Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ferrer and Benedito to form one candidacy

This blog can reveal that Barcelona presidential candidates Jaume Ferrer and Agustí Benedito have last weekend reached a principal agreement to join their candidacies ahead of the elections in June. The news was confirmed to us by a reliable source inside the Benedito candidacy.

The two candidates would have started talking after polls of the Ferrer candidacy showed that a Ferrer-Benedito project would clearly defeat the current favourite in the elections, former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell, if there wasn't a third serious candidacy showing up.

Benedito and Ferrer know each other from the time Benedito was a member of the club's sports and social commissions. At a certain moment, Ferrer was the director responsible for the non-football sections of the club while Benedito was involved with the basketball team. Since then, the two have a close relationship.

After the basic deal on a co-operation, Ferrer and Benedito will now have to finalize a joint program and find an agreement on who will be part of the board. The joint candidacy will clearly distance themselves from Barcelona president Joan Laporta, which would include the dismissal of current Barcelona chief executive Joan Oliver. The positon of sports director Txiki Begiristain would still be under discussion.

Ferrer would lead the project and would be the candidate to become president. His right-hand man, current Barcelona director Jordi Torrent, would be first vice-president, while Benedito would be second vice-president and have a lot of freedom to implement his ideas on the social area of the club.

Benedito would have asked to insert a clause in the deal that Ferrer wouldn't stand for re-election if the candidacy wins in June, which would allow Benedito to run himself for president in 2016. Although there's not yet an agreement on the issue, Ferrer doesn't exclude the option, since he would at that time have been a member of the board for thirteen years, since 2003.

If everything goes as planned, Ferrer and Benedito could call a press conference in the second week of April. If the negotiations between the two parties would take longer, a public announcement could be postponed until the end of April of the beginning of May and depend on the performances of the team.

Read more:
Ferrer won't accept conditions Laporta
Benedito wants to be the third way
Director Torrent will be right-hand man Ferrer

The Pundit: Xavier Bosch on support Laporta for Ferrer

« As the candidate of the laportism, Ferrer should now be very careful. The hugs of the bear can give more shelter than anything else, but sometimes they leave you without the air that is necessary to breathe. »

Xavier Bosch,
El Periódico

Former vice-president Ingla will run for president

Catalan weekly paper El Triangle claims that former Barcelona marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla [picture, on the left] has decided to take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona, that will be held on Sunday 13 June of this year.

Ingla would take over the project of former Barcelona economic president Ferran Soriano, who announced last week that he would not head a list in the upcoming elections (read more here). Ingla would make an official statement announcing his candidacy in the coming days.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claimed yesterday that Ingla, who is reportedly on vacation in the Alps, was still thinking about a possible candidacy while being in constant contact with former Barcelona first vice-president Albert Vicens.

Although he is aware of the time pressure, Ingla wouldn't have a concrete deadline in mind and the fact that Soriano would agree, or not, to be part of his candidacy as a board member would not be a decisive element in his final decision.

Read more:
Former vice-president Ingla considering to run
Soriano will not run for president
Soriano dines with former board colleagues

Arsenal - Barcelona i Champions League

Storkamp i kveld på Emirates Stadium mellom Arsenal og Barcelona. En del mener at dette er den såkalte drømmefinalen i årets utgave ac Champiions League, men det er i hvert fall duket for en god forestilling med fotball i ypperste klasse. Cesc Fabregas så lenge ut til å måtte stå over denne kvartfinalen, men de siste rapportene tyder på at han stiller fra start for Arsenal. Litt vanskelig å spå laget til barcelona i kveld, men tar sjansen på disse elleve spillerne; Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Maxwell, Xavi, Keita, Sergio, Messi, Zlatan og Pedro. Et bortemål eller to hadde gjort seg veldig godt ikveld, men det blir nok en spennende kamp, og forhåpentligvis et fyrverkeri av en fotballkamp!

Ferrer: "I want to work with more discretion"

Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer gave an interview to Catalan online paper El Singular Digital.

You are part of the current board and running for president. Is your project one of reform or of continuity?
Our idea is to maintain what is working. We are committed to continue with the model that has given us so many successes in recent years, but using another style. It's about the same sporting and economic project, but including a structure in which the president is not the main protagonist, which should be the players and the coaches.

So your candidacy will therefore put special emphasis on the manners?
The big difference will be in the way of doing things. We want the board to be on par with what the club represents. We propose to work with much more discretion than has been done so far. For example, defending our roots without doing politics from within the club.

Despite the insistence of Laporta, you have not accepted to form one united candidacy with Alfons Godall [note: the interview dates from before last week's event, when laporta decided to support ferrer, after which godall withdrew his candidacy].
It hasn't been possible to close even one deal with Alfons Godall when we were considering a joint candidacy. Both him and I had the legitimate wish to head a project, but, even though we tried, we couldn't even agree when we were to name the people who should be part of it.

Some people say that your candidacy is motivated by the resentment caused by you not being the preferred candidate of Laporta.
Long before Laporta gave his support to Alfons Godall, I had already said that I wanted to take part and to lead a project.

Why do you think Laporta has backed Godall?
The president should say this. I can only think of one reason, and that is the friendship he has with Alfonso Godall.

You have felt betrayed?
No. This is a matter of individual freedom. However, I think that no one should choose his successor, that person should come forward naturally, or it should be decided by the members of the board. For me, the choice of Laporta is not something that has a lot of importance.

Many of the candidates who are running in these elections have been part of the board of Laporta. What went wrong since 2003?
It is not at all easy to be part of the board of directors of Barça. Over the years there have been people who thought that things should be different and others who weren't able to deal with the pressure. It's a fact that a lot of people have left. Many of them were and are great Barcelona fans and have worked hard for the club.

You were one of the directors involved in spying affair. Did you think about resigning?
No. I have always worked based upon responsibility and discretion. The espionage affair was very unpleasant, but in any case, it wasn't me who should have resigned, but other people.

The board was once again in the news instead of the team...
At that moment, we had important games ahead. We received the explanations that we thought were appropriate, we reached an agreement that was more or less satisfactory and we decided to close the issue and to move forward. The sporting results confirmed that we were right.

You have recently declared that you stay on the board to "continue to keep an eye on things until the last day"...
We need to play down those words. There are still decisions to be taken and the club is still moving. Recently I have been kicked out of the Delegate Commission and therefore I don't have a view anymore on the daily activities of the club. Because of the members that have chosen us, I think I should continue to give my opinion in the board as long as the statutes allow me to do so.

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

Read more:
Ferrer won't accept conditions Laporta
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Ferrer: "We should study shirt sponsorship"

interview: xavier march

Godall doesn't believe in Ferrer-Rosell duel

Over the past days, Barcelona first vice-president and former presidential candidate Alfons Godall has explained through his profile on social networking site Facebook that he thinks it is unlikely that Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer and former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell will face each other on 13 June:

"Somebody really believes in an electoral confrontation between Ferrer and Rosell? I don't! Jaume and Sandro are very alike. And they have too many friends in common in the world of economy and politics to compete against each other in the elections.

The powers that support and finance the project of Ferrer are in the end the same people who support the candidacy of Rosell. Why would they spend twice their money by paying the campaigns of two candidates when it's enough to have one candidacy that can guarantee a victory? Note: a winning campaign costs, without wasting money, at least one million euros..."

Read more:
The withdrawal statement of Godall
Rosell will have board of 17 or 18 directors
Cartoon: Is Laporta campaigning for Rosell?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Poll result: Soriano should have run?

Would you have liked that Ferran Soriano took part in the elections at Barça?

No 54%
Yes 46%

total votes: 3183
start date poll: 25 March 2010
poll method: internet, free participation
source: sport

Cartoon 32: Johan Cruyff, president of horror

Person A:
And what do you think about the fact that they have appointed Cruyff as president of horror of Barça?

Person B:
President of honour, you mean?

Person A:
Oh, yeah! Don't know what I was thinking about!

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by kap

el mundo deportivo

check more election cartoons here

Minguella project to present new member

Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that the candidacy that is being set up by former players' agent and 2003 presidential candidate Josep Maria Minguella will soon after the game against Real Madrid next month present a new member.

The person would be a man of between 40 and 45 years old who reportedly has already a large support among Barcelona fans. It's not specified by the paper if this would be the candidate the group has been looking for (read more here).

Josep Maria 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 the 2008 vote of no confidence against the board.

Read more:
Molins rejects offer to lead Minguella-Medina project
Majo stepping out of Minguella-Medina project
Minguella project preparing primaries

Godall will not resign after withdrawing candidacy

Asked about the rumours that he could leave the board of directors after Barcelona president Joan Laporta and the majority of the board gave their support to vice-president Jaume Ferrer, which led him to withdraw his candidacy, Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall has said in an interview with Barcelona news site Eleccionsfcb that he will stay:

"No, I won't resign. I don't think it would be worth it since there are only two months left and it would unnecessarily cause another upset. What is not yet clear to me is if I will return to the presidential box, I don't yet feel like it... I lived a bad experience, but that's life!"

Read more:
Godall withdraws his campaign for the presidency
Sala i Martin to stay on until end of term
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer

Ferrer won't accept conditions Laporta

Speaking to Catalan radio station Ona FM, Barcelona director Jordi Torrent [picture, on the right], who is part of the candidacy of Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer, has said that the support of Barcelona president Joan Laporta for Ferrer doesn't change anything to their initial project:

"Laporta has now decided to give his support to our candidacy and after the other candidate withdrew his project, Ferrer is at this moment the only board candidate left and he will not accept impositions.

Joan Oliver? He has a contract until 30 June and that's when we will see what we will do. But it's clear that the chief executive should be someone who has the full confidence of the president. Ferran Soriano? As every club member, he has the chance to collaborate with us."

Catalan sport paper Sport claimed last week that Laporta would only give his public support to the candidacy of Ferrer if four conditions would be fulfilled, although the paper later said that the vice-president didn't plan to accept any impositions.

The four conditions mentioned were: that Ferrer wouldn't close a deal with former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano that would make the latter the head of the candidacy, that Joan Oliver would continue as chief executive, that all current directors who want to continue would be given a place in the board team of Ferrer and that Ferrer would accept the support of Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín.

Read more:
Director Torrent will be right-hand man Ferrer
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Ferrer presenting three new team members

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cartoon 31: Is Laporta campaigning for Rosell?

After the events of the past week, I feel forced to deny this. Laporta is not my campaign director!

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by alex


see more cartoons here

The Pundit: Santi Nolla on Jaume Ferrer

« They say that Ferrer is a diesel. »

Santi Nolla,
El Mundo Deportivo

Sala i Martin to stay on until end of term

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that seven of the seventeen members of the current Barcelona board of directors will stay at teh club until the end of their mandate on 30 June of this year.

Besides president Joan Laporta, the others would be economic vice-president Joan Boix, sports vice-president Rafael Yuste, board secretary Josep Cubells, director Maria Elena Fort and treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín, who would that way not actively take part in the upcoming elections.

According to Article 38.f of the statutes of FC Barcelona, the members of Barcelona's board of directors who want to present themselves for re-election, should resign and leave their position a few weeks before the elections.

For the board to be able to continue the current mandate until the end of the term at the end of June of this year, the board should at least keep one third of the board members (read more here).

Read more:
Sala i Martin considering his position
Which directors will stay on until June?
Sala doesn't exclude future candidacy

Guixa wants representative fan clubs in board

Speaking with members of the advisory council of Barcelona fan clubs, Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà [picture, second from the right] has said that he wants the fan clubs to have a representative in the board of the club:

"If the candidacy of Jaume Guixà is the chosen one, the spokesperson of the advisory council of the fan clubs will be part of the board of directors, because we think that the fan clubs should be represented. To carry out this proposal we will need to change the statutes.

The position will be linked with the role of the person as spokesman of the advisory council and won't be attributed to a specific person, so that it won't always be occupied by the same person. That person will have the right to speak but not to vote and will not have to put down a bank guarantee."

Read more:
Guixa wants crèche at Camp Nou
Rosell most popular candidate on Facebook
Guixa asks president Laporta to resign

Ferrer: "We want to convince Txiki to stay"

Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer has opened an account at online question service Formspring. This blog will follow the account and keep you updated on the questions and answers published on there.

Shouldn't the reclassification of the Miniestadi be stopped?
We're not talking about a sale, but about a way to make the club richer with the reclassification of an area that can be given a new residential value.

You talk about continuing the project but with a change of style. How will that change become concrete?
Basically you'll see it in the relations with the institutions and in the efficiency. Also in the discretion, because I don't think the president of Barça has to appear in the press every day since for me, the most important people are the players. The directors should manage things and we often need to work in silence.

The social projects that the club has developed make me feel proud. And if I'm not wrong, the agreement with Unicef finalizes in 2011. What is the probability that the deal will be renewed if you are elected as president?
We also want to be more than a club in the world and we achieve that by continuing to wear Unicef on the shirt.

Who do you want as sports director?
We count on Txiki Begiristain and we want to convince him to stay. He has done a good job as head of the technical department and we believe in this model of sports management that is based on his position, in addition to the coach of the first team and the head of the youth football section, and that has given us so many successes.

There is a condition in the statutes that says you should have your legal residence in Catalonia if you want to become president of FC Barcelona. As a Majorcan catalanist, I want to ask you if you don't think that the catalanism of Joan Laporta is becoming a little xenophobic.
The club must and will not abandon its Catalan identity and what we need to do is recover the good relations with the institutions. On the other hand, it is also needed that a member from here, from Mallorca or from Cadiz should feel equally comfortable.

Read more:
"My project is totally innovative"
"Focus on America, Asia and Africa"
"I'm the current management without Laporta"

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Benedito wants to be the third way

Speaking at a meeting with his campaign team last week, Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito has suggested that his project wants to be the alternative for on the one hand, the board candidacy and on the other hand, the candidacy of former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro Rosell:

"Our project has emerged and grows from the base, from the commitment to the general interest of the club and the club members, who are the real owners of FC Barcelona. We want to renew a project that has lost its cohesive effect and that is under discussion between the arrogant continuism and the galactic temptation.

We need to put a very high barrier between the Barça of all of us and the private business interests of a few people. FC Barcelona needs loyal leaders who will always, first and foremost, think about the interests of the club, which are above everything.

The continuism that is proposed doesn't guarantee the continuity of the successes, on the contrary. It's a self-centred perversion that has nothing to do with the tradition of our club. The continuism is the inability to maintain a minimal cohesion in the management team, as we have clearly seen by the falling apart of the board of directors.

Our alternative also differs from the project of change that emerges from resentment and a bitter confrontation, a project that comes from a very exclusive sector of the club, an option that is closely linked to business opportunities in the sports industry and that is distanced from the ways of behaving at this club and this country. In addition, that project dangerously resembles models that are used by our historical opponents. Opponents should not be imitated, they should be faced."

Read more:
Benedito: "Stadium shouldn't be visible from the moon"
Candidacies carrying out polls
Benedito feels neglected by media

The Quote: Josep Guardiola

"As long as we are competing for the league and the Champions League, there will be little electoral upset. It depends on us."

Josep Guardiola,
Barcelona manager

read more election quotes here

Rosell preparing election stunt

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that former Barcelona sports vice-president and presidential candidate Sandro Rosell has prepared a "surprise that will go around the world".

The plan of Rosell, which he would only reveal at the end of the election campaign, will reportedly cause a bigger impact than the two big transfers Barcelona president Joan Laporta could announce before the elections on 13 June.

Read more:
Rosell to come out in second half of April
Ex-players Amor and Migueli linked with Rosell
Rosell will have board of 17 or 18 directors

Most read of the week

Ferrer presenting three new team members

Over the past weeks, Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer has officially presented three people who will be part of his board team, besides the five current directors (Albert Perrín, Alfons Castro, Jacint Borràs, Josep Anton Colomer and Jordi Torrent) who have supported Ferrer from the start.

Carles Ayats [picture above] is a 39 year old Catalan real estate developer of sports and shopping centers. Catalan sports paper Sport claimed that he's a former roller hockey player. Ayats could get involved in the social area of the club if Ferrer is elected as president.

Ramon Estebe [first picture below], a 45 year old Catalan lawyer, is founder and partner of the Instructa law firm. He is linked with several commissions of the Catalan football federation, of which he is also an external legal adviser. The role of Estebe in a possible board of directors wouldn't yet be defined.

Josep Ribas [second picture below] is a 49 year old Catalan architect who is a partner at the Ribas & Ribas architectural firm in Barcelona, that is among other things collaborating with famous French architect Jean Nouvel on several project in Catalonia.

Read more:
Director Torrent will be right-hand man Ferrer
Former vice-president Franquesa to support Ferrer
Director Colomer to be treasurer of Ferrer

Former vice-president Castells unlikely candidate

Asked about a possible participation in the elections for president of FC Barcelona in June (read more here), former Barcelona first vice-president Joan Castells has said in an interview with Catalan local television station Teletaxi TV that he is looking at the options, but that there is little chance he will be a candidate himself:

"At this moment, I have spoken with a lot of people and I don't exclude anything, but there is a probability of no more than 20 percent that I will run in the elections. On the other hand, if another candidacy would make me an offer, I would analyze it."

Joan Castells is the 57-year old chairman and chief executive of Spanish mutual insurance company Fiatc. In 2000, he was a pre-candidate in the elections for president of Barcelona but he ended up joining the candidacy of then vice-president Joan Gaspart.

After Gaspart won the elections, Castells was appointed as economic vice-president of the club. In December 2002, Castels resigned as first vice-president after Gaspart refused to call early elections. In the 2006 elections, Castells decided not to run and supported pre-candidate Jordi Medina.

Read more:
Former director Castells considering election role
Llaurado close to renouncing his candidacy
Opposition figure offered place in candidacy

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Pundit: Josep M Fonalleras on strategy Rosell

« The discrete strategy of Sandro Rosell seems to be the winning one even before he presents his candidacy. I don't know if it's arabic or chinese, but the saying seems to be perfectly valid: "Sit down on the doorstep of your house and watch the corpse of your enemy pass by." »

Josep M. Fonalleras,

The withdrawal statement of Godall

With the following statement, Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall withdraw his candidacy for the presidency of FC Barcelona on Thursday evening (read more here):

"Dear all,

I firmly believe that the +BARÇA project that was born on 25 January is totally valid, but at this moment, the circumstances needed to make it happen are not there.

The +BARÇA project intended to guarantee the successful management model that has led us to live the best years in the history of our club. This model has worked very well in the sporting, economic and social areas, has defended the Catalan identity of the club and has made FC Barcelona the club with the biggest social commitment and the most global club in the world.

This model still could go a long way, there are many challenges ahead, but we also need new people and new ideas to improve what has been achieved so far. I've always been in favour of joining forces and overcome old disputes, because projects are more important than people, and above all that is our beloved FC Barcelona. Therefore, I have never seen my leadership as a necessary condition for the +BARÇA project.

I will continue working to participate in a project that fills the huge space between the continuity because of the continuity and the change because of the change. I am sure that new opportunities and new hopes will arise in the 2010 elections at FC Barcelona.

I want to thank you for all the expressions of support and encouragement I have received since 25 January and especially during the past week. You are wonderful people, we will stay in touch through my profile on Facebook.

Visca el Barca and Visca Catalunya!

Alfons Godall."

Read more:
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Sala i Martin considering his position
Godall not leaving electoral race

Benedito: "I'm sure I can convince Guardiola"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Spanish web portal Terra.

Will you maintain the model of Cruyff?
I don't know if Cruyff started the model. But yes. Whoever the president will be, we should continue on this path. We will certainly strengthen the youth section as much as possible, with transfers that improve the quality. This will keep on staying the same as it is now.

Some people at the youth section have been there for many years, like Alexanko [youth director]. Will you replace Alexanko, or someone else?
If we win, Alexanko will not stay. He will not be in charge of the youth section.

Even if Pep would ask you that he continues?
We would talk with Pep and we would come to an agreement with Pep, I am convinced that I can convince him.

And what of about the sports directors of the other sports sections?
Regarding the basketball section, I'm an ardent supporter of their management and we must strengthen the model and the work that has been done. Creus [sports director] and Pascual [coach] are doing an excellent job. The other three sections are also doing a good job, but without getting to the level of excellence of the basketball section.

Will the club continue to finance those sections with the money of the football team?
Our policy is to give autonomy to the sections, both regarding sporting and economic decisions. But the level of the competitions makes it necessary for the club to give money so that we can be competitive because our competitors have aides we don't have. I am aware they are of strategic value to the club. We also need to care more about the non-professional sections.

It's easy to criticize Laporta, but can you give us three virtues of Laporta and one weakness of yourself.
To have led and implemented the bases for a necessary change. As far as the results of the first team are concerned, he is the best president ever. Although I'm critical about him using his position for political use, at the start he opted for a catalan identity that was right for the club. The problem is the change from the natural Catalan character of Barça to personal use. You cannot do this. My weakness... More than one. It depends on the candidate to whom you compare me. But it's a fact that I have a lack of fame.

Your project has no weakness?
I have no doubt that it's by far the best. Certainly compared with the continuity candidates. From what I know of that of Rosell, I am sure that it is also a lot better than his.

Give me a strong point of the other candidates and, if you know their plans, also one of their projects.
If Godall ends up being a candidate, there will be club members who will value that he has been part of the board that has had the best results in history. I think Ferrer is a good person and you can see that, he transmits it. The fact that Rosell left so early is his main problem, that he abandoned the club that easily hurt his image.

this was the third and last part of this interview.

Read the previous parts:
Benedito: "Stadium shouldn't be visible from the moon"
Benedito: "Barça should transmit values"

Mallorca - Barça

Klokken 20.00 i kveld spilles nok en finale i la liga for Barcelona. Mallorca har nesten vært umulige å møte på Ono Estadi i år, og har kun tapt mot Sevilla i la liga, og mot Getafe i Copa del Rey. Denne kampen i fjor endte også 2-1 til Mallorca, så det er ingen enkel oppgave i  kveld. Men med seier og 3 poeng her, så går det ann å håpe på at Atleti herjer i Madrid-derbyet i morgen, så det blir en liten luke på toppen av tabellen. Xavi og Pique er med i troppen til Mallorca, og spiller kanskje i kveld. Bekreftet lag for kvelden; Valdés, Alves, Puyol, Milito, Maxwell, Keita, Touré, Iniesta; Pedro, Zlatan og Jeffren.

Former vice-president Ingla considering to run

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that former Barcelona marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla is considering to run for president in the upcoming elections.

Ingla would over the last months have been working on a candidacy together with former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano but now that Soriano has decided not to run for president (read more here), Ingla could take over as number one.

Soriano would have given his approval to this option and Ingla will reportedly make a decion after Easter. Asked if Ingla could take part in the elections, Soriano said in an interview with Catalan television channel TV3 that he doesn't know what Ingla will do but that he certainly has the skills needed.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that people who supported Soriano first asked former Barcelona first vice-president Albert Vicens to head a list, but Vicens would not be very willing to accept the offer. The group of supporters would now in the coming days try to convince Ingla, who is said to be thinking about the situation.

Read more:
The Board Movements (2003-2009)
Soriano could lead united board candidacy
What will the original 2003 board members do?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cartoon 30: No Soriano

Ferran SoriaNO

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by kap

el mundo deportivo

check more election cartoons here

The Pundit: Dagoberto Escorcia on board battle

« At this pace, the fight for the presidency of Barca will have led to more bloodshed inside the club than out on the street. »

Dagoberto Escorcia,
La Vanguardia

Guixa wants crèche at Camp Nou

During a meeting with several female Barcelona club members earlier this week, Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà had said that he wants to strengthen the women's football section and open a babysitting service during the games at the stadium:

"I have seen that a lot of women have to take care of their children who come and watch the games for free. That is why I think it would be a good idea to create a space for little children where there are people who look after them, so mothers can leave their children under the supervision of an adult while they enjoy the game."

Read more:
Guixa getting ready to collect the signatures
Ferrer has biggest media impact
Guixa, Benedito and Rosell react to latest events

Cruyff becomes honorary president

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Barcelona chief executive Joan Oliver claims that the board of directors of FC Barcelona has unanimously decided during today's board meeting to nominate former Barcelona player and manager Johan Cruyff as honorary president of the club:

"At the proposal of the president the decision has been approved that Johan Cruyff is from now on the honorary president, a position that also other clubs have.

The Board considered that Cruyff meets all the requirements as player, coach and person who has inspired or founded a model and a way to understand the club that has led us to the successes of the last years. He is the father of the successes of 2009. Guardiola, Alexanko or Txiki, who are now part of the club, are sporting sons of Johan and this is a form of recognition.

This is a honorific post that is included in Article 16 of the club statutes. It is a reinforcement of him at the institutional level but it does not affect the daily life of the club. Cruyff knew about the decision because everyone who knows the club knows that if you don't talk to him before you decide something like this, you're comitting suicide."

Article 16 of the statutes of FC Barcelona, entitled 'Meritorious and Honorary Members and Protector Members', reads as follows: "The Board may distinguish those individuals and legal persons who deserve it with the nomination as meritorious or honorary members, in recognition of their dedication or importance to the Club [...]."

Johan Cruijff played for Barcelona from 1973 to 1978. In his first season he helped the club win the first league title since 1960. As a player he also won the Spanish cup in 1978. In 1988, Cruijff returned to Barcelona as manager.

As the coach of the so called "Dream Team", he won four consecutive league titles between 1991 and 1994, the club's first Champions League in 1992, one Spanish cup in 1990, one European cup winner's cup in 1989 and two European super cups in 1989 and 1992. Cruijff left Barcelona in 1996.

Read more:
Which role could Cruyff play in the elections?
Laporta wanted to replace Rosell by Cruyff
Cruyff will support Godall

Vice-president Yuste also supports Ferrer

Asked about the majority of the board now giving support to Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer in the elections (read more here), Barcelona sports vice-president Rafael Yuste has said in an interview with Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia that he now also supports Ferrer:

"Godall said that he wanted to include Soriano and the president reminded him that there had been agreed that the candidate had to come from within the current board.

Now all members of the board, with the exception of Godall and Sala i Martín, have decided to support Ferrer. We got what we wanted, to have a single board candidacy. We supported Alfons, but Jaume is a candidate who also deserves all our respect."

Read more:
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Vice-president Yuste to leave after elections
Ferrer becomes official continuity candidate

Cartoon 29: Godall retires after some mathematics

It's clear that operation +Barça didn't have the expected result.

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by caye


check more election cartoons here

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Quote: Jaume Ferrer

"The support of the president is very important but my project stays the same as before. We want to impose another style, that includes a president who is less prominent, although we'll have continuity in the management."

Jaume Ferrer,
Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate

read more election quotes here

Godall withdraws his campaign for the presidency

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall has decided to withdraw his "+Barça" campaign for the presidency of FC Barcelona.

Although he doesn't exclude to be part of another candidacy, Godall won't be a presidential candidate himself in the elections on 13 June. Godall would announce his decision in the next hours. The news has meanwhile also been confirmed to this blog.

[Update:] The news has been confirmed through an official announcement of the candidacy.

Read more:
Godall officially confirms presidential candidacy
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Sala i Martin considering his position

Soriano confirms he won't run for president

Former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano has said at a press conference this afternoon that he won't run for president of FC Barcelona in the elections that will take place in June:

"Over the last days, I have thought some more about the issue and I have come to the conclusion that I won't be a candidate in the elections of 2010, due to the big challenge I have at Spanair. Although I keep on thinking that my position at Spanair and that of president of FC Barcelona can be combined, the opinion of the shareholders has had an influence. I love my club but this isn't the right moment."

Soriano nevertheless repeated that he wants to take part in a constructive way in the elections but that he at this moment doesn't have the intention to be part of a candidacy, although he doesn't exclude it either, saying that he will wait to see how things will evolve and see if there appears a project "between" those of Ferrer and Rosell but that he certainly won't try to set up a candidacy himself.

Asked if he could run for president in the future, Soriano said: "I have never left Barça. I have been working at the club for five years and I think I served the club in an honest way. And I left when I had to leave and when in my opinion the people asked it. 2016? Who knows how things will look like then but it's not an objective."

Read more:
Soriano will not run for president
Candidacies carrying out polls
Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy

Businesswoman could become treasurer Rosell

Spanish news agency EFE claims that Spanish businesswoman Susana Monje [picture] could be a member of the board team of Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell. Monje would become the club's treasurer if Rosell is elected as president in June.

Last Sunday, Susana Monje assisted a meeting that Rosell had with Barcelona club members and fan club members in the Spanish autonomous community of Asturias in the north of Spain, where the Monje is family is coming from and where the former Barcelona sports vice-president presented the project of his candidacy.

Susana Monje is the 37-year old chief executive of the Essentium Group, a holding that includes companies that are active in several sectors, among which raw construction materials, renewable energy and real estate development. The group also sponsors Spanish third division club Toledo.

Read more:
Rosell wants three women in his board
First female president for Barcelona?
The Rosell Project - Part 4: The Board (2)

Soriano will not run for president

After Catalan radio station RAC 1 brought the news first yesterday late in the evening, almost all Catalan media confirm today former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano will announce later today that he will not run for Barcelona president in the upcoming elections.

Soriano would have made the decision yesterday around noon. The pressure from the shareholders of Spanish airline Spanair, of which Soriano is the chairman since last year, would have been decisive in his final decision. Catalan newspaper El Periódico claims that there has also been political pressure.

Despite of not heading a candidacy himself, Soriano would leave the door open to be part of another project or give his support to another candidate who will take part in the elections.

El Periódico claims that Soriano and his right-hand man, former Barcelona sports vice-president Marc Ingla, could try to look for someone who could lead the project they have been working on. Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu on the other hand claims that Soriano could join the candidacy of Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer.

Read more:
Soriano calls press conference for tomorrow
Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy
Soriano to make a decision before Friday

sources: rac 1, el mundo deportivo, el periódico, la vanguardia, el 9 esportiu

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Pundit: Tomas Guasch on easy victory Rosell

« The late Helenio Herrera, called The Wizard, made Barça great in the 1950s and Inter after that, and left us memorable quotes like "we will win without getting off the bus". This could be applied to Sandro Rosell in these elections. »

Tomás Guasch,

Soriano calls press conference for tomorrow

Former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano will hold tomorrow at 5 pm local time a press conference at the Porta Fira hotel in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat near Barcelona, where he will explain what his role will be in the upcoming elections for president of FC Barcelona.

Read more:
Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy
What will Evarist Murtra do?
Soriano to make a decision before Friday

Guixa, Benedito and Rosell react to latest events

The non-board presidential candidates yesterday also reacted to the latest event that led to Barcelona president Joan laporta and a large majority of the current board of directors give their support to Barcelona assests vice-president presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer (read more here):

Jaume Guixà [picture]
"I'm not surprised by what has happened, the continuism is in trouble. Laporta is playing with all of them. Generals who abandon their wounded soldiers never win wars. These events only generate more distrust among the members and put an end to the credibility of the continuism."

Agustí Benedito
"We continue to work on our project, as we have done since October. We believe that the club is above any personal interests and what has happened in the last hours is a sign of the deterioration of a project where people have become more important than the interests of the club."

Jaume López, campaign director of Sandro Rosell
"We fully respect all options and all candidates. As far as the events surrounding Alfons Godall are concerned, it is clear to us that this won't be the last thing that happens, that there is more to come over the next weeks and that the current situation will not be the final one but that it's logical things will still change."

Read more:
Godall not leaving electoral race
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Sala i Martin considering his position

Barcelona - Osasuna

I kveld klokken 20.00 spiller Barcelona mot Osasuna hjemme på Camp Nou. Laget fra Pamplona er et av få lag som har tatt poeng fra Barça denne sesongen, når de klarte 1-1 hjemme i høst, og de vant også det tilsvarende oppgjøret i Barcelona i fjor. Det er dermed ingen selvfølge å greie 3 poeng i kveld, men det er et krav om man skal henge med i la liga. Real Madrid har bare ligaen å konsentrere seg om, og et noe enklere kampprogram fremover. Fortsetter Messi slik han har spilt i det siste er det forsåvidt ingen grunn til bekymring. Trolig lag er; Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Milito, Maxwell, Yaya, Sergio, Iniesta, Messi, Zlatan og Henry.

Candidacies carrying out polls

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the position of Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall during the informal board meeting on Monday - wishing to set up a joint candidacy with former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano - was based on his candidacy's latest poll result (read more here).

The poll would show that Godall or Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer could not win the elections alone, with former Barcelona sports vice-president Sandro in that case being the winner, but that Soriano can already count on 20% of the voting intentions without having confirmed his candidacy and that a candidacy that would include Soriano, Godall and Ferrer would win the elections.

The candidacy of Ferrer would carry out a new poll this evening among 400 club members before the game against Osasuna. An earlier poll, dated 27 February, would have had the following result: Rosell 40%, Soriano 10%, Godall 7% and Ferrer 3%. According to that poll, 30% of the voters would still be undecided.

When the same poll included a Soriano-Godall-Ferrer candidacy among the options, that candidacy reportedly got more than 30% of the votes, while the percentage for Rosell dropped and the number of undecided voters stayed the same.

During an informal meeting an Monday evening, Ferrer would have told people that were present, among which some Barcelona bloggers, that polls show that 30% of the members would vote for Rosell, but that the other 70% would not consider in any case a vote for the former sports vice-president.

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito meanwhile said on Monday during the presentation of his logo that his polls show that a large majority of the voters do not yet have an idea about who they will vote for: "Our studies tell us that 99 days before the elections, 83% of the club members didn't yet made a decision of their vote."

Read more:
Soriano carrying out election poll
Poll Rosell confirms his big lead
Ferrer feels backed by own poll

Rosell to come out in second half of April

Spanish sports agency EFE claims that Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell will officially present his candidacy in the beginning of the second half of the month of April (read more here).

Rosell, who reportedly has regular private contacts with the press, would have initially planned to hold the first public meeting immediately after the official calling of the elections but would now have brought the presentation forward.

The former sports vice-president would already have made a decision on his headquarters, that will be inaugurated soon, and would have a campaign budget of between 700.000 and 800.000 euros.

Read more:
Rosell could present project year after goal Iniesta
Rosell will have board of 17 or 18 directors
Rosell planning to reform club statutes

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sala i Martin considering his position

A few hours after the board meeting in which was decided that Barcelona president Joan Laporta would support Barcelona assets vice-president Jaume Ferrer and not Barcelona first vice-president Alfons Godall in the presidential elections on 13 June (read more here), Barcelona treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín, who was part of the candidacy of Godall, put yesterday early morning a note on his Facebook page:

"First of all, thanks to the hundreds of people who have sent me private and public messages to express their concern about my state of mind. I can assure all of you that I am fine. Secondly, I can confirm that some of the stories you've been hearing and reading about Barça are true.

You all know that Alfons Godall had my unconditional support but the circumstances have made it look like as if he will not lead a candidacy. Taking this into account, I feel the freedom to make the decisions that I feel are appropriate and to support that person who I think will serve our club best, if I will in the end give my support to someone.

What is beyond any doubt is that the commitment I have towards president Joan Laporta and the commitment that I have towards all the club members to work with body and soul (and heart) for Barça remains strong and I will continue to work for Barça until the last day."

Later that morning, Sala i Martín commented on the events in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 saying that he didn't yet know what his role in the election process now will be:

"I'm not sure what to do now. My main option was a candidacy of Alfons Godall with the support of Joan Laporta that included others. As this now doesn't seem to be possible, I take the freedom to decide what I will do now. At this moment I cannot say to whom I will give my support or if I will support someone.

It is true that the president has asked me to run, first last Friday, and Saturday again. But I said no, that my option was the one I was part of. I explained him my reasons, but I basically refused because Laporta leads the laportism and Sala i Martín should lead the salaimartinism and because of intellectual coherence I've said no.

Will I just stay until the end of the season and then leave? That has always been and is an option. I don't know what I will do. What I do know is that I want to thank Joan Laporta for giving me the chance to be part of this board that has created the best Barça in history and to be a witness of those great successes.

Because of my commitment towards Joan Laporta and the club members I will fulfil my task with heart and soul until the end, that is guaranteed. What I will do after 30 June is something I don't yet know."

Read more:
Laporta confirms board support for Ferrer
Godall not leaving electoral race
Sala doesn't exclude future candidacy