Friday, May 21, 2010

Rosell: "Guardiola represents our core values"

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

You talk about recovering values. What do you mean by that?
I refer to sobriety, austerity, plurality, to understand that Barça is not a political option but that everybody can be part of our club.

But you are considered to be close to CiU [catalan centre-right nationalist party]. Is that going to influence Barça if you win?
No. It's true - and I'm proud of that - that my father was one of the founders of CiU, but I've never been a member of any party nor have I been to any political rally. It will have no influence at all. If we win the elections, we will be the board of all Barça members, no matter where they come from. What unites us is FC Barcelona and the values of the club, that are those I have mentioned plus our catalanism, which is at the heart of the club.

What do you think about the club being in favour of independence?
Bad. Barça has Catalan values but politics is another thing and it is not good to defend a political option through Barça.

You spoke about austerity. However, you have or have had businesses related with the world of football and it can sometimes be very difficult to separate things.
The important thing is to be honest. You can be honest or not honest while having a sports marketing business like mine or having a pizzeria, it doesn't matter. The important thing is not the sector in which you work, but your personal education. I dedicate 40 to 50% of my time to this company and what I will do is make time to lead the club properly. In addition, my company is dedicated to sports like skiing.

Barça is among the top clubs and Guardiola has been crucial in that. What does Guardiola mean to you?
Guardiola represents the core values of this club, like hard work, modesty, prudence, austerity, respect for all people, while at the same time the ambition to win by playing fair.

Do you agree that Guardiola has been the corner stone of the recent successes?
Guardiola has done a lot. He has build a bunker around the team, he has isolated them from the entourage. That has been one of the key decisions.

There are presidents who have a tendency of trying to have an influence on the sports area. You're a football fan, would you fall into that temptation?
No, I will not make that mistake. The dressing room and the team bus are of the players, those are sacred places.

You start as the favourite, there's a feeling that you will surely win the elections but the same could happen to you as to Bassat...
I want to have those feelings on Sunday the 13th at night. It's as hard to be the president of Barça than to not be it. For me, this is very clear. I know that if I win, I will know how to be president, and if I don't win I will be able to keep on being just another club member.

You have said that you agree that the club signs players now.
I hope that if Cesc and Villa are signed, that this is done for the good of the club, because Pep has decided that and that they do not pay more than they're worth.

Given the severe economic crisis, paying 40 or 50 millions for a player seems excessive.
You have to think a lot about it, you have to know the market price and know the financial situation of the club. In the cases of Cesc and Villa, you have to see if there are other clubs that would pay that amount and I think there aren't. So why hurry then? You have to think about the club, and if you can get them for 20 or 25 millions, the better.

Who will replace Txiki?
We need to talk with him. Rumour has it that he will leave. If he decides to leave, then we have a plan B. No employee of the club will lose his job, except for the general manager, who cannot spend the money of the member to investigate directors. That is immoral.

Are you against television debates?
We will go to all the debates the candidates agree to.

You say that the hours of the game should change. That has so far been impossible.
It is very difficult to do that until 2013 because there is a contract. But after that there will be a new round of negotiations. We want rational hours so children can go to the stadium.

Your proposals include the creation of a youth area in the Camp Nou.
Yes. I have met with leaders of the existing support groups to create a unified youth area.

Have you met with the boixos nois?
No. I am against violence. They have no place in this new group. But there are people who are against violence and who once were part of the boixos but are now integrated in other platforms.

From all the other candidates, with whom do you think you might end up making a deal?
With none of them. We have a team and a program. I think it's very difficult that people who have been fighting would again become friends and that this would work.

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