Will you get there with a budget of 500.000 euros?
We have a maximum budget of 500.000 euros and we'll get to the end of the campaign with those 500.000 euros.

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

Read more:
Introducing Benedito (5-parts series)
Poll result: Can Benedito win the elections?
Barça, a 'wonderful rarity' (by Agustí Benedito)

interview: ramón besa