Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sala: "Rosell wants to sell us a product"

Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall and Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín gave an interview to Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

You can count on the support of the club. Does that make you the favourites ahead of the elections?
Sala i Martín: I don't think that Alfons is the candidate to beat because he is in power. We will not use power for personal gain. What does give us an advantage is that we have done a good job. Since this board is in power, the club has won 11 major trophies. Between I was born and I reached the age of 23, we only won one league. The one of Cruyff in 1973-1974. Now, the team is playing in an out of this world way. The global image of the club is excellent and we have followers in every corner of the planet. The other candidates will have to explain which of these 11 cups they do not like.

The silence of Sandro Rosell makes you feel uncomfortable?
Sala i Martín: No, no. I guess that when you do not talk that is because you have little to say. I suppose he has a program. But what exactly is he going to change? I think that he is trying to invent a product. He is an expert in marketing, he wants to sell us a product, but it will be difficult. He will have to tell us what he wants to change and why he wants that.

Do you understand then that the club member idolizes the figure of Rosell?
Sala i Martín: What I do know is that since he has not explained anything, nobody can criticize him. What is exactly his project? I insist. We have eleven trophies. Which one doesn't he like? That he explains that to me. And the day he does, we will be able to discuss about ideas. He hasn't explained what he wants. He shows up at councils, twitter sessions,... And every time he appears he says he doesn't talk about Barça. He organizes big events to show how popular he is, but he only talks about the time when he worked at Mirurgia [company that sells beauty products and perfumes], when he was looking for a job and so on... But not about Barça. While the club member has the right to hear about that. So I ask him: "Which one of these trophies don't you like?"

With a view to the election campaign, could there be difficulties in a one-on-on sporting debate with him? Rosell is a sports enthusiast.
Not at all.

Are you specifically preparing yourself for that?
Oh well, I'm more than prepared, just like Xavier. My football formation is limited to having seen Barça playing for many years. My father is a club member since the days of Les Corts [barcelona stadium between 1922 and 1957]. I went to the Camp Nou in shorts. And I know the stadium very well... I inherited the season-ticket of my mother, who passed away in the year 1986.
Sala i Martín: I was a member until I moved to the United States. And then I again became a member in 2003. I had my seat at the south goal, in the corner, right where you could not see the old electronic scoreboard. I was a member of Barça until 1985 and I inherited the season-ticket of my uncle. I even went to the Basel final [european cup winners's cup in 1979, barcelona-fortuna dusseldorf 4-3] without telling my parents. I have my season-ticket of that time signed by Rexach.

So there is no fear at all then in the face of a televised debate?
I look forward to them. I think I am quite capable of talking about Barça's future as a member in front of whoever the other candidates will be. And then another thing. I will not talk about football with Sandro. Because I am going to propose to the member a model that will be led by people who do know something about football. Sandro Rosell knows as much about football as you, as me, as anyone who has played in teams like Sant Andreu or Sants [local catalan teams], as I believe is his case. But he didn't win any Champions League, not as a coach, not as a player, not as a sports director and not as a vice-president, because he left even before we achieved all this.
Sala i Martín: If Sandro Rosell or whoever knows a lot about football and thinks that they can go out there and sign players because he knows them and so on... In that case we would make a mistake. That era is over at Barça. And regarding discussions about football, I'm sure that Sandro doesn't know more about it than Alfons.
Godall: Nor than you.
Sala i Martín: To have worked at Nike obviously gives you a great experience, as you can also get by selling shirts.

Would you accept Soriano as the leader of the continuity candidacy, with you, Mr. Godall, as the number two?
Godall: My only hypothesis is leading a bid for the presidency. But I'm open to talk with him.
Sala i Martín: The key date for Barcelona isn't 13 June, but 1 July. The day the new board starts. We have already experienced good times that have ended in disaster because things weren't done in a right way. Winning the elections and doing a bad job would be the worst thing that could happen to the club. Imagine that. That in six years from now we would be accused of having destroyed the great Barça of the Six Cups. That would be the worst thing.

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

Read more:
Godall: "Txiki will be my sports director"
Sala: "Rosell was always on the wrong side"
Polls lead to Cesc transfer rumours

interview: francisco cabezas - amadeu garcia