Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ingla: "I will be a very quiet president"

Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

As a former sports vice-president, so an expert of the sports area, which things have to be changed?
It is something the technical department should decide. When I was vice-president, the most important thing were the demands of the coach and my task was to explain them to the board.

Do you agree with transfers before the elections?
The club has to follow its own pace and if there are operations that are ready to be closed, they should be closed so that the new players can start following the rhythm of the club, the plans for the physical preparation can be drawn up, etcetera...

Signing players now is more expensive?
It depends. If the economic positions are close, you should not wait any longer and finish things. If there is a difference, I would ask them to be cautious and if you have to wait two more weeks, you wait.

Don't you think, however, that the president is eager to leave a legacy as far as players are concerned?
I don't know if that's the reason. When you're the president of Barça, you have to act in the benefit of the club. Always. If you ask yourself the question what will be best for the club, you'll always make the best decision.

You totally exclude that you will yourself announce a transfer?
Yes, although it is true that our candidacy has received many phone calls offering us players. If there is something interesting, we pass the information to the club.

You will try to convince Txiki to stay?
Yes, and I have ideas to explain to him, regarding the technical department. If he feels comfortable, I'll be delighted.

Txiki has had to deal with a lot of criticism...
He has been able to build this successful model. He was an architect of this model. Rijkaard gave us balance and Pep brought it to the highest level. He told me that the era of Rijkaard was over and that Pep was the natural choice.

Which other coaches did you have in mind, apart from Mourinho...
Ernesto Valverde and Laurent Blanc, and then later there also was Michael Laudrup. We did not talk with them because Pep was always the first option. We met with him and his enthusiasm convinced us.

Your opponents don't hesitate to say that you wanted Mourinho...
That is false and anyone who says otherwise isn't telling the truth. He wanted to coach Barça, he still has friends in Barcelona, he knew the club and the way of playing. At that time he didn't have a job and we wanted to get to know his virtues and defects. These were clear. The coach of Barça is the image of the club. And Mourinho was not the right person and that is what I told the president. I have witnesses.

He is the right person for Madrid?
I guess so, because Madrid goes from one side to another, they do not have a defined line.

What do you think about the project of Florentino?
I do not care that much about what the opponent is doing. But I think it is irresponsible to spend a seemingly unlimited budget. We have an opposite model.

Oliver will stay if you win?
Mister Oliver only joined the club in this last phase and although he has contributed to the success of this model, we are looking for another profile.

How can the club grow in terms of merchandising?
The big area of growth is the internationalization. Today we are the club with the most television viewers. People are excited about our style of play. Efforts should be made to capitalize on that in markets such as China, India, Asia, Africa, South America and the United States. If today around ten percent of the revenues of the club come from international business, that should be fourty percent in four or six years from now.

It's an incredible help for the image of the club. It helps us to defend a series of values.

The big teams should defend a television model similar to that of the Premier League.
The current model, negotiating the rights individually, is going very well. Changing it would be an adventure. If there is a collective model that ensures that we can stay competitive, we must look at it.

Is this the challenge of your life?
The challenge was to become sports vice-president after two years without any titles. We couldn't make mistakes. And the team ended up being the Barça of the six cups. Now I don't feel any pressure, I deal with it naturally and I feel very well surrounded.

What kind of president do you want to be?
One who accurately represents the club, a team player, with experienced people, but also picking up fresh ideas from new board members and, finally, a very quiet president.

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

Read more:
Ingla wants global youth academy
Godall resigns as director ahead of the elections
Ingla denies he didn't want Unicef on shirt

interview: ramiro martín-llanos