Monday, May 17, 2010

Benedito: "Transfer of Villa won't influence vote"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Spanish football site Mercafutbol.

translation: jakob zsambok

Let's talk about Laporta, you know him since 1996. Did he change a lot over the past years?
Yes, he did change a lot, he went through a personal evolution, which wasn't foreseeable. I didn't expect it.

Did he change for the worse?
In the part which affects me directly, as a member and as a candidate, his change has been bad, yes. In his change of attitude I see the failings of fulfilling what he has promised in the 2003 elections, this is partly due to the changes of staff he had to endure during his tenure.

What promises didn't he fulfill?
Some very important core aspects of his program of 2003, to which I'm proud to have contributed. Transparency, responsibility, participation of the members and the issues of assets policy, those were major points of his 2003 campaign.

If the continuity candidacy, led by Jaume Ferrer, wins the elections, do you think they will continue to overlook those core areas of the 2003 program?
What I can say to Jaume is that he missed golden opportunities to do some of the things he now promises in his program while being an actual vice-president of FC Barcelona. In any case, we will listen to his proposals, but it's a fact that he and other people of the current administration were in the position to make or even force changes but they didn't do it. So he will have to do some explaining on how exactly he will do those things now, seven years later.

In the last weeks, several media confirmed that David Villa will be signed by the current board at the end of the season. Do you think this rumour is true?
We are entering the realm of speculation, and therefore I can't tell you anything certain, but it wouldn't surprise me if the current board would make such a move, especially with the election process ongoing. I wouldn't rule it out and it wouldn't surprise me.

If the rumor is indeed confirmed, do you think the signing of Villa will serve the continuity candidacy?
I think the valuation of the current administration will not depend on a new transfer in the last hour. The people have already formed their opinion. What we saw was the best season in sporting terms of the football team in the history of Barca, but despite that, I don't think they will win the elections. I have to believe that I will win it. I do understand however that they think a signing like Villa will benefit them in the election, but I don't share that opinion.

On the other hand, do you think, if the signing of Villa will be confirmed, other candidates will also try to announce new names?
In our case, we made the content of our program the priority. With regard to the sporting side, our priority is Pep Guardiola. So if other candidates want to talk about signings, we sure won't.

Do you think Sandro Rosell will be the next candidate to announce a new signing?
Yes to be frank, I wouldn't rule it out that candidates do that and Sandro could be one of those candidates who will chose this way to try to win, as has happened in previous elections.

Will you talk with Pep Guardiola about new signings if you win the election?
The coach, who will hopefully be Pep Guardiola for many more years, and the sports director will decide on this matter, and then present their plans to the board. It won't be me alone who decides it.

In your opinion, what positions do you think need reinforcements for the next season ?
You won't hear me talk a lot about sporting issues. I have my opinion as a fan, but if I am president, those matters will be handled by the sports department of the club. Personally I think we need people on the wing, but in the end Pep Guardiola will tell me if that's the case or not, my opinion in this matter counts for little.

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

Read more:
Benedito: "Our secret weapon are the people"
[pictures] Presidential candidates in Paris
Benedito says others have political and media links

interview: elena fernández