Friday, February 12, 2010

Godall: "Txiki will be my sports director"

Barcelona first vice-president and presidential candidate Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

What are your plans for the other sports sections of the club?
Initially, this board didn't know well how to deal with them. But now people can see great games at the Palau and the stands are filled. We're on the right path, but we need a new Palau to go even further.

So the Foster plan is a priority for you?
One of the main objectives is the new Palau and the remodelling of the Camp Nou to provide a better service: more stairs, more elevators, and making sure that everyone is covered when it rains.

You will continue the club's commitment to solidarity?
The great challenge is to give 0.7% of the revenues of the club to programs of the foundation. I totally want to maintain the partnerships with agencies of the United Nations.

The club has considered to give the stadium the name of a commercial brand?
The tradition allows us at the most to talk about the New Camp Nou after the remodelling. But we should consult with the members on the possibility that the stadium would be named after a brand.

The issue of the guarantees worries you?
We need to do what is asked by the competent authority, in this case the professional football league. And I am convinced that neither myself nor Jaume Ferrer, in case we are both heading a candidacy, will have to put down a bank guarantee.

Certain media insist that you might not be able to run following a complaint made to the Catalan Sports Court... [regarding the fact that the board didn't correctly call the elections in 2006]
The reports of certain media and certain allegations are very strange manoeuvres. Basically, we are talking about the most noble democratic right, the right to vote of the club member and the free participation in the elections. One shouldn't pay too much attention to those rumours. I believe that this potential disqualification by the Catalan Sports Court is based on nothing.

If you would be elected as president, will you be attacked by the Spanish media because you're a catalanist?
It's obvious that I'm not even considering to weaken my commitment to the country a little. The day of the presentation, I already made it very clear when launching our slogan of "More Barça", that we also want more Catalonia. Barça is Catalonia.

Do you want Txiki Begiristain to continue?
I am very clear that if it's possibly in some way, he will be my sports director.

You might need to have to convince him to continue...
We have not spoken yet, but we will have a quiet conversation. The renewal of Guardiola has already been great news, and now we will talk to Txiki. It would be great to reach an agreement with him before the elections.

And what about Joan Oliver?
I want a high-profile chief executive, who's efficient, who knows Barça and the market, who knows the television rights, and Oliver responds to that profile.

Xavier Sala I Martín will be your right-hand man?
It's an honour to walk side-by-side with him. He brings us a very pragmatic view on things. He makes things easier, and I feel strong about having him there with me. He will be a very important person in our project, but not the only one. I want to have a good team around me, with people like Josep Cubells, who is doing very well at the basketball section, with Joan Boix, Rafa Yuste, tireless people in the social area. We also have the luxury to have Magda Oranich with us. And I would like to continue getting the advice of Maria Elena Fort, an expert on urban development issues.

You will also introduce new people?
I have already spoken with three or four people who will join us, great Barcelona fans with a very modern and professional profile. Very competitive people, with experience, 35 to 50 years old, who will add some new energy.

One of these names is Ferran Soriano?
I've talked to him, and he is focused on the management of Spanair. I have an excellent relationship with him, as with Marc Ingla and other people who left after having done a fantastic job. Reincorporate them would be very positive and I would like to participate to that by doing what is needed to restore things.

But if Soriano joins your group, you would still head the candidacy?
I see myself leading the project. We should talk with him, but the conversations will always start from the assumption that I lead the candidacy.

this is the third and last part of this interview.

Read the previous parts of the interview here:
Godall: "I'm giving up my private life"
Godall: "We believe in the North-American market"

interview: ferran correas and toni padilla