Monday, May 31, 2010

[picture] Josep Maria Minguella at the fair

Former Barcelona presidential candidate Josep Maria Minguella, part of the candidacy of Santiago Salvat, on campaign.

The Quotes: Plaza, Benedito, Rosell, Laporta, Ferrer

"I've never believed in a pact between Ferrer and Ingla. I would think that a deal between Ferrer and Rosell is more likely."

Alexis Plaza

"I will not use private jets if I'm elected as president."

Agustí Benedito

"We cannot have agreements with a country like Uzbekistan."

Sandro Rosell

"If mister Rosell want to act in a populist way, he might start to stop his relationship with Scolari, who has been a coach in Uzbekistan."

Joan Laporta

"When in the past the outgoing president didn't take part in the elections, the favourite has never won."

Jaume Ferrer

read more election quotes here

Benedito, Salvat, Guixa and Plaza struggling with signatures

The three main Catalan sports papers agree today that Barcelona presidential candidates Sandro Rosell, Jaume Ferrer and Marc Ingla will certainly pass the cut of the 2.095 signatures that should be delivered tomorrow. Rosell would clearly present the most signatures.

From the other four candidates, Benedito would be the closest to pass the cut although it would be close. The three remaining candidates - Santiago Salvat, Jaume Guixà and Alexis Plaza - would almost certainly not obtain the signatures needed and would have to leave the race.

Read more:
The process of collecting the signatures
How many people will be able to vote?
The electoral proceedings

Former player Amor supports candidacy Rosell

In his weekly column in Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo, former Barcelona player Guillermo Amor (42), who has been the head of Barcelona's youth academy from 2003 to 2007 and who is now acting as television pundit, has given his support to Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell:

"You, Sandro, have been preparing this for a long time, working in silence, respecting everyone, and that's what you keep doing. Elections are won with ideas, projects. You, Sandro, I think that you're there for the people, that you're there for all. I like you because you want to unite the fans. You want a plural club, a club of everyone.

I like you because I've seen you in action, for your ability to make decisions, for how you address problems and solve them. You use heart and head. You have credibility because you have won it and there are many members who are with you and who don't get carried away by anything or anyone. I respect all candidates, of course, but I think your time has come."

Read more:
Ex-players Amor and Migueli linked with Rosell
Salvat talking with ex-players Stoichkov and Ferrer
Zubizarreta main option to replace Begiristain

Plaza: "I hope to run again in 2022"

This blog had an exclusive interview with Barcelona presidential candidate Alexis Plaza.

We're less than 48 hours before the end of the collecting of the signatures. How many signatures do you have in your hands at this moment?
We have around half of them. We still need to collect more the coming day and a half. What I can assure is that we will work until the last minute.

When did you first think about running for president of FC Barcelona?
It has been in my mind for many years and I believed it shouldn't just stay a dream. I thought this was the best moment to act and that I can give many good things to the club.

When did you actually start working on the campaign for the 2010 elections?
A group of us started talking about the details in August of last year and we continued growing until today.

John Benjamin Toshack is your stepfather. Are there any players from the Welsh national team that have the qualities to play at Barça?
I have many respect for all Welsh players, but I believe there is at this moment none that could meet the profile to play in Barça.

You want to attract a shirt sponsor because of the 20 millions the club could get. Isn't that a short-term view? Won't the club lose - or attract less - fans which will make us lose more than those 20 millions in for example merchandising and television rights?
If we win games, we will always have good television rights. We have always said that we will continue helping UNICEF but we need an extra income that could come from a second sponsor. This could be achieved by sharing the shirt or putting another sponsor on the training outfit.

What do you think about the campaign so far?
It's dirty and that's not good for the club and the members. And I think it will get worse.

You have said that Sandro Rosell has been talking several times with the Boixos Nois. Are you sure of that? When and where did they meet?
We have been informed by people from other groups that they all sat together to talk. This is not necesarily a bad thing as there are people that identify themselves as Boixos Nois but are against violence.

Your campaign budget is around 3.200 euros. How much do you have left and how did you spend it?
It's in the end 3.400-3.500 euros. As soon as the process of the signatures ends, we will publish all of our costs.

You have given up your job for this campaign while Spain is going through a the biggest economic crisis of recent times. Some people see that as a proof that you are a rich kid for whom running for president is just another game.
The credit crunch is does not only affets Spain, it's something worldwide. I have always demonstrated that whatever I have been involved in, I have done it my own way. We are demonstrating that in these difficult times we must optimize all resources and that's why we are only spending a small budget. I would be more worried about those spending millions in their campaign.

What do you want to do regarding the globalization of the club? Do you agree that this should be the number one priority of the club right now?
The priority is to pay the debt we have and to continue having a good team. This will give us a good position for all the rest.

Do you plan to continue with the "Somni blaugrana" project after the elections and for example prepare the elections of 2016?
I hope that if I will get another chance to give my best for the club, this will be in 2022. I will always wish that the next president can serve his maximum term because that would mean a lot of wins and trophies for Barça. It is not an easy decision to run again in the future. We will have to see if we can offer a good project to the member.

Which question you have heard the most during this campaign and you're sick of answering?
Do you have the bank guarantee?

Which question didn't you hear one time during this campaign, while you would have liked to answer it?
Do you think you can be the best Barça president in history?

Who will you vote for if you don't pass the cut of the signatures?
I will vote for no one. I will keep on believing that our project is the best over all.

Many thanks for this interview and good luck in the final hours of the collection of the signatures.

Read more:
Benedito: "The media already have their favourites"
Cardoner: "The member always has the last word"
Guixa: "I reaffirm that the club is almost bankrupt"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

[picture] Jaume Ferrer and the Barça shirt

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer donated a shirt signed by all Barcelona players that will be sold by auction to collect funds for research on a muscle disease.

Cartoon 38: Rosell appearing on scene

Members of Barça!!

I have arrived!!

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by alex


see more cartoons here

Most read of the week

The remodelling plan of Santiago Salvat

This is the plan of Barcelona presidential candidate Santiago Salvat to remodel the Camp Nou (read more here). Four rows of seats will be added in the whole stadium and the roof over part of the stadium will be lifted.

The Quotes: Ferrer, Ingla, Benedito, Rosell, Plaza

"I want to challenge mister Sandro Rosell for a face-to-face debate. Him against me. One on one. If he doesn't accept the proposal, that's maybe because he has things to hide."

Jaume Ferrer

"Whatever price the current board agrees for Cesc, if we're elected, we will and can pay it."

Marc Ingla

"They've told me that during the last league game at the Camp Nou, key members of the Boixos Nois were distributing propaganda for Sandro Rosell."

Agustí Benedito

"The signing of Mourinho is great for the Liga and for Madrid. It will again be a tough league but Barça will keep on winning trophies."

Sandro Rosell

"For who will I vote if I don't pass the cut? No one. Blank ballot."

Alexis Plaza

read more election quotes here

Several top players offered to candidates

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that several players have in the past days and weeks been offered to Barcelona presidential candidates and to directors who are still part of the board, while candidates on the other hand are also sounding out players.

The players who are being linked with a possible move to Barcelona this summer are: Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Alexandre Pato (AC Milan) and Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid).

Read more:
Torres not willing to negotiate with candidates
Candidates are trying to interfere in transfer talks
Rosell linked with Valencia winger Mata

Saturday, May 29, 2010

[2003] The collection of the signatures has ended

source: el mundo deportivo, sunday 1 june 2003, page 1

First round for Bassat

Extraordinary Barcelona atmosphere throughout the day of the delivery of the signatures

Llauradó is in a solid second place and Laporta is the real revelation

Martínez Rovira and Minguella will try to achieve a great result at the polls

Medina and Casas didn't pass the cut

Bassat 9.894 signatures

Llauradó 6.057 signatures

Laporta 5.725 signatures

Martínez Rovira 2.827 signatures

Minguella 2.286 signatures

Majó 1.852 signatures

check more 2003 election stories

[picture] Marc Ingla and member number 18

Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla has received the support of Barcelona club member number 18, 89 year-old Maria Rojas Olsina, who personally came to the seat of the candidacy to give her signature.

Weekly Round-Up (24): Countdown to June 13

Every week an overview of the posts from this blog, written by Xaviniesta, is published on Barcelona news site totalBarca.

The collection of signatures needed to qualify the candidates for the final list that would stand for election on June 13 officially began on Monday, 17 May.

The candidates, among them Sandro Rosell, Marc Ingla and Jaume Ferrer, trooped to the the Camp Nou to get the official support forms that would be used to secure the 2,095 signatures of the club members which the club statutes mandate as a prerequisite for candidacy. The signatures of support will be presented to the Electoral Commission for validation not later than May 25.

Candidates who will make the cut and would have satisfied all the other electoral requirements will be included in the final list of candidates to be announced on 3 June.

>>> read the complete weekly round-up here

Plaza rejects offer to sell signatures

Speaking to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo (and repeating it later in an interview with Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu), Barcelona presidential candidate Alexis Plaza has said that he has received offers to sell the signatures of club members he has already collected:

"Have they tried to buy my signatures? Oh yes! I can not say who because the person did not identify himself but they have called us and because they think we are new or young, they proposed us to withdraw not to make a fool of ourselves and they asked to put a price on our signatures. But we will fight until the end. I guess some people are very desperate."

Read more:
Plaza: "Young people are tired of fake promises"
The process of collecting the signatures
Plaza considers Alexanko as sports director

Former vice-president changes Rosell for Ingla

Former Barcelona vice-president Jesús Farga [picture, on the centre left] has yesterday given his signature of support to Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla. Farga had before been linked to the candidacy of Sandro Rosell after he assisted several meeting of the Senior Council of Rosell (read more here).

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Farga, who has been a Barcelona board member involved with the youth academy under presidents Josep Lluís Núñez and Joan Gaspart, will in the candidacy of Ingla get a more important role in the youth policy than he would have gotten in that of Rosell.

Read more:
Ingla wants to appoint club ambassadors
Torres not willing to negotiate with candidates
Ingla talking with son of former vice-president

Rosell has already enough signatures

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell was yesterday the only candidate who has already collected the 2.095 signatures of club members needed to take part in the elections for president of FC Barcelona on Sunday 13 June.

Former Barcelona vice-presidents Jaume Ferrer and Marc Ingla would be on their way to pass the number, while Agustí Benedito, Santiago Salvat, Jaume Guixà and Alexis Plaza would have difficulties to reach the necesary signatures of support the candidates should present on Tuesday 29 May.

Read more:
The process of collecting the signatures
"Sandro Rosell" not on support slips
The electoral proceedings

Friday, May 28, 2010

[pictures] Rosell, Ingla and the Catalan president

Former Catalan president (2003-2006) and former mayor of Barcelona (1982-1997) Pasqual Maragall visted this week the campaign headquarters of Barcelona presidential candidates Sandro Rosell [picture above] and Marc Ingla [picture below].

Former president Gaspart linked to Ingla

Catalan weekly paper El Triangle claims that former Barcelona president Joan Gaspart supports the candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla in the upcoming presidential elections.

The paper bases their claim on the fact that seven hotels - six in the city Barcelona and one in the Catalan province of Girona - of hotel chain Husa that is owned by Gaspart are places where club members can go and deposit their signature of support for Ingla.

Asked about his position in the elections, Gaspart said in an interview with Catalan radio station Ona FM that he doesn't plan to give his support to a candidate: "Josep Lluís Núñez has every right to give his signature of support to Sandro Rosell, but I won't support any candidate."

Read more:
The Quote: Joan Gaspart
Former president Nunez will support Rosell
Spanair board divided on Soriano candidacy

The Quotes: Ferrer, Perrin, Salvat, Rosell, Plaza

"There are 30.000 new club members who joined during this mandate, who never go the stadium and who are difficult to control."

Jaume Ferrer

"The lawyers of Alexandre are the same ones who for years have launched claims against the club."

Albert Perrín

"In the coming days we will make things public that will change the balance."

Santiago Salvat

"When I was born, they gave me the name Alessandro, but when they wanted to register the name, the government only accepted names included in a list of saints. So they had to change it to Alejandro, although in the end it became Alexandre."

Sandro Rosell

"Sandro Rosell has already copied two of our proposals, a youth stand and an own travel agency. Nonetheless, the media have claimed the ideas were his."

Alexis Plaza

read more election quotes here

Salvat wants scouting network of ex-players

Former Barcelona presidential candidate Josep Maria Minguella [picture, on the right], who will become sports vice-president if Santiago Salvat is elected as president, has said at a press conference that he wants to set up a global network of talent scouts:

"We should globalize our youth academy and that's why we need to have a red of people around the world who can inform us about promising players of 12-13 years old. We need to find the players who will be the new Messi or the new Ronaldinho in a few years time.

Former players like Eusebio, Nadal, Víctor Muñoz, Stoichkov, Moratalla, Rojo or Esteban are possible scouts. I think it's important these people know the club and are honest. We need to have full confidence int he people who are going to watch the players, because you cannot do this with people who bring you suspected players like Keirrison."

Read more:
Salvat talking with ex-players Stoichkov and Ferrer
Ingla wants global youth academy
Plaza considers Alexanko as sports director

[picture] The blood of Alexis Plaza

On Wednesday, Barcelona presidential canddiate Alexis Plaza and part of his board team donated blood.

Zubizarreta main option to replace Begiristain

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that former Barcelona goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta is at this moment the main candidate to replace Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain, who would leave the club in June. At least three candidates would think that Zubizarreta is a good candidate for the job.

Andoni Zubizarreta was a Barcelona player from 1986, when he arrived from Athletic Bilbao, until 1994, when he left for Valencia. With Barcelona, the 48-year old won four consecutive Spanish leagues from 1991 to 1994, two Spanish cups in 1988 and 1990, two Spanish supercups in 1991 and 1992, one Champions league 1992, one Cup winner's cup in 1989 and one European supercup in 1992.

Since his retirement as an active player, Zubizarreta, who reportedly has a close relationship with Guardiola, has been acting as radio and television pundit. From 2001 to 2004, he was the sports director of Athletic Bilbao.

Zubizarreta was also, together with - among others - Real Madrid general director Jorge Valdano, one of the founders of
makeateam, a company that focuses on human resources training and consulting, of which he is currently still the vice-president.

Read more:
Begiristain proposes Zubizarreta as his successor
Ex-players Amor and Migueli linked with Rosell
Zubizarreta: "No candidate has contacted me"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

[picture] The bus of Sandro Rosell

Vehicle at the campaign headquarters of Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell.

Salvat: "The board of Laporta has been extremist"

Barcelona presidential candidate Santiago Salvat gave an interview to Catalan online paper El Singular Digital.

During your first public appearance you said that the other candidates were linked to political interests...
In recent years we have clearly seen the politicization of Barça. The Catalan identity is also part of our ideas, we will never deny that, but I'll be the only president who will not get involved in politics. FC Barcelona is Catalan and an ambassador for Catalonia in the world and it's something that implicitly is always there. Personally, I have never been linked to politics, I'm not in favour of Catalan independence, but I believe in the Catalan nation.

Catalan politician Joan Carretero has said that being the president of Barça is a lot more important than being the president of the Catalan government.
Being the president of Barça has a far bigger social dimension, that is true. The Barcelona president is known worldwide and the Catalan president, unfortunately, is not.

Political and economic interests have an influence on the current board?
They influence the decisions of certain members. We must distinguish between political beliefs and the personal obligations that are generated by institutionally representing Barça. The club's board should represent all political and cultural sensitivities of the members and the fans. You cannot choose one concrete option.

If we look at the economic area, an article published in the newspaper 'El Pais' talked about supposed links between Laporta and the president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov. What do you think is true about those reports?
We have the evidence that this is true, but we won't use it. It is a very unclear issue, but I have seen that evidence. Obviously Barça should continue with those business dealings that give the club a good image and has to put aside those who are only in favour of some board member. In recent years, Barça has created more enemies than friends.

We've also heard you say that your candidacy is not "extremist". The current has been so?
Yes. Since the start, and especially at this moment, the board of Laporta has been extremist. Moreover, the current board is presidential. Laporta says what has to be done. And all those who have been leaving the board did that because they had the same feeling, they wanted to get in his seat to do the same.

Regarding your candidacy, a lot of names have been discussed, including that of Carles Rexach.
He has been in contact with us and he had a small commitment. After that, I found out through the newspapers that he would support Rosell. I did not like that. But in the next few days more names will come out, that is part of our strategy. We have a group of some twenty people, some of which have a great experience and others are young people with new ideas.

You are the son of publisher...
Yes, but I promise I won't write a book. Unlike many others, I don't run for the presidency of Barça to write a book. The final book that describes this club should be written by the members.

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

Read more:
Salvat officially presents his candidacy
[picture] The kiss of Santiago Salvat
Son Camp Nou architect could lead remodelling

interview: xavier march

The Quotes: Ferrer, Benedito, Laporta, Rosell, Salvat

"Let's be honest, not all candidates believe in the youth academy. If they believe in a project based on transfers, they should dare to say it."

Jaume Ferrer

"Today, we have 1.300 signatures in our hands."

Agustí Benedito

"A company of mister Alexandre Rosell is linked with a presumed case of corruption by five public prosecutors in Brazil. I think that he should give an explanation, because this is very serious and the club member should have all elements needed to make a choice in the elections."

Joan Laporta

"My company had a contract with the government of Brasilia, who is involved in irregularities. There is no investigation against us, we have only been asked to provide information, which we did."

Sandro Rosell

"If the club needs more revenues, we should analyze if we will look for a shirt sponsor."

Santiago Salvat

read more election quotes here

Ingla wants to appoint club ambassadors

The candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla has yesterday announced at a press conference that they want to appoint club ambassadors around the world in case Ingla wins the elections for president on Sunday 13 June.

The ambassador would be the representative of the board of directors in a region where the club has an "embassy", which can be a commercial centre or a youth academy. The cities in which the club would have a seat are Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Moscow, New York, Oslo, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.

The ambassadors will be part of a new Global Advisory Council that will advice the board regarding the club's international policy and the policy in their respective regions. It will be an honorary post, that doesn't include a salary.

The candidacy already announced yesterday the name of one person that would be appointed as club ambassador, namely that of Japanese businessman Hiroshi Mikitani [picture], who would become the ambassador in Tokyo.

Hiroshi Mikitani is the chairman and chief executive of online shopping mall operator Rakuten. Mikitani is also the owner of Japanese football club Vissel Kobe and Japanese baseball club Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Read more:
Ingla wants global youth academy
Rosell to file lawsuit against Ingla
[picture] Japanese signature for Ingla

Cartoon 37: Electoral battle intensifies

* Ingla goes after Rosell, Sandruscu will press charges against Ingla, Laporta slices Alexandre Rosell: if the dirty war doesn't end, the member may in the end not be very motivated to put his vote in the ballot box. *

(click the cartoon to enlarge)

by caye


check more election cartoons here

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rosell: "I don't represent the Brazilian school"

Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell gave an interview to Catalan newspaper El Periódico.

translation: archie valparaiso

You've talked about proposing some players to Guardiola. Isn't that interfering in the coach's bailiwick?
I said we had some proposals. If they're asking whether we've got Wayne Rooney, for example, well, no. If we win the elections on the 14th, we'll sit down with the coaching staff and ask them, "Apart from what you wanted, we've got this and this. Are you interested?" And he'll be the one who decides.

You seem as if you like being hands-on, to want to be the team's general manager
I'm standing as chairman and that's what I want to be. I won't act as a coach or manager.

That implies that some players have been looked into and a commitment has been reached with some of them.
Yes, some people have been working to see if it could help Barça.

People from the pre-candidacy campaign.

And they'll be working in the sports department if you win the election?
No, not necessarily.

It's also been pointed out that you have your own sports-marketing company. Where do you draw the line between private business and Barça?
If we win, I'll sell it. Not because of any conflict of interest, but because I won't have the time. That's the essential reason. Having said that, the company is the same one I had in 2003. Those who criticise me now were perfectly happy for me to have it seven years ago, and I was the one who introduced them to people like Pelé, Havelange, Blatter, Platini, and so on. Back then it was fantastic, but now it's the devil's work, apparently.

Will you stop working or work less?
I'll work less for my companies so I can give Barça all the time it needs.

You carry the stigma of being Florentino Pérez transferred to Barça. Does that worry you or make you feel uncomfortable?
It's simply false. We're nothing alike in terms of the types of people we are. It's been proven that a decision with a consensus is always better than one made individually. And a signing is an important decision. That's how we'll work at Barça.

More labels: you defend the Brazilian school while today's Barça is inspired by the Dutch school
Look, we signed Ronaldinho, Belletti, Edmilson and Silvinho. They cost us 32 million and three of them played in the [2006 Champions League] final in Paris. And they won two Spanish league titles as well. Then, by selling Ronaldinho and Belletti, the club recovered 25 million of that. Now there are four Brazilians - Alves, Maxwell, Keirrison and Henrique - who cost 76 million. In the last match only Alves played, because Maxwell was injured, while two of them, Keirrison and Henrique, have never been seen on the pitch. And I'm supposed to represent the Brazilian school? Do me a favour!

Is Guardiola beyond all doubt?
Of course he is. And to demonstrate our confidence in him, if we win we'll be offering him a contract for our full term of office, six years. With annual renewals and quantitative and qualitative targets to be met. Because we know that's how Pep is going to want it.

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

Read more:
Rosell: "Barça is not only about goals and titles"
"Sandro Rosell" not on support slips
Rosell wants to regulate new members

interview: david torras - joan domènech

[picture] The human tower of Jaume Ferrer

A "castell" build before the entrance of the hall where Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer yesterday officially presented his candidacy for the presidency of FC Barcelona.

Torres not willing to negotiate with candidates

Spanish sports paper SportYou claims that Liverpool forward Fernando Torres (26) has rejected an approach by Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell, who wanted to sound him out on a transfer to Barcelona this summer in case he would be elected as president.

Torres, who would have decided to leave Liverpool this summer, is reportedly not willing to talk with candidates but would be open for negotiations after the elections. After Barcelona signed David Villa earlier this month, a transfer to Barcelona would nevertheless not be an option anymore.

British tabloid paper The Daily Mirror claimed last week that Rosell would want to reproduce the Villa-Torres pairing in Barcelona. So far, there would only have been tentative enquiries, but when Rosell is elected as president he could launch a bid of more than 80 million euros. By the end of the World Cup, Rosell might have raised more funds by selling players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thierry Henry.

Read more:
Torres not rejecting approach by Rosell
Candidates are trying to interfere in transfer talks
Rosell linked with Valencia winger Mata

The Quotes: Guixa, Minguella, Soriano, Salvat, Rosell

"We will all have difficulties to get the 2.095 signatures. The decision of Laporta that didn't allow us to collect signatures at the last league game has hurt us. We'll have to wait and see what happens."

Jaume Guixà

"The only thing I would ask Txiki if he wants to continue is that he would clearly explain me how and why Henrique and Keirrison have been transferred."

Josep Maria Minguella

"I don't understand why Sandro Rosell goes to Madrid and declares there that we have a catastrophic debt while that's a lie. We have a debt of around 240 millions, which is less than our opponents."

Ferran Soriano

"Barça should not have links with countries that seem to be a dictatorship."

Santiago Salvat

"I am not against the collective sale of the television rights but only if it doesn't hurt our interests."

Sandro Rosell

read more election quotes here

Benedito: "They paid too much for Ibrahimovic"

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito gave an interview to Spanish football site Mercafutbol.

translation: jakob zsambok

Let's go back to the subject of David Villa If you win the elections and he is already signed, what will you do with Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
This will be another problem that will have to be handled by the sports department.

Do you think the criticism he recently received is justified?
I again can only give you my opinion as a fan. I think they paid too much for him, the price of the transfer didn't reflect his market value. Nevertheless I think he can offer a lot more than he has shown so far.

The players who are not subject to criticism are the homegrown players. What plans do you have for the youth academy.
We are talking here about the uniqueness of our club, it's something we have to sustain and to improve. That's why when the time comes we will talk about the sporting structure of the club, but only about some of the issues. About the others, we will first talk to Pep Guardiola.

Will you continue to work with José Ramón Alexanco?
No neither with him, nor with Txiki Begiristain as sports director.

Let's focus on your philosophy. What will be your arguments to convince the members to vote for you?
The assets policy for example. We have a way to look at those things, which is different to the other candidates.We also have different ideas about the relationship with the members. We want Barça to be more involved in the society. We are talking about the stance the institution can take in the fight against inequality in our society. We will be different in the issues of globalization and internationalization. We want to change the way our fans relate to the club. Also about the issues of assets policy, we want to construct a new Palau and rebuild the stadium. All of those things will be handled with the level of excellence a club like ours deserves, with total transparency and our feet on the ground, with common sense and doing things the "catalan" way.

Do you think Sandro Rosell is the favourite to win the elections?
It depends on the area in Barcelona you go to and which newspapers you read. In some of them it seems like Rosell doesn't have a rival. However this perception is contrasted by my experience when talking with the members. My perception in contrast to the estimations is that 80% of the voters are still undecided. I think this election will be a very open one.

Do you think that the "war" between Rosell and the continuity candidacy will benefit you?
The only thing I can tell you is that I would like to have clean elections in which we can talk about our plans with education. I'm only interested in communicating my plans to the members with the same chances as the others. We don't know what the others will do but we certainly won't enter this game because that wouldn't go in hand with the Barça we want.

Do you agree with the appointment of Johan Cruyff as honorary president of Barcelona?
I think if the club makes the decision to have an honorary president for the first time in its 110 years of history, it should be a consensus decision. Therefore we should have had the opportunity to decide, first if we even want an honorary president, and if we want to have one, it should be a person who represents everyone. In any case to erase any doubts we will consult the members about the decision to appoint Cruyff, if the majority is ok with it, I will be too.

Will you continue with Txiki Begiristain and Tito Vilanova?
As I already said before, I won’t continue with Tixi, because I think a new presidency should have a new technical director since it's a post of confidence. About Tito we would have to talk with Pep, but I'm certain that he will want to continue working with him, and therefore he will stay.

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

Read more:
Benedito: "Our secret weapon are the people"
[pictures] Presidential candidates in Paris
Benedito says others have political and media links

interview: elena fernández

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

[video] The remodelling plan of Sandro Rosell

This is the project of the candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell to remodel the Camp Nou and the surroundings of the stadium.

[picture] Ingla and his PlayStation

Barcelona presidential candidate Marc Ingla playing a game of football on PlayStation during a tournament organized at his headquarters.

Rosell to file lawsuit against Ingla

Asked about a corruption case in Brasil he is involved in, Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell has said to journalists before a meeting with Barcelona supporters this evening that he does not want to talk about the issue and that he plans to file a claim against Marc Ingla, who also runs for president:

"Well, we're disppointed. I have not been officially accused. This is slander. This offends my honour so we need to act. Marc Ingla has crossed the line so tomorrow we will take legal action against him. This needs to stop, we demand for a clean campaign.

We should talk about Barça and the projects we have for the club because the member is not interested in all this. I ask all candidates to stop talking about the subject and I certainly will not talk about it anymore from now on."

Asked about the case, Ingla had said this morning in an interview with Catalan television channel TV3 that it seems Rosell had been charged. When the presenter corrected him and said that we were actually so far only in the stage of investigation, Ingla rectified saying that he's not familiar with legal terminology.

This evening, Ingla repeated in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that he used the wrong legal term and apologized for any misunderstandings that this coudl have cause. He also asked that Rosell would give further explanation about the case.

Read more:
Rosell: "Guardiola represents our core values"
There could be up to six electorals debates
Ingla: "We will change the style of government"

[2003] Klaus Toppmöller, the coach of Medina

source: el mundo deportivo, thursday 22 may 2003, page 10

Toppmöller, the coach of Medina

Together with the German, two to four players of his confidence will join, while the candidate is already close to deals with four players

Klaus Toppmöller, who led Bayer Leverkusen to be the runner-up in the Champions League, the league and the cup in 2002, has reached an almost total agreement with Jordi Medina to take place on the bench if the candidate wins the election.

The president of the platform 'A Crit Valent' confirmed yesterday that "on Thursday or Friday, at the latest, I will close the deal with him in Barcelona. We have had several conversations and I have his permission to confirm this".

Medina explained that the German "has other very interesting offers but he already knows our project and he likes it". The candidate added that 'Toppi' "would not come alone. He will bring two to four players he knows". The presidential candidate said that contacts with Toppmöller, the best coach of 2002 in Germany, came after the 'transfer' of Johan Neeskens didn't go through.

check more 2003 election stories

Seven board members continue until 30 June

The resignations of Barcelona vice-presidents Alfons Godall, Jaume Ferrer [picture, on the right], Joan Boix and Albert Perrín, and of Barcelona directors Jordi Torrent, Alfonso Castro, Patrick Auset, Magda Oranich, Josep Ignasi Macià and Xavier Bagués have yesterday been accepted during a meeting of the Barcelona board.

The ten members of the board were forced to resign because they will be officially part of a candidacy in the presidential elections on Sunday 13 June. Apart from Godall, who supports former Barcelona marketing and sports vice-president Marc Ingla, all other directors who left are part of the candidacy of Jaume Ferrer.

A board of seven people will now govern the club until 30 June, with president Joan Laporta sports vice-president Rafael Yuste [picture, on the left], secretary Josep Cubells, treasurer Xavier Sala i Martín, and directors Jacint Borràs, Josep Anton Colomer and Maria Elena Fort staying in office. Sala i Martín is expected to leave the club at the end of this term, while the other six support the candidacy of Jaume Ferrer.

Read more:
Sala i Martin to leave the club in July
Ferrer gets new support from board members
Godall resigns as director ahead of the elections

Ayats: "We have a model and experience"

Carles Ayats, a member of the candidacy of Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer, gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu.

Ferrer uses to say that he wants to continue with the current management model, but changing the style of governing...
Yes, we want a president who appears less in the media, because we believe that the spotlights should be on the players and the coaches.

You announced quite soon that you would take part, but it has not been easy so far. First you disagreed with Laporta, now you have his support, there was the famous spying case... The members could penalize these changes of opinion?
No, Jaume has come out of these events stronger since his leadership has been recognized. He has always managed to deal with the pressure and to stay committed to the club, not like other directors who chose to leave. It was not easy to form a consensus candidacy, and the member will value that.

Ferrer has enough charisma and popularity to win the elections?
Without any doubt. The members surely appreciate the fact that Jaume has been a director since 2003 and that he has not appeared in the media until now. This shows that he has always focused on managing the club well.

But some polls suggest Sandro Rosell is the favorite. Do you believe them?
What I think is that it is clear to the member that to continue winning our project is more secure, because we have a model and the experience of the past years. The polls show a positive trend for Jaume, and we are optimistic.

Which of his virtues would you highlight?
It's a great candidate who has always wanted to be president of Barça. I would highlight his experience, commitment, teamwork, leadership, mental strength at delicate times...

As a member of the current board, Ferrer will certainly be ask for explanations on some of the latest decisions of the board. What do you think about the appointment of Johan Cruyff as honorary president?
We think it's positive, although we also think it should have been done earlier because he already deserved it for a long time.

There's also a lot of talk about pacts. Can you confirm that you won't do it?
We want to get to the final vote alone because we have a strong project. For the moment, we are not considering anything else and if they offer us a pact one day, that should always be with Jaume as leader of the candidacy.

And what would your contribution to the candidacy be?
As an economist and an administrator, I believe I can bring, first of all, a fresh view on things. I am 39 years old, the same as Jaume when he arrived at the club, and I hope to add enthusiasm, ability to think and hard work.

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

Read more:
Ferrer: "Guardiola and Begiristian are untouchable"
Ferrer presenting three new team members
Ferrer wants to personally head social area

interview: dani colmena

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Quotes: Salvat, Ferrer, Ingla, Rosell, Laporta

"We will reduce the price of the season-tickets by 40%."

Santiago Salvat

"Now is the time when the club members are starting to get interested in the candidates and their program."

Jaume Ferrer

"With more than 400 million fans worldwide, Barça is a global feeling."

Marc Ingla

"I'm not against the collective sale of the television right, but only in case it doesn't harm us."

Sandro Rosell

"Sandro Rosell will put in danger the current sports model."

Joan Laporta

read more election quotes here

[picture] Jaume Guixa on patrol

Barcelona presidential candidate Jaume Guixà uses a couple of these cars to collect the signatures of the club members.

There could be up to six electorals debates

Catalan sports paper El 9 Esportiu claims that six radio stations and television channels want to organize a presidential debate ahead of the elections on Sunday 13 June. All of them would want a debate between the actual candidates although some might agree with a debate between the numbers two of each candidacy.

The majority of the candidates would be very willing to take part in the debates, especially Marc Ingla, Jaume Ferrer and Agustí Benedito. Sandro Rosell would on the other hand be reluctant of confirming his presence and has so far only given his approval to the final debate that will be organized by Catalan television channel TV3 on Friday 11 June.

Read more:
Rosell: "Guardiola represents our core values"
Ferrer: "What is working should not be touched"
Ingla: "Barça should be reference of 21st century"

Rosell: "We can't afford to relax now"

Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell gave an interview to Catalan newspaper El Periódico.

translation: archie valparaiso

In the poll published by El Periódico, you achieved a voting-intention figure of 54.8%. What’s your reaction to that?
It's always nice to see that people trust in you and your programme. But you can't afford to relax in the slightest. We've been working for quite some time on creating a solid, rigorous, credible option for running Barça. And with barely three weeks to go, we're not going to let up now.

What's your strategy going to be from now on?
We've drawn up our route map and we're not going to stray from it, however much the opinion polls may be in our favour. As a great painter, Picasso, once said: inspiration exists but it's best if it catches you when you're working. Or, what amounts to the same thing: dreams do exist, but its best if they catch you when you're wide awake.

The ballot papers feature someone called Alexandre Rosell. Is that the same person as Sandro?
Yes, I was very surprised to see that. I'd asked for them to use the name that everyone has always used for me - my mother, my daughters, my father, my friends - which is Sandro Rosell i Feliu. I've always been called that, but "Alexandre" is what it says on my birth certificate. I was surprised, because when I was vice-chairman "Sandro" was what they used on the club's website and the visiting cards they had made for me. I don't know what’s behind it all, but...

Are you worried about any other complications of any kind?
We've all been denied access to the list of voters and only been given the membership numbers without the members' names. We'd like to think that there won't be any funny business, that the president and the electoral board will stay neutral, but things like this are a cause for some concern.

What did you think about Guardiola, in his first message after winning the league, giving his thanks to Laporta?
Soon he's going to be a former president, and it's fine for Guardiola to have made that reference. I really mean that; there's no hidden message.

With team issues no longer in the way, do you expect the electoral campaign to get tougher?
Not from our side, no. Since we started, everyone except Plaza and Guixà have criticised us, saying all sorts of things about us. We're going to carry on in our own way, explaining our programme without bad-mouthing anybody.

Those who have criticised you most are your former fellow directors. Did you really leave such a bad taste in their mouths?
That's true. Ingla, Godall, Vicens and also, to a slightly extent, Ferrer. I don't know why they're doing it. I'm not going to criticise them.

You changed Laporta's "Cruyff, Catalonia, Unicef" to "Members, Catalonia, Solidarity and Youth System"? Is Cruyff the only difference?
No, I wouldn't say that. We're fully aware that that the members are the club's owners and have noticed that they haven't been treated as such, but rather as customers. That's the situation as far as the business model is concerned. Financially, we'll review the actual position, and work to cover the debt without selling off assets. We won’t be going ahead with the Foster [new Camp Nou stadium] project, because we've got another one. Then there's the youth system. We need to do the job that used to be done fifteen years ago by people like Oriol Tort and Rexach, who signed Messi, with the result that seven of the eleven players who won the league title for us have come up through the ranks. We're concerned to ensure that this is really being done, because we'll see the results in fifteen years' time.

You're questioning the work that's being done with the youth players even though it seems to be one of the cornerstones of Barça's current success?
What I'm saying is that we need to review what's being done because it'll be fifteen years before we see its fruits. If there's so much interest, if they keep going on about the youth system, why has the hall of residence been a skeleton for so many years without any progress being made? The young lads are still sleeping in dormitory huts or rented apartments. The completion of those works was budgeted for, but instead of that they've spent 18 million euros on some land in Viladecans that's a swamp.

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

Read more:
Rosell: "Barça is not only about goals and titles"
"Sandro Rosell" not on support slips
Rosell wants to regulate new members

interview: david torras - joan domènech