Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rosell: "Barça is not only about goals and titles"

Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell gave an interview to Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

You have started your campaign as a candidate with a very peaceful message, without responding to the attacks that from the current president of FC Barcelona. Why are you so friendly?
Because that is our way of being and because we want to show the member how we will act in case we will win the elections. But one thing is being gentle, another thing is being soft. When we will have to make tough decisions, we will make them, but always respecting the rules of the game and the way of being of people.

Don't you think that the voters who have admired your way of being can now start to think that you are not the candidate they wanted?
There is freedom of expression and everyone can say whatever he wants, but to some extent. When one touches your honour or spreads doubts about your honesty, you have to respond differently. But we are no warriors. We are normal people.

Precisely your honesty has been questioned when you have been accused of wanting to receive a commission for a transfer.
We put out a press release in which we made our position on this issue very clear. But when there are false accusations and slander, you need to be strong and act accordingly.

Do you think the president will act neutrally in this election after everything he has been saying and suggesting about you?
He said he would neutral and I remain confident that at some point he will become neutral. Now he's not, but he will find out that the president of Barça must be neutral during an electoral process.

What is the difference between you and Laporta?
I don't like to talk about me and president Laporta who within a few days will be the former president. There are a lot of differences of personality and way of being.

Some say you are very similar, that you share a certain arrogance.
I think I'm not arrogant at all. You should talk with my friends, the people who know me.

And which differences will there be in the way of leading the club?
All I can say is how we will do it if we win, which will be by working as a team. If you look at the 18 people in our board team, you see that that everyone is skilled to deal with the area he’s responsible for.

At the beginning of the mandate of Laporta the entire management team was praised but it later ended up in the way we all know. Are there guarantees that this won't happen to you?
I think it won't happen. Because of my way of being, because of the education I received from my parents, because I have worked my whole life as part of a team and because of my track record, I would say it won't. But that is no guarantee because it's difficult to know what will happen. Any decision made by a team is always better than one made individually.

The difference between the board team of 2003 and the one led by you now is that this is a group that knows each other more?
That group got together in two weeks and was not a team but a combination of individuals. Now we have a team that has been working for a while, so that everyone knows each other's strengths and weaknesses.

You are being accused of claiming the model that has been so successful because you said you have also put your two cents.
Well, I put it. That's only fair. All that was decided in the beginning when I was there, from the transfers to throwing the hooligans out of the Nou Camp, were decisions taken by the board. So then everyone is putting their two cents. I was responsible for the sports aera and my task was to change the losing dynamics into a winning one, and that happened. And the team we formed won two league titles.

It is also said that you have been active in the opposition and that you were the man behind the vote of no confidence.
That is not true. Totally false. Opposition is what you do when you form a group to criticize and to make continuous statements about the policy of the board, and that has not been our case. When we resigned, we all did that because of a different reason. We have worked behind the scenes to present ourselves, trying to avoid statements.

The president complains that after so many successes you are only satisfied. What has failed to make you really happy?
Barça is not only about goals, victories and titles. That is a very important part, but not all of it. I am happy about the sports side of the club but not about the economic and social ones.

The president has failed?
He failed in the social area. We have spoken with many members and they aren't happy either. About the economic area and based on our analysis, we feel that we can't be too happy either.

Will you lift the veils if you win?
I dislike that phrase because it is belligerent. What I plan to do if I win is to inform the member of everything. That is a right of the member as the owner of the club. We will inform them of everything.

But you have suspicions that things that shouldn’t be done have been done.
As members we know that there's a lack of transparency. We do not know why pieces of land are bought and sold without informing us, how the tickets are distributed, we have seen spending that has gone up from 20 and a bit to 75 millions, it almost tripled. This is what people want to know because that money is not from the board, it's the money from all of us. We all are Barça.

Don't you think that this information may harm the image of Barça?
No, on the contrary. The member is open to the truth.

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

Read more:
Rosell wants to regulate new members
The program of Sandro Rosell
Rosell wants Guardiola for six more years

interview: dagoberto escorcia