Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Catalan newspaper Avui.
Why did you distance yourself from Laporta after having supported him since 1997? I've worked together with Laporta for many years. We spent a lot of hours together and we had a project we firmly believed in.
I've distanced myself from him because I believe that at a certain moment along the way, president Laporta has moved away from our model. Basic principles of 2003, elements of transparency, honesty, giving a much greater participation to the club members and other things, had been lost. In addition, one concrete thing happened, last February.
The Uzbekistan case. His personal intervention in an attempt to sell Mallorca, with a commission of 4.2 million euros and the involvement of people who had business relations with the club, represents to me a clear breach of the minimum ethical standards the president of Barça should have. As far as honesty and ethics in management is concerned, Laporta hasn't done well. There can't be any doubt about that.
Who are you and what are you proposing? We are a group of Barcelona fans with different backgrounds, committed to Barça and the country, with renowned professional and social careers. And when the time is there, we will talk about what we have to offer, but what I do believe is that we will present the best program of all, which will be the result of the experience and the input of many people.
Can you tell us about the basic principles? Our analysis is that what makes us different in the world is that the club members are the owners of the club. That leads to a clear way of managing. It is necessary to promote these values and to make sure that the club member of Barça again feels he's the owner of the club. Unfortunately, during the presidencies preceding Laporta and the latter period of Laporta this way of thinking has not been followed.
Make that a little more concrete. The promotion of the participation of the member in the management of the club. Participation in representative organs such as the assembly of delegates, the continued consultation, the feeling, the intentions, the habit, listening to the member, all that didn't happen. We also said in 2003, maybe it even was what we repeated most, that we wouldn't sell a square inch of land. They have also ignored that.
The danger for you is the polarization between continuity candidates and Rosell. Around 100.000 club members are a member for less than five years. The participation is difficult to predict, but it will surely surpass that of 2003. You may think that more than 30.000 members will vote for the first time.
I know there is a movement ongoing, especially in the media, to reduce the debate to 'laportism' and 'sandrism', like we before had 'cruyffism' and 'nuñism'. We already left that behind in 2003, and we'll do that again this year. So I think there is plenty of room, none of the candidates can be sure of anything and the outcome is very unpredictable.
this was the first part of this interview. you can read the second part here.
Asked if one single board candidacy is still possible, Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer has said in an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero that this won't be easy:
"It will be difficult to form one candidacy with Godall. The problem isn't who should lead the candidacy, it's about private issues, so I think it is difficult. Laporta supports Godall, who is his friend since childhood and I think he is entitled to have a preference for someone. I'm sure he'll behave in a correct way towards all candidates during the campaign.
Over the last seven years, some things have been done very well and other things not that well. We've developed a success model and I think that I'm capable of keeping that going and renew it. I offer an exciting project with a different style than the current one. FC Barcelona should be an inclusive club, where the supporters and members should feel comfortable, in the social area we can improve a lot.
My way of acting is different than that of Laporta, it's about being more discreet and appearing less in the media. The president of Barça should not use the club as a political tool, but we on the other hand also shouldn't forget that since its foundation the club has always identified itself with the Catalan society."
A few hours before, Ferrer had pronounced similar statements in an interview with Catalan radio station COM Ràdio saying that he already has his own project in place:
"We will be able to discuss this in a more calm way, but our candidacy will be a renewal one, based on our experience within the club over these last years, both in the sports area as in the economic area. I'm at the club since 2003, and I have gained experience in many departments. So I know the club very well.
Alfons Godall? He is a good board colleague but I think it's complicated we would find a deal to have one single candidacy. I just hope and believe that the team will stay out of the electoral campaign. That will be a challenge the candidates have. As far as our candidacy is concerned, we will do everything possible for things to happen in that way."
Barcelona players Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández talked about next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona during interviews with the two main Catalan sports papers, respectively Sport and El Mundo Deportivo.
Iniesta "Am I worried about the elections? The ideal thing would be that they wouldn't have an influence and that the electoral process would be as calm as possible."
Xavi "The elections won't affect us. We have to do our thing. We don't care about the transfer talk either. We're used to it. A few days ago, when we were in Abu Dhabi, people talked about Robinho but we won the Club's World Cup. Besides, if it's not yet known if Pep will continue or not, no candidate will be able to use that because the transfers depend on Guardiola."
« Rosell is the candidate with the most media support, including that of the core of the nuñism [supporters of former president josep lluís núñez], that backs him because they are opposed to Laporta and not because of the content of his project. »
Asked if he will be the board candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that Barcelona director Magda Oranich could also be an option:
"I think that for example Magda Oranich would also be an excellent candidate. For many reasons. Because of her qualities, her personality, her ideas. And yes, also because she's a woman and it would be good that this club would have a female president one day. That would only be right, also taking into account that 25 per cent of the club members are female."
Magda Oranich (64) joined Barcelona's board of directors in April of this year (read more here). After the last board reshuffle in November, she became the board member responsible for the club's foundation. Oranich had before been the members' ombudswoman of FC Barcelona from July 2008 until she was appointed as director.
Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan sports paper Sport.
The decision [to run for president] has been made? It's clear to us that Barça's success model must be further developed. There's a large group of people in the board - Boix, Oranich, Yuste, Cubells, Sala i Martín, Font, Castro, etcetera - who think that it's worthwhile to continue with this model that led us to the top and that has still a long road ahead. We have spoken with those people and with Jaume Ferrer trying to keep this going.
Ferrer told Sport that the best thing would be a single candidacy. What is your position? He will find open arms if he wants to join the group. I want to clarify two things. It is essential that the candidate is surrounded by people he fully trusts. I have seen situations Laporta had to go through with colleagues and we will try to avoid those.
I will talk to Ferrer without allowing that any group of people imposes conditions that would limit the willingness to be able to count on reliable people. I hope he will talk to the small group he represents so they speak in a clear and honest way. If that happens, we could understand each other.
In other words, you are willing but only if there are no conditions... If I would be the leader of that candidacy, which will be decided soon, the leader must have the freedom of movement to carry out his duties.
So it's clear that you will be the candidate. I'm considering it for a long time now and I look forward to it. I'm the number two now. The decision has been made. It will in any case be announced in, at the most, a few weeks.
What would you change about the current model of Barça? Our experience is a crucial asset, something that will be very useful. The current sports model should be protected as much as possible. Guardiola has been able to interpret the model to the maximum, with a clear way of playing - to win by playing good - with Cruyff as inspirer, Txiki has been a stable factor. Everyone in his own way has helped to develop this style.
Are there more things that should be continued? The youth academy is the key for the future, a guarantee that we will play with a certain style, that the Barça way exists and that the model leads to concrete results with players of top quality. This makes us unique in the world. Our teams play from memory, based on a clear football culture. This allows us to recruit top players from the academy without having to buy them elsewhere.
The sporting model is fundamental and should not be put in danger. I hope that no one comes in and changes what is working or the working conditions of the coaching staff. I would not want either that people use the names of Guardiola or the players for electoral purposes. And we are in the best conditions to support the continuity of this model.
And apart from the sporting aspect? We arrived at Barça when the club was losing money, we've stopped the losses and we even have accumulated profits worth 100 million euros. At the social level, there are more fans' clubs and club members than ever and we have become worldwide more than a club thanks to this partnership with UNICEF, that I want to continue.
What can you bring to the club that is different from Laporta? Experience, as I said before, and a different style. Different people mean different styles. My project based on experience and continuity is also a project of change because the new president will automatically bring the seeds of change to the club.
this was the first part of this interview. you can read the second part here.
Asked if he will again take part in the presidential elections next year (read more here), former players' agent Josep Maria Minguella has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu that he didn't yet make a decision:
"I've always lived everything that relates to Barça in a very intense way, and especially the elections. I won't deny that I would like to run, but one should take into account many circumstances.
On the one hand, I am very aware that I'm now seven years older than when I ran last time. When the elections will be held, I will almost be seventy years old, and although I'm in great shape and still very active, I need to start to value a number of things.
What I nevertheless think is that we need to improve the electoral spectrum. There must be a candidacy that has nothing to do with Laporta. This campaign can't just be about laportism and anti-laportism. Therefore, I want to keep on waiting and see how everything evolves."
Minguella, who now mainly acts as a Barcelona pundit for a number of radio and television shows, took part in the 2003 elections, when he ended fifth (out of six contenders) with 1.867 votes (3,62%). The Catalan supported last year's vote of no confidence against the board.
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the Barcelona board is considering two options regarding the date of the upcoming elections and that the elections will probably be held in April or May of next year.
Some board members would prefer the weekend of 3-4 April, others the weekend of 15-16 May when the last league game will be played against Valladolid. Barcelona president Joan Laporta is expected to make a decision on the election date in the coming two weeks.
All presidential candidates reportedly told the paper that they are ready to start campaigning independent of the date on which the elections will be held.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivoclaims that the initial idea of the board was to hold the elections at the end of the season but that this is now being reconsidered, among other things because of the results of a series of telephone interviews with club members over the last months (read morehere).
Every week an overview of the posts from this blog is published on Barcelona news site totalBarca.
First: we're on Facebook. Second: the struggle to become the continuity candidate really broke loose last Wednesday when assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer surprisingly declared on a radio show that he will be a presidential candidate: "Yes, I will run for president. I have the will and the desire to form a candidacy and to win the elections."
The vice-president, who would have the support of five other board members, reportedly wants to keep the same club model but introduce another style of governing and said he hadn't been able to find a deal with first vice-president Alfons Godall to present one unique board candidacy.
Madrid sports paper As claims that presidential candidates Sandro Rosell, Agustí Benedito and Jaume Guixà are unhappy with the renewal policy of the current board of Barcelona president Joan Laporta over the last year.
The non-board candidates would agree that it would have been better to postpone the renewals and to give the new board more freedom in the composition of the squad, even more so because there weren't important offers for any of the renewed players, none of them had the wish to leave the club and key players like Iniesta and Messi already had long-term contracts.
The candidates reportedly think Laporta has been renewing the contracts of a lot of players to continue to be able to claim the team's successes in the future. In 2009, Barcelona has extended the contracts of players like Touré, Valdés, Pedro, Messi, Puyol, Abidal, Iniesta and Márquez.
Barcelona institutional vice-president Albert Perrín gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.
When you entered the board [november 2005], you said that you would leave together with Laporta. What made you change your mind? If I don't remember it wrong, what I said was that depending on who would continue, I would leave with Jan. From my humble position, if Ferran Soriano would have continued and would have been the head of the continuity candidacy, I would not have continued.
I have nothing against him but there was no feeling between us. And these things come from both sides. He didn't have it with me either. So I said that because at that time Soriano was the one who could head the continuism. With Ferrer, however, I do have that feeling.
It has been said that Soriano could join one of the continuity candidacies. I say this clearly. If Soriano joins the board candidacy from which I'm a part, I'll go home.
Two board candidacies would be very bad for the continuism? It wouldn't be good. If we respect the project, and we believe the project is still under development, it would be good if there wouldn't be two candidacies. And it's clear that it will have to be one of those two candidacies who should continue the project. No one of those who left should claim these successes because they abandoned the ship. The six trophies have been won by this board.
You are one of the few directors of this board who have spoken well of Sandro Rosell. If I start from the point that he's a person who likes the club, who wants the best for the club, I have to respect him. Making the decision to run for president of Barça is something very important.
What Joan Laporta has lived during these years has been very tough, starting with the Boixos [radical supporters] who threatened him and his sons, needing the protection of bodyguards, having problems at home... Being president is very hard, so the person who decides to become that deserves all the respect. And I think that Sandro would be a good president, yes.
Laporta deserves a triumphant exit. Next to the statue of Kubala, they should make one of him. What he has done for this club is spectacular. You should look back at where we came from. From a bad economic situation, that is very good today. The social situation was disastrous, and today the club is loved around the world.
Unicef is an exclusive achievement of the president. There are some who aren't here anymore, who have wanted to claim it. But it's an exclusive achievement of our president. In the board there were people who had doubts about it, including myself. And now we have to congratulate him. At the sporting level, we've just won six trophies.
Should the president stay neutral in case there would be two board candidacies? He should do what he thinks is right. And if I have something to tell him, I'll say it in private.
You think he'll actively take part in the campaign? Passivity isn't one of his characteristics. I think that his participation will more or less depend on what is happening outside the club.
How is it to live these last days of the greatest year in the history of Barça? Sometimes I feel like I'm on a cloud because I find it hard to believe that we won everything we have won. I tell my children not to forget that in 2009 Barça has won six titles because it difficultly will be repeated.
this is the second part of this interview. you can read the first part here. in the coming days you will be able to read the third and alst part of the interview with perrín talking - among other things - about the tears of guardiola and the future of begiristain.
Asked about how next year's presidential elections could affect the team, Barcelona central defender and captain Carles Puyol has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivothat the players know what they can expect:
"We'll stay on the sideline and we will only be thinking about playing. We know there will be a lot of talk but we will stay out of it. It's what we have always done, focusing on the game and trying to let what is going on outside the dressingroom not affect us."
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall will be a candidate in the elections and offer a vice-presidency to Joan Boix (picture), Rafael Yuste, Josep Cubells, Magda Oranich and Xavier Sala i Martín.
The second paragraph of Article 30 of the statutes of FC Barcelona states that the board of the club must have at least one and a maximum of five vice-presidents.
All five mentioned above are already board members at this moment: Boix, who would also have an offer of Jaume Ferrer (read more here), is economic vice-president and responsible for the marketing and media area, Yuste is sports vice-president, Cubells is board secretary and director responsible for the basketball section, Oranich is director of the institutional area and responsible for the foundation and Sala i Martín is treasurer and director of the economic area.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that former Barcelona president Josep Lluís Núñez will take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona next spring.
Núñez would have been discretely preparing a candidacy and will make a public announcement during the first week of the new year. Several candidates would be considering to drop out of the race if Núñez will run again for president because of the popularity of the latter.
Former Barcelona player and manager Johan Cruyff would become sports vice-president if Núñez is elected president. Louis Van Gaal would have agreed to join as sports director and would bring Franck Ribéry with him from Bayern Munich. Guardiola could stay on as coach and former Barcelona player Jesús Angoy, the son in law of Cruyff, would act as goalkeeping coach.
Josep Lluís Núñez was the president of FC Barcelona from 1978 until 2000. The 78-year old Catalan businessman has been the longest serving president in the history of the club and the most successful president in terms of winning trophies.
Den engelske klubben med nyansatte Roberto Mancini ved roret, skal være på utkikk etter endel forsterkninger når overgangsvinduet åpner i januar. En av navnene de har på blokka, er Barcelonas franske angriper Thierry Henry. Det viser seg i etterkant at det å beholde franskmannen i sommer ikke akkurat var noe sjakktrekk, da han ikke på noen måte har prestert slik vi vet han kan. Hvis et salg av Henry kan føre til mer spilletid for spillere som Pedro og Bojan, tror jeg det er det beste for Barcelona.
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Catalan businessman Fèlix Millet is seriously considering to take part in next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona.
Millet was earlier this year involved in the major 'Palau de la Música' fraud scandal that made him lose most of the positions he held in business and social life and he would therefore now be looking for a new challenge.
The 74-year old Catalan, who believes that he will not end up in jail, would think that although his image has been damaged, he also became more famous over the last months, which would increase his chances if he would run for president.
Fèlix Millet has been a Barcelona board member under presidents Josep Lluís Núñez (from 1993 until 2000) and Joan Gaspart (from 2001 until 2003). He was the vice-president of the foundation of FC Barcelona from 2007 until he had to resign in September of this year because of the corruption scandal.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Jordi Roche could take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona next spring.
Roche is a 35-years old businessman and former president of the Catalan football federation (2005-2008) and of Spanish second division club Girona (2001-2005).
Several sources would have indicated that Roche could make his candidacy public in the coming weeks, despite Spanish news site El Confidencial claiming last year that Roche was a part of the team of former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell.
Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fàbregas (22) is the cornerstone of the sporting project of presidential candidate Sandro Rosell and would become the first transfer of Rosell if he wins next year's elections.
When Cesc joined Arsenal in 2003, then vice-president Rosell agreed with the English Premier League an option that Barcelona could match the highest bid for the player. Arsenal, that would be asking a starting price of 40 million euros, would have accept to let the Catalan leave in the summer while Rosell has reportedly already a deal with Cesc.
Another reason for a transfer deal would be that sportswear supplier Nike prefers Cesc to join a club sponsored by them rather than for example Real Madrid, even more so after the problems that have arisen after the transfer of Nike player Cristiano Ronaldo to Madrid. Rosell from his side has in the past worked for Nike and would still have excellent relations with the company's executives.
Catalan sports paper Sport meanwhile claims that Cesc is the absolute priority of Barcelona for next season and that the negotiations will be intensified in the first months of next year, with president Laporta reportedly wanting to sign him before the elections. All presidential candidates as well as Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola would agree on the return of the Catalan midfielder.
Barcelona institutional vice-president Albert Perrín gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.
Jaume Ferrer announced on Wednesday that he will be a candidate in the presidential elections. It's no secret that you are supporting him. What are your plans? We would like that there's only candidacy to come out of this board that wants to continue the project. We will try, but we do not know if it will be possible.
Today, there are no fights inside the board, but we have different ways of thinking, which is actually a good thing in my opinion. Differences are good. We need to talk now and I hope we can reach an agreement so that there will only be one board candidacy. I nevertheless know that it will not be easy.
This candidacy should be headed by Jaume Ferrer? I would like it to be him because he has the qualities to be a good president, but if it has to be another colleague, we will talk about that. There are several board members who have the skills to be president.
Alfons Godall and Xavier Sala i Martín, who are the key people of the other alternative, would accept Ferrer as the candidate? I hope so, just like Jaume could accept being the second man. In negotiations all parties must compromise. I don't know what will happen, but there is willingness to talk.
What qualities does Ferrer have? He's a calm person, who has worked a lot for the club and who knows many areas. He has been treasurer, he has been responsible for marketing and media, for the non-football sections, now for the assets...
He knows the club very well and he also did well in his personal businesses, which is fundamental, because this is after all a big company. It's someone who can deal with a lot of things, who's also great Barcelona fan and a man of this country, which is basic as well.
What about Alfons Godall? We know each other from the "revolutionary" times at the end of the nineties. I think he's capable, motivated and enthusiastic. Why do I support Ferrer and not Godall? It's a matter of feeling. Maybe in the past few years I have been closer to Jaume.
Chief executive Joan Oliver may be a cause of disagreement between the two sides? I don't think so. We have a very skilled general director, very intelligent, with an incredible work-rate, which is all very positive for the club.
The way of functioning of a general director depends on who is giving him orders, and with another president he maybe will work differently. Joan Oliver is certainly qualified to be the chief executive of the club.
The whole spying case is already forgotten? It happened but that's history now and recalling it doesn't lead to anything. We were able to stay united during some very important moments for the club and now that's already in the past.
this is the first part of this interview. in the coming days you will be able to read the rest of the interview with perrín talking - among other things - about ferran soriano and sandro rosell.
Speaking at two meetings with the press on Wednesday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta talked about the upcoming elections:
"The electoral race is taking off. I'll try to stay neutral. I want to ask all the candidates to act in a responsible way.
I hope there will be a constructive debate, a confrontation of models. We need people for whom it's very clear that Barça is above any personal interest.
I will show respect for everyone because I respect the will of all those who, with sense of responsibility, take part in the elections. That there might be two board candidates? That shows that there are several highly skilled people in the board.
To be president or director of Barça one has to love the club a lot. We have shown our respect for the club. It is a fact, real and undeniable. We have had to suffer a lot - too much - to get to live the best moments in the history of Barça, which was a privilege. I guess it's just the way it is.
To be the president of Barça, one must be able to resist the criticism of the media and the competing interests of those outside the board. This ability to resist allows one to isolate oneself and to make the decisions you think are best for Barça.
The club should be lead by responsible people, so we don't need immature or spoiled people, people who are not able to resist in difficult times. And we don't need those who hide behind presumed democratic dignity to flee during the hardest moments either. Maybe those can be good in other areas of life but not to preside Barça.
If you want to lead this club, you have to able to deal with the pressure. We need strong, courageous people, who can resist, who are aware that the club is the most important thing and goes before every other interest.
I will hand the new president a better club than the one I found when arriving. I think the current model, which in my opinion is the best for this club, can be improved and the ones most capable of doing that are the current board members who have been part of this project."
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona vice-presidents Alfons Godall (picture, on the left) and Jaume Ferrer (picture, on the right), who announced on Wednesday that he will run for president (read more here), will meet next week to continue talking about their respective electoral projects.
Although the differences between the two are said to be very big, both are reportedly aware that a continuity candidate would have a lot more chance to do well in the elections if there would be only one united board candidacy.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who is believed to be supporting Godall, would have held long talks with Godall over the last days to convince him that if he wants one board candidacy, he will then have to close a deal with Ferrer on the composition of a possible next board.
First vice-president Godall would so far have been refusing to include in his candidacy several board members that support Ferrer, namely institutional vice-president Albert Perrín and directors Jacint Borrás and Josep Anton Colomer.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo meanwhile claims that Barcelona board member and treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín will take part in the upcoming meeting during which Godall and Ferrer will try to form one continuity candidacy.
Asked when the upcoming presidential elections will be held, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that the date, which should be between 15 March and 15 June (read more here), is not yet decided upon:
"The club statutes say it's the president who has to call the elections. I will see what the best moment is for the club and at that time I will call them. At first sight, the best moment would be at the end of the season, because we're still competing for all trophies.
But I also take into account that it maybe would be good to know who will be the next president of Barça before we enter the last phase of the competition. We'll have to look at it a little more but of course we'll do what's best for the club."
Spanish news agency EFE claims that it is believed in the entourage of the club that Laporta could bring the elections forward as much as possible after the team won the Clubs’ World Cyp last weekend and could already organize them in the second half of March. Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that bringing the elections forward could mean they will be held in April.
The paper claims that Laporta will keep in mind two other factors when deciding on the date of the elections. If Catalan president José Montilla would bring forward the date of the Catalan parliamentary elections, who are in principle planned for the autumn of 2010, Laporta could be forced to call the presidential elections earlier to allow him to fully focus on a possible political career afterwards.
The second factor could be the poll results, both those regarding Laporta's political future as those regarding the continuity candidate's chances in the elections for president of FC Barcelona. Depending on these results, Laporta could decide to call the elections earlier or later.
All non-board candidates would meanwhile prefer to have elections as soon as possible. Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu claims that Barcelona assets vice-presidents Jaume Ferrer thinks the elections should be organized in March or April, while first vice-president Alfons Godall prefers to hold elections at the end of the season.
One of the people rumoured to be a possible candidate in next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona is Jaume Llauradó, a 65-year old Catalan businessman who has already been involved in several presidential elections.
Llauradó was a pre-candidate in the elections of 1997 and 2000, when he ended up joining the candidacy of the later president Joan Gaspart, in whose board Llauradó was a vice-president from 2000 until he resigned after one year because he didn't agree with the way the club was governed.
In 2003, he was a presidential candidate but finished 6th and last in the elections won by Joan Laporta. He obtained 987 votes (1,91%), which was considerably lower than the number of signatures he had been able to collect (read more here). Llauradó is also the president of FC Barcelona think tank Fòrum Samitier.
Catalan sports paper Sport claimed in September that Llauradó was seriously considering to run again for president, while Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claimed around the same time that he seemed ready to give it another try on his own.
Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu meanwhile claims that Llauradó, who could have been one of the people former players' agent and former presidential candidate Josep Maria Minguella has been holding talks with to try to form a candidacy (read more here), might soon announce that he wants to run, mainly to avoid a win of someone who has been part of the team of Barcelona president Joan Laporta.
Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Llauradó would be willing to take part if Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín would be a candidate, with Llauradó being rumoured to have said: "If he will run, I will run too, so I'll have the chance to say everything I want to say."
Llauradó may also be part of or support another candidacy that would in no case be the one supported by current president Laporta, because the former vice-president reportedly doesn't agree with the way Laporta would have introduced politics into the club.
Several people involved in the election campaign that were contacted by this blog said that they are unaware of a possible candidacy of Llauradó.
Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall gave an interview to Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.
If the general director is worth 900.000 euros, how much is Pep worth then? None of us could expect the results Pep Guardiola has given us. Pep deserves the best, because we are talking about the best coach around. Pep is satisfied with his salary and his professional situation, and we take care of him always being satisfied with his working conditions, from all points of view.
Can you guarantee that Pep will continue? I believe that Pep Guardiola will always need to feel supported by people who have confidence in the model. It wouldn't be a good thing if someone would want to use him for electoral purposes. Pep feels comfortable with a board that supports him, believes in him and doesn't get nervous when the bad results come, which will happen sooner or later.
Txiki will also continue if you would be elected president? Txiki has done a job we value highly. He has been discussed a lot by people acting in a self-interested way and with some bad faith. The important thing is to have a sports director who can give continuity and a medium-term perspective to the current way of working. Txiki has done a good job. Will he continue? That will depend on the elections. As far as I'm concerned, I hope he will.
Will you continue the collaboration with Unicef? This is essential. We are talking about the continuity of the model of success after 2010. This model is based on the sporting and economic success. We avoided a bloodbath in 2003, there was a zero deficit in the first year, and in the next six years we have accumulated over 100 million euros of profits.
From the social point of view, apart from having more fans' clubs and club members than ever, the distinguishing fact has been that Barça changed from being more than a club to being more than a club in the world. We want to continue the strategic alliance with Unicef because it has given a major emotional and economic value to the Barça brand.
Does the Barça board looks down on Espanyol? We have always been very respectful. Barça, as a club, respects and even sympathizes with Espanyol. We are two century-old clubs that have turned our rivalry in something special and even affectionate. We have open arms towards the board of Espanyol. I'm serious, we would be delighted to resume normal relationships. Part of the responsibility of leaders is to give a good example, and I think we are not doing that in this case.
Do you think you are capable and prepared to become the president of Barça? I think my experience is important. I've been here since the first moment until the last, in good times and bad times, so I know the club very well. Said that, I do hope that Barça continues this successful model and soon it will be the right moment to make a decision.
this is the third and last part of this interview.
Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer has earlier today announced in an interview with Cataluna radio station Catalunya Ràdio that he will be a candidate in next year's elections for president of FC Barcelona: "Yes, I will run for president. I have the will and the desire to form a candidacy and to win the elections".
Ferrer, who admitted that he was close to resigning when he found out he had been spied upon by the club earlier this year (read more here), said that he hadn't been able to find an agreement with Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall to present one unique board candidacy.
The 46-year old Catalan businessman, who is part of the board of directors since current Barcelona president Joan Laporta took office in 2003, confirmed that he has the support of five current board members: institutional vice-president Albert Perrín and directors Alfons Castro, Jacint Borràs, Josep Anton Colomer and Jordi Torrent.
After the radio interview, Ferrer confirmed to Spanish news agency EFE that his decision was final and that there was no way back. The news agency claims that Ferrer could launch his project as early as next Monday, which could lead to a new crisis in the board of directors and another reshuffle of powers by Barcelona president Joan Laporta.
The main reasons why Ferrer and Godall weren't able to find a deal would have been the fact that Ferrer didn't want Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín and Barcelona chief executive Joan Oliver to continue at the club and that Godall didn't accept to include some of the board members loyal to Ferrer in his candidacy and to appoint Ferrer as first vice-president.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo had claimed earlier this Wednesday that Ferrer had yesterday confirmed during a series of meetings with his closest collaborators that he would be a candidate and that he would soon make the news public.
Ferrer was said to already be preparing the official presentation of his candidacy in the first weeks of January. The vice-president reportedly wants to keep the same club model but introduce another style of governing, closer to the club members and avoiding that the club gets involved in controversies.
Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.
You are president of a penya, a Barcelona fans' club. Do you think you could have the support of a large part of the fans' clubs? I would be the first president of a fans' club to preside over the club and that is a very exciting thought. The laportism has been distancing themselves from the penyes. There have been four different vice-presidents in charge of the social area and with none of them there has been an improvement. The fans' clubs, which are the backbone of the club around the country, are discouraged and absent.
The fact that Jaume Sobrequés [former vice-president between 1993 and 2000, read more here] is part of your candidacy could lead to think you will try to collect the votes of the supporters of former president Núñez. I won't hide myself. For me, the reign of Núñez has brought the club very good things. He had a vision for the future on issues like the acquisition of the land, for example that of the current training centre, or the start of the youth academy... Jaume Sobrequés represents the freedom of thought. He always says what he thinks and that is his main quality. He's not just part of my candidacy to be on the list, but to work.
In 2006, you were also supported by Jordi Majó [candidate in the 2003 elections, when he finished third behind joan laporta and lluís bassat]. Yes, I contacted him to ask his advice on some issues regarding the electoral process. And although he did not want to support anyone, he saw we were acting in a serious and professional way and he gave us his support. The truth is that I have not talked with him recently, but the doors are open for everyone.
Back then, some also accused you of having the secret support of Sandro Rosell. I have always denied that. We only wanted that there was an alternative in those elections. We had been working in the shadow for a long time, not because I was the straw man of anyone, but because we wanted to put together a serious project.
People think that the electoral battle between some candidates will be very tough, maybe even dirty. Does that concern you? Since I wasn't part of the internal struggles over the recent years, this doesn't worry me at all. It is true that fifteen directors have resigned from Laporta's board and that some of those might take part in the elections, but we'll see what happens. We just want to present our project and some serious people.
Do you rule out any deal with other candidates? I leave the door open to all club members who have motivation, time and resources to add to our candidacy. Barcelona people can join us.
But would you close an agreement with another, more powerful candidate? At this moment, the most powerful candidacy is ours, really. We believe we can make it to the final vote.
And can you guarantee that you will be able to deposit the necessary bank guarantees? Of course. Otherwise I would not have started this. I do believe, however, that this point of the statutes should be amended. There are fans with good ideas that might not have enough financial means to get involved. It is an unfair restriction.
this is the second and last part of this interview.