Saturday, April 24, 2010

Benedito: "Our secret weapon are the people"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Catalan online newspaper El Debat.

It could damage you that you have been linked with Laporta?
I have had opportunity to know Barça in detail as well as some of the mechanisms around the club. I won't be penalized for that, on the contrary. I think that they cannot label me as continuity candidate, since I have cut relations with Laporta and I'm now clearly situated on the opposite side. Anyway, I am proud to have participated in that project of 2003. I think that if it's renewed and upgraded it is still perfectly valid, and most members would agree with that. The problem is that there has been a moment where president Laporta drops out and forgets about the project.

How do you rate his time as president?
As I have already said before, he might not be the best president in the history of Barça, but he is the president of the best Barça in history. Therefore Laporta has done many good things, but then there are also some things he had said he would do and that he didn't do. And even worse, he said he would do some things in a certain way while he has done the opposite.

Where did he fail?
We wanted transparency in the communication, concepts such as participation of the members, raising the level of representation, defending principles such as integration and integrity, and more specifically the issue of the club assets. And in all these matters, that are essential for the club, Joan Laporta deserves to be suspensed. We also must add the political use and his politicization of Barça, one of the worst errors he has made.

How do you value the nomination of Johan Cruyff as honorary president?
Appointing someone that way, with a agreement in the board at the end of the presidency and without consulting the members, I think it's another mistake and one more electoral move of this board.

Do you have a star signing in the pipeline?
I think these elections will be the first ones in which the sports issue won't be so important. The fact that we have the best coach we can have, and I'm not even talking about the results, makes everyone think that we should continue on this path. That is why we will try to convince Guardiola to continue for many years. I anyway do not rule out that in the end a famous player will be used to attract votes, and the current board could be the first to act.

Finally, there are two months left to the elections. Who supports you?
I think that we will easily meet the requirement to get the 2.095 signatures to become a candidate and that our secret weapon are the people. Our candidacy is that of this land's entrepreneurial spirit and comes from the bottom and from all around the pitch not just from the main stands nor is it designed in offices. It is based on the idea that the club is of everyone and not for the private businesses of a few people and this is what drives us. I want to emphasize that 80% of members have not yet decided their vote. In 2003, Joan Laporta was given 0.5% of the voting intentions by the papers just three weeks before the elections, while Lluís Bassat got 72%, and we all know what happened. It is unpredictable, the elections are luckily very open and in the next two months we will continue to work hard.

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

Read more:
Benedito introduces campaign fundraising
Guixa and Benedito want members to ratify Cruyff
Benedito: "I will win the elections"

interview: gemma vialcanet