Thursday, May 6, 2010

Godall: "Laporta understands my decision"

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

Why did you change from being the official continuity candidate to being a member of the candidacy of Marc Ingla?
From the moment I decided to participate in the electoral campaign and the future of the club, it was clear to me that I wanted to build a project with people I fully trust, which meant approaching people like Ferran Soriano and his group. But that was not the idea president Laporta had about a continuity candidacy and so he decided to withdraw his support for me and give it to another board colleague.

And when Soriano decided not to run...
Then I withdrew my candidacy and I kept on the lookout. A little later, I again started talking with Ferran, Albert Vicens and others and our positions came closer.

What was the role of Ingla at that point?
Interesting and very positive. He was immediately offered the option to be the candidate who was able to unite the group.

Which position do you want to take?
It's very clear to us that there is a gap in the centre of the electoral scene that is worth filling. We are a project between a continuism because of the continuism, a bit driven by the outgoing president, and a change because of the change led by Sandro Rosell, driven by a certain spirit of revenge and grudge. There are many fans who are waiting for a candidacy in which they can trust, a candidacy of experience and future. We are very motivated and we think we have a lot of chance to win.

Laporta said he was withdrawing his support for you because you could not deal with the pressure...
I do not share his way of seeing this. He wanted that I assured him that I would be the candidate. But my approach was to make the best possible candidacy. My idea was that to make the current project continue it was not relevant that I was the number one on the list. In addition, the president wanted me to include certain people in the candidacy while my idea was in fact to add new blood.

He wanted members of the current board in your candidacy...
Yes, the majority. But if one looks at the names, many of those have joined the club after the last resignation of directors and do not really represent the continuity since they have only joined in at the last minute. Making the decision to be a candidate also meant I was free to choose the people that I thought were the best.

Very interventionist...
He cannot run in these elections. His interventionism is excessive. It would be wiser to have a more generous and respectful attitude towards those involved in the electoral process. It's very easy for Laporta to leave the club as a president who has put his stamp, because I have no doubts that time will do him justice and will show that he has been a great president of Barça. His positioning now could give him another point of greatness.

Do you think he should be completely neutral?
I have no doubt at all that the club will guarantee the transparency of the elections. As the person is concerned, the president is playing an overly influential role in the elections.

Are you disappointed with the president?
I don't agree with him, but I don't feel as if he has disappointed me, neither as friend nor as president. These are probably the best years of the club thanks to a president capable of taking courageous decisions. I was upset by the fact that he withdraw his support. I considered resigning and I put my position at the disposal of the president after telling him that I would not assist anymore institutional events or watch games from the presidential box, but he didn't tell me anything. I did not resign myself because there is very little time left until the end of the mandate and, especially, because the team is still competing.

You felt left alone when the president withdraw his support?
I would rather say sad. But not alone. When it happened, I understood that everyone on the board was waiting to see what I would do. Now that I know what I will do, I will restore contact.

You have talked with him lately?
We saw each other at a public event. I hadn't yet taken the decision to join this candidacy, but it was close. We didn't talk about Barça.

Do you think he is annoyed by this decision of yours?
I don't think so. I have every right to do this and I'm entitled to take part in elections in the way I think is best. I think Laporta will respect that.

Are you concerned about his reaction?
Frankly, no. Joan Laporta is my friend. I love him, respect him and I know the feeling is mutual. He will perfectly understand it.

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

Read more:
Godall and Soriano will be vice-presidents Ingla
Ingla: "We are the real continuity candidacy"
Godall confirms he is part of Ingla candidacy

interview: ferran correas - ramiro martín-llanos