Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Catalan newspaper Avui.
Why did you distance yourself from Laporta after having supported him since 1997?
I've worked together with Laporta for many years. We spent a lot of hours together and we had a project we firmly believed in.
I've distanced myself from him because I believe that at a certain moment along the way, president Laporta has moved away from our model. Basic principles of 2003, elements of transparency, honesty, giving a much greater participation to the club members and other things, had been lost. In addition, one concrete thing happened, last February.
The Uzbekistan case.
His personal intervention in an attempt to sell Mallorca, with a commission of 4.2 million euros and the involvement of people who had business relations with the club, represents to me a clear breach of the minimum ethical standards the president of Barça should have. As far as honesty and ethics in management is concerned, Laporta hasn't done well. There can't be any doubt about that.
Who are you and what are you proposing?
We are a group of Barcelona fans with different backgrounds, committed to Barça and the country, with renowned professional and social careers. And when the time is there, we will talk about what we have to offer, but what I do believe is that we will present the best program of all, which will be the result of the experience and the input of many people.
Can you tell us about the basic principles?
Our analysis is that what makes us different in the world is that the club members are the owners of the club. That leads to a clear way of managing. It is necessary to promote these values and to make sure that the club member of Barça again feels he's the owner of the club. Unfortunately, during the presidencies preceding Laporta and the latter period of Laporta this way of thinking has not been followed.
Make that a little more concrete.
The promotion of the participation of the member in the management of the club. Participation in representative organs such as the assembly of delegates, the continued consultation, the feeling, the intentions, the habit, listening to the member, all that didn't happen. We also said in 2003, maybe it even was what we repeated most, that we wouldn't sell a square inch of land. They have also ignored that.
The danger for you is the polarization between continuity candidates and Rosell.
Around 100.000 club members are a member for less than five years. The participation is difficult to predict, but it will surely surpass that of 2003. You may think that more than 30.000 members will vote for the first time.
I know there is a movement ongoing, especially in the media, to reduce the debate to 'laportism' and 'sandrism', like we before had 'cruyffism' and 'nuñism'. We already left that behind in 2003, and we'll do that again this year. So I think there is plenty of room, none of the candidates can be sure of anything and the outcome is very unpredictable.
this was the first part of this interview. you can read the second part here.
More about Benedito
Presidential candidates unhappy with renewals
Barça, a 'wonderful rarity' (by Agustí Benedito)
interview: pep lloveras