Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Godall: "I want Cesc to return home"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo.

Barça may one day become a joint stock company?
I think that would mean losing a great value that differentiates us. At certain times it was believed that we had a handicap since we had to compete against clubs that are joint stock companies and might even be listed on the stock market abroad. But it has been proven that it's not the case. This characteristic gives us more freedom and value. How many Premier League fans would give anything to regain the status of partners? They'd give anything for that. The economic viability of a club doesn't depend on its legal structure.

Do you have to requalify the Miniestadi zone in order to modernize the Camp Nou?
Some major works of great economic value has to be done. Therefore, either with the Foster project or with a cheaper one, it will be difficult to pay a remodelling of this magnitude without selling. It's not only about a new Camp Nou, but also about a new Palau [home to the basketball, handball, roller hockey, and futsal sections], which has become completely outdated.

Have you hinted that a more modest project is possible?
Yes. We feel that the process at the city council is taking longer than expected and that the requirements are becoming abusive. Against this background, we have to think about whether the reclassification we're looking at will make it possible to pay the remodelling we are talking about.

Barça is running a high risk by not having a bank guarantee for the television contract?
No, because there are some clauses in the contract that allow us to recover the rights almost immediately. The television rights of Barça are worth far more than we're receiving and in addition each year we get paid 40% in advance. Madrid, on the other hand, does have a bank guarantee but it's the club that should pay the cost of the guarantee and that's a lot of money. In fact, it's as if they're getting two or three millions less.

Will you maintain the prices of the season-tickets if you become president?
We will update them according to the consumer price index and if that's negative, we will also review them downwards.

Do you have the feeling that the fan clubs are satisfied?
It's an issue that touches me directly [godall is responsible for the social area]. There are more fan clubs than ever and there are more services for them than ever. We have the feeling that we have made a lot of progress, but, and the same goes for the club members, we still have to make a lot more.

Let’s talk about the sports area. When do you think that Guardiola should decide his future?
For me things are very clear. I'm in favour of giving him all the tranquillity he needs so that he can do his job without pressure and without having to keep an eye on his renewal. I believe it is essential that he can work comfortably. When the time is there, we will talk to him and offer him the working conditions, which will be those that he thinks can allow him to keep on doing his excellent work at Barça, either as a coach or with other responsibilities.

In which role do you see him?
I see him in the role in which he thinks he can do most for Barça.

If he wants to have absolute powers, will he get them?
Yes, but I am in favour of the current model and this, in principle, means maintaining the coexistence of the sport director and the coach, and therefore he could do one thing or the other.

But you are in favour of keeping Txiki. Or not?
Until the end of the term he is our sports director. As part of the talks on the future of the club, we also will have to know what Txiki would like to do in the future.

The six titles were also partly due to luck?
The truth is that none of us would have imagined that we would have been able to win them all, but we had total belief in Guardiola from the first day because we had seen him at the second team.

If you become president, which player would you like to sign?
Well, there's one player who we all would like to see coming home. I am referring to Cesc. He is a player that is made by and for Barça, although I'm speaking as a fan here.

There seems to be unanimity about his transfer among the candidates. Will he be crucial in the elections?
I talked for my own account, but the decision will be made by the coaches. I can say that there will be money for the transfers they will ask us, but I understand that with the current squad few changes will be needed.

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

Read more:
The five vice-presidents of Godall
Poll result: Who should be the next president?
Godall: "Laporta is like a brother to me"

interview: roger torelló