This is a summary of the blog FC Barcelona 2010 where you can follow the build-up to the elections on a daily basis. The blog can also be followed through facebook and twitter. You can click on the links to read the full story. You can also read previous episodes of this weekly here.
Signature campaign kicks off
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.
Godall quits post
Alfons Godall, who is part of the candidacy of Marc Ingla, has resigned from the board, and other club directors who have announced their intention to participate in the June 13 elections are expected to follow suit.
According to the club statutes, club directors who would be fielding candidacies would have to leave their positions a few weeks after elections are officially called.
Club treasurer Xavier Sala i Martin has announced he will not be taking part in any candidacy and would be leaving the club when the term of Barcelona president Joan Laporta ends on June 30.
Sports director Txiki Begiristain admits that while he is challenged by the prospect of building a new squad, his future ultimately depends on the new president.
Barcelona honorary president Johan Cruyff has repeated that he will not support any candidate and will stay out of the electoral debate out of respect for his new position.
Ingla wants global youth academy
Presidential candidate Marc Ingla plans to set up youth academies around the world in order to expand Barcelona’s pool of players and to guarantee that the future squad would have 75% of its members coming up the ranks.
The former Barcelona sports and marketing director also wants to change the management style at the club, claiming that both Laporta and fellow candidate Sandro Rosell are “impulsive people who like to be the star”, and that the club should be more participatory: “The board should have more common sense than ever and put the interests of the club before the ideologies of the directors.”
Ingla has also denied claims he wanted to sign Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho to replace then Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, and that he opposed the plan to get Unicef as a shirt sponsor, insisting it was his job as sports and marketing vice-president to present all the options to his board colleagues in order for them to make an informed decision.
In one campaign initiative organized by his team, Ingla took part in a fun run held in the surroundings of Camp Nou before the league match between Barcelona and Real Valladolid.
Ingla’s board team member and former Barcelona economic vice-president Ferran Soriano travelled to Brazil for a book launch and to talk about Ingla’s candidacy with the local Barcelona fan club.
Rosell to regulate club members
Presidential candidate Sandro Rosell, who last week presented his official campaign logo and slogan “Tots Som Barca” (We are all Barca), has clarified that he does not want to limit the members as previously reported in the media. Rosell claims he only wants to regulate the entry of new members in order to keep the identity of the club.
The former Barcelona sports vice-president also admits that while he is pleased with the sporting successes of the club, he is far from happy about the social and economic areas, claiming that “Barca is not only about the goals, victories and titles”.
He praised Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola for representing the core values of the club and promised he would not interfere in the sports area, clarifying earlier statements that he would veto proposals from the coaching staff if he does not agree with it.
Rosell also said he wants Guardiola to stay and would offer him a six-year contract which in effect would make him co-terminous with the president’s term of office.
Rosell’s candidacy is reportedly being supported by former Barcelona president Josep Lluis Núñez.
Benedito, Guixa claim election motives behind Villa signing
Candidates Agusti Benedito and Jaume Guixa believe that the club signed Valencia striker David Villa not for sporting but electoral reasons.
Benedito claims that Villa’s transfer will not influence the vote and that the club members will not likely evaluate the performance of the current board on the basis of “a new transfer in the last hour”.
He also criticised a Catalan paper for suppressing the results of a poll showing he received 11% of the votes and instead publishing one where he garnered less than 2% of the polled votes.
Guixa on his part maintains that while other candidates can get themselves elected any way they choose, he prefers not to destabilize the team by promising any star signing.
Salvat promises remodelled Camp Nou, Plaza wants Alexanko
Presidential candidate Santiago Salvat wants to add 19,000 more seats in the Camp Nou and proposes a remodeling plan that would be carried out by architect Joan Pau Mitjans, son of Francesc Mitjans who designed the original Camp Nou stadium.
Candidate Alexis Plaza, who insists that “none of the candidates can claim the successes of the team”, has claimed he would offer youth team director Jose Ramon Alexanko the post of sports director of the first team if current director Begiristain decides to leave.
Quote of the week:
The Boixos Nois had a more violent faction and one that wasn’t violent. Not all Boixos Nois were what the people thought. There are good Boixos Nois who love the club and who support the club in the stadium, and who are now part of other groups. We will unite all the non-violent animation groups in one part of the stadium.
- Sandro Rosell, Barcelona presidential candidate