Thursday, May 27, 2010

Salvat: "The board of Laporta has been extremist"

Barcelona presidential candidate Santiago Salvat gave an interview to Catalan online paper El Singular Digital.

During your first public appearance you said that the other candidates were linked to political interests...
In recent years we have clearly seen the politicization of Barça. The Catalan identity is also part of our ideas, we will never deny that, but I'll be the only president who will not get involved in politics. FC Barcelona is Catalan and an ambassador for Catalonia in the world and it's something that implicitly is always there. Personally, I have never been linked to politics, I'm not in favour of Catalan independence, but I believe in the Catalan nation.

Catalan politician Joan Carretero has said that being the president of Barça is a lot more important than being the president of the Catalan government.
Being the president of Barça has a far bigger social dimension, that is true. The Barcelona president is known worldwide and the Catalan president, unfortunately, is not.

Political and economic interests have an influence on the current board?
They influence the decisions of certain members. We must distinguish between political beliefs and the personal obligations that are generated by institutionally representing Barça. The club's board should represent all political and cultural sensitivities of the members and the fans. You cannot choose one concrete option.

If we look at the economic area, an article published in the newspaper 'El Pais' talked about supposed links between Laporta and the president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov. What do you think is true about those reports?
We have the evidence that this is true, but we won't use it. It is a very unclear issue, but I have seen that evidence. Obviously Barça should continue with those business dealings that give the club a good image and has to put aside those who are only in favour of some board member. In recent years, Barça has created more enemies than friends.

We've also heard you say that your candidacy is not "extremist". The current has been so?
Yes. Since the start, and especially at this moment, the board of Laporta has been extremist. Moreover, the current board is presidential. Laporta says what has to be done. And all those who have been leaving the board did that because they had the same feeling, they wanted to get in his seat to do the same.

Regarding your candidacy, a lot of names have been discussed, including that of Carles Rexach.
He has been in contact with us and he had a small commitment. After that, I found out through the newspapers that he would support Rosell. I did not like that. But in the next few days more names will come out, that is part of our strategy. We have a group of some twenty people, some of which have a great experience and others are young people with new ideas.

You are the son of publisher...
Yes, but I promise I won't write a book. Unlike many others, I don't run for the presidency of Barça to write a book. The final book that describes this club should be written by the members.

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

Read more:
Salvat officially presents his candidacy
[picture] The kiss of Santiago Salvat
Son Camp Nou architect could lead remodelling

interview: xavier march