Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ferrer: "Barça is a club that unites"

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo.

translation: archie valparaiso

Sandro Rosell is planning to set up a travel agency with attractive prices for club members. Do you think that's a good idea?
Our idea is not to compete with travel agencies but to have more people at the club working to facilitate cheaper travel options.

Will the members who travel most have preference when it comes to distributing tickets for finals?
We'll try to come up with a system that's fair. Barça isn't like the English clubs, where the fans aren't the owners. Here, Barça's members own the club. Loyalty-building standards can be put in place but we can't discriminate against anyone here.

Do you agree with the appointment of Cruyff as honorary chairman?
It's already a done deal and I'm absolutely fine with it. I voted for the proposal. It's a big plus to have the figure of Johan Cruyff as an exclusive asset of FC Barcelona.

Who was your first choice, Mourinho or Guardiola?
There was a majority who preferred Guardiola and I was one of them.

Ingla as well?
Together with some other board members, he was in favour of bringing in a coach who'd be tougher in the changing-room. They went to see Mourinho to hire him. The facts can't be changed - they are what they are.

Is this going to be a dirty campaign?
Let's hope not.

So how do you feel about Perrín's harsh remarks?
Albert has his way of expressing himself - he says what he thinks. A campaign is dirty when people tell lies. You can tell the truth in one way or another, and the way you do it can be appropriate or not, but when you're telling the truth it's not a dirty campaign.

Who do you feel closer to, Sandro Rosell or Marc Ingla?
To Jaume Ferrer.

Will you join forces with anyone?
Everything is now a long way down the road. I think it's good for both Rosell and Ingla to put their projects before the members on the thirteenth of June. Sandro took the decision to leave the club in 2005 because he was in favour of a different model for the sports area, with the board being more directly involved and another way of doing things. It's also good for Ingla to make it [as far as the election], because he left too, in 2008, after the no-confidence vote, and he didn't believe in this project either. What I'm going to try to do is get the members to see that the project that ensures that things will continue to work the way they have so far is mine.

So Rosell and Ingla wanted to limit the coach's remit and be more hands-on?
Yes, definitely.

Do you think it's good for you for three candidates to make it through to the end?
I'm not thinking about what's good for me, but what's good for the club. For the members it's good for them to be able to choose between the different alternatives.

What do you think about the opinion polls?
Sandro comes out of them very well, although he was doing much better two months ago. It's good for me for the trend to be for Sandro to be losing votes while the others' shares are increasing. We're getting around 25 per cent at the moment, which tells us that we're making a lot of headway in terms of people's voting intentions.

What could be in danger for the future of the club if Rosell is elected chairman?
It's clear that it would be a much more hands-on sports model, with prototype coaches like Scolari, who they once tried to sell us on. It's more of a Florentino [Pérez]-like model – bringing in players as star signings. I'm not saying it doesn't work, but rather that the current model is working fine and I think that's what we should continue with. "If it ain’t broke, don't fix it," as they say.

Do you think Rosell is leading in the polls because he has the most charisma?
He is in the lead because for the last five years he's been seen as the possible chairman, as the opposition to Laporta. The members know a lot more about him than about the others.

Are the debates going to be decisive?
They suit me. People have to have a lot of cheek to lie in your face.

Are you in favour of more politics at Barça?
What I don't want to do as chairman of Barça is to be political. Barça is a club that unites, not one that divides. Although those who want to get involved in FC Barcelona have to understand that we have our values and one of them is that we are Catalans, as a perfectly normal thing, without getting hung up about it.

Are you satisfied with the performance of the sections under your leadership?
We feel proud. Also, we have four in-house coaches: the two Xavis, Pujalte, Carmona. Our idea is to continue to support the sections. The "more than a club" slogan comes from us being involved in multiple sports. We need to build a new Palau Blaugrana. That's one of the priorities, with a capacity of about 12,000. We're trying to achieve as much self-financing as we can for them. And that's where the Palau Blaugrana comes in.

Would you take Valero [former handball player and coach of barcelona] with you?
Valero is someone I admire not only because of his sporting successes but also as a person. We've talked a lot, because he's one of the club's advisers, and if we can use him to make Barça even greater, then that's what we'll do.

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

Read more:
Ferrer: "What is working should not be touched"
Rosell, Ingla, Ferrer and Benedito official candidates
Ferrer wants to personally head social area

interview: oriol domènech - sergi solé - josé luis artús