Monday, May 31, 2010

Plaza: "I hope to run again in 2022"

This blog had an exclusive interview with Barcelona presidential candidate Alexis Plaza.

We're less than 48 hours before the end of the collecting of the signatures. How many signatures do you have in your hands at this moment?
We have around half of them. We still need to collect more the coming day and a half. What I can assure is that we will work until the last minute.

When did you first think about running for president of FC Barcelona?
It has been in my mind for many years and I believed it shouldn't just stay a dream. I thought this was the best moment to act and that I can give many good things to the club.

When did you actually start working on the campaign for the 2010 elections?
A group of us started talking about the details in August of last year and we continued growing until today.

John Benjamin Toshack is your stepfather. Are there any players from the Welsh national team that have the qualities to play at Barça?
I have many respect for all Welsh players, but I believe there is at this moment none that could meet the profile to play in Barça.

You want to attract a shirt sponsor because of the 20 millions the club could get. Isn't that a short-term view? Won't the club lose - or attract less - fans which will make us lose more than those 20 millions in for example merchandising and television rights?
If we win games, we will always have good television rights. We have always said that we will continue helping UNICEF but we need an extra income that could come from a second sponsor. This could be achieved by sharing the shirt or putting another sponsor on the training outfit.

What do you think about the campaign so far?
It's dirty and that's not good for the club and the members. And I think it will get worse.

You have said that Sandro Rosell has been talking several times with the Boixos Nois. Are you sure of that? When and where did they meet?
We have been informed by people from other groups that they all sat together to talk. This is not necesarily a bad thing as there are people that identify themselves as Boixos Nois but are against violence.

Your campaign budget is around 3.200 euros. How much do you have left and how did you spend it?
It's in the end 3.400-3.500 euros. As soon as the process of the signatures ends, we will publish all of our costs.

You have given up your job for this campaign while Spain is going through a the biggest economic crisis of recent times. Some people see that as a proof that you are a rich kid for whom running for president is just another game.
The credit crunch is does not only affets Spain, it's something worldwide. I have always demonstrated that whatever I have been involved in, I have done it my own way. We are demonstrating that in these difficult times we must optimize all resources and that's why we are only spending a small budget. I would be more worried about those spending millions in their campaign.

What do you want to do regarding the globalization of the club? Do you agree that this should be the number one priority of the club right now?
The priority is to pay the debt we have and to continue having a good team. This will give us a good position for all the rest.

Do you plan to continue with the "Somni blaugrana" project after the elections and for example prepare the elections of 2016?
I hope that if I will get another chance to give my best for the club, this will be in 2022. I will always wish that the next president can serve his maximum term because that would mean a lot of wins and trophies for Barça. It is not an easy decision to run again in the future. We will have to see if we can offer a good project to the member.

Which question you have heard the most during this campaign and you're sick of answering?
Do you have the bank guarantee?

Which question didn't you hear one time during this campaign, while you would have liked to answer it?
Do you think you can be the best Barça president in history?

Who will you vote for if you don't pass the cut of the signatures?
I will vote for no one. I will keep on believing that our project is the best over all.

Many thanks for this interview and good luck in the final hours of the collection of the signatures.

Read more:
Benedito: "The media already have their favourites"
Cardoner: "The member always has the last word"
Guixa: "I reaffirm that the club is almost bankrupt"