Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo.
translation: archie valparaiso
Yours is a candidacy that "continues the legacy", but are you planning on changing anything?
There's always room for improvement, particularly in the sports area. In the financial area, we need to generate more income to invest in the sports and assets project, particularly in the membership area, to make life more comfortable for the members. We need to improve access to the stadium and renovate it. We also need to have more instruments in place to make relations with members more streamlined and direct - by offering them help with travel, for example.
Do you consider David Villa's signing to be yours?
It belongs to FC Barcelona, but it's true that it's been sorted while we have been on the board of directors.
Has doing it that way been a strategy?
It's been done that way because it was possible to do it that way. In the past, most signings have taken place as soon as the competitions have finished.
Do you know what kind of contract you'd offer Guardiola yet?
Will it be a long one or a short one?
We'll talk it over with him on the 14th of June, but I'm not very much in favour of long contracts. The idea is not to change anything in the sports area, and for him, Txiki [Begiristain] and [José Ramón] Alexanko to continue
Will you be able to convince Txiki?
After our latest conversations with him, I'm convinced that we will, yes.
Does Pep Guardiola deserve a rise?
His salary should be realistic.
Are you happy to be associated with "Laportism"?
I don't like "isms" of any kind. Over the last seven years some great things were achieved, and the chairman was Joan Laporta. And we were the ones who were there. The club has been very well managed and that must continue. The less that's messed about with, the better.
What kind of relationship do you have with the chairman?
We've had our ups and downs, but we get along fine now.
Do you feel comfortable having his support?
Yes, and I'm very grateful to him, because we've shared seven years of hard work. The results are very positive. We've made some mistakes that we've learned a lot from and we hope won't be repeated. The complete change in Barça between 2003 and 2010 is what we've achieved together.
Does having Laporta's support give you an advantage?
I don't know. It's more a plus than a setback, but what counts is that we've made it to the end still together despite having disagreed on occasion.
Have you got a managing director in mind if you win?
That's something to be discussed after the first of July. Joan Oliver and I have had some incidents that weren't very pleasant, but he's doing a good job.
Don't you think the members would like to know whether Oliver is going to continue or not?
The club's executives have functioned very well, because we've risen from thirteenth in the world, with income of 120 million, to the very top, with over 400 million. If Oliver earns my confidence, he'll continue, but it's not an issue that I'm overly worried about.
Why didn't you resign over the spying affair?
Because I was a member of the board. It's other people who should have resigned. I'm only too aware of our responsibility to the members. At that time, we were in the [Spanish] Cup Final, about to win La Liga and in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Our role is to help to keep the institution stable and I think that my decision was the right one, because we did go on to win all three trophies.
Do you include the chairman among those who should have resigned?
I'm not including anyone. That's not for me to do.
Who do you mean then?
Those who might have been involved.
Do you think Laporta knew all about it?
No. He told me he knew nothing about it, and if he says he didn't know, then he didn't know.
What mistakes has the chairman made?
I'm sure he's made some. You have to bear in mind that as chairman you're under pressure from everyone around you, a non-stop pressure that you have to be able to deal with. And Laporta has. He's been able to hold steady and make decisions, most of which have been the right ones.
Have you ever felt embarrassed by anything that Laporta has done?
What I've felt is great pleasure for the six trophies last year, over 65 trophies in all during over our term of office, the basketball Euroliga, the handball and hockey cups, how much we've grown, the international recognition... I feel very proud of Barça because of all that. I'm not concerned about anything other than that. I'm sure there are some things that could have been done differently or perhaps better, but you have to consider where the club was in 2003, where it is today and what its image is all over the world now.
Will you maintain the Foster [new Camp Nou] project?
It must stick to the improvements that we want, above all to cover all the stands and put in more lifts. It needs to be a competitive stadium to generate more income, like in the England or Germany. We want the refurbishment of the stadium not to be too extravagant but done with common sense. We can't spend 340 million euros or even half that. If Foster can do it, then that's perfect.
this was the first part of this interview. you will be able to read the second part on this blog in the coming days.
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