Monday, May 24, 2010

Rosell: "We can't afford to relax now"

Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell gave an interview to Catalan newspaper El Periódico.

translation: archie valparaiso

In the poll published by El Periódico, you achieved a voting-intention figure of 54.8%. What’s your reaction to that?
It's always nice to see that people trust in you and your programme. But you can't afford to relax in the slightest. We've been working for quite some time on creating a solid, rigorous, credible option for running Barça. And with barely three weeks to go, we're not going to let up now.

What's your strategy going to be from now on?
We've drawn up our route map and we're not going to stray from it, however much the opinion polls may be in our favour. As a great painter, Picasso, once said: inspiration exists but it's best if it catches you when you're working. Or, what amounts to the same thing: dreams do exist, but its best if they catch you when you're wide awake.

The ballot papers feature someone called Alexandre Rosell. Is that the same person as Sandro?
Yes, I was very surprised to see that. I'd asked for them to use the name that everyone has always used for me - my mother, my daughters, my father, my friends - which is Sandro Rosell i Feliu. I've always been called that, but "Alexandre" is what it says on my birth certificate. I was surprised, because when I was vice-chairman "Sandro" was what they used on the club's website and the visiting cards they had made for me. I don't know what’s behind it all, but...

Are you worried about any other complications of any kind?
We've all been denied access to the list of voters and only been given the membership numbers without the members' names. We'd like to think that there won't be any funny business, that the president and the electoral board will stay neutral, but things like this are a cause for some concern.

What did you think about Guardiola, in his first message after winning the league, giving his thanks to Laporta?
Soon he's going to be a former president, and it's fine for Guardiola to have made that reference. I really mean that; there's no hidden message.

With team issues no longer in the way, do you expect the electoral campaign to get tougher?
Not from our side, no. Since we started, everyone except Plaza and Guixà have criticised us, saying all sorts of things about us. We're going to carry on in our own way, explaining our programme without bad-mouthing anybody.

Those who have criticised you most are your former fellow directors. Did you really leave such a bad taste in their mouths?
That's true. Ingla, Godall, Vicens and also, to a slightly extent, Ferrer. I don't know why they're doing it. I'm not going to criticise them.

You changed Laporta's "Cruyff, Catalonia, Unicef" to "Members, Catalonia, Solidarity and Youth System"? Is Cruyff the only difference?
No, I wouldn't say that. We're fully aware that that the members are the club's owners and have noticed that they haven't been treated as such, but rather as customers. That's the situation as far as the business model is concerned. Financially, we'll review the actual position, and work to cover the debt without selling off assets. We won’t be going ahead with the Foster [new Camp Nou stadium] project, because we've got another one. Then there's the youth system. We need to do the job that used to be done fifteen years ago by people like Oriol Tort and Rexach, who signed Messi, with the result that seven of the eleven players who won the league title for us have come up through the ranks. We're concerned to ensure that this is really being done, because we'll see the results in fifteen years' time.

You're questioning the work that's being done with the youth players even though it seems to be one of the cornerstones of Barça's current success?
What I'm saying is that we need to review what's being done because it'll be fifteen years before we see its fruits. If there's so much interest, if they keep going on about the youth system, why has the hall of residence been a skeleton for so many years without any progress being made? The young lads are still sleeping in dormitory huts or rented apartments. The completion of those works was budgeted for, but instead of that they've spent 18 million euros on some land in Viladecans that's a swamp.

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

Read more:
Rosell: "Barça is not only about goals and titles"
"Sandro Rosell" not on support slips
Rosell wants to regulate new members

interview: david torras - joan domènech