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14.06.2010 14:41

Rosell: “I’ve arranged to meet Pep very soon”

Jordi Clos

The first actions of president elect Sandro Rosell were to speak with outgoing president Joan Laporta and first team manager Pep Guardiola, as well as confirming the basic principles of his mandate.

Sandro Rosell spoke at a press conference on Monday at his election HQ, the day after his overwhelming victory in the presidential elections: “I said that the first thing I would do is call Pep – but in fact I called the president first and then the manager. Guardiola is going on holiday in three of four days. We’ve arranged to meet before then to discuss next season”.

However, there’s no doubt that Guardiola has the full support of the new president: “I’ll try and get him to stay for the six years of my mandate. I said a long time ago that it would be great if Pep became the Ferguson of Barca, in terms of the length of his contract. But I have to confess that I’d like him to be the Beckenbauer of Barca: player, manager and, one day, president”.

The embrace with Laporta

2010-06-13_ELECCIONES_82.JPGHe also plans to meet shortly with Laporta: “The president has told us he’s available to talk and plan the handover with common sense and prudence, for the good of the Club. We’ve arranged to meet this week”. Without a doubt, one of the images of the Election Night was the embrace between the president and the president elect. However, Rosell has confirmed that he’ll be taking legal action against Laporta on 1st July for earlier statements but emphasized: “I’m convinced that there’ll be a peaceful handover and I believe it’ll be more so than we could have imagined”.

”We’ll also speak to Txiki. First the president, then Pep and finally the executives and employees of the Club. If Begiristain wants to stay, we’ll sit down with him, analyze everything that’s been done and see whether he understands our project. We haven’t got any objection to him continuing. The announcements about the technical and executive structure, as well as the changes, will be explained on 1st July”.

New signings

2010-06-14_SANDRO_03.JPGSandro Rosell, who obtained more votes than any presidential candidate in the history of the Club, also spoke about some of the players he may be bringing to Barca, especially Cesc Fabregas: “If the Club has started negotiations then we’ll help. Legally, we can’t do anything until 1st July. Depending on what’s been said and the interest shown by the coaching staff, we’ll take it forward. This Club never stops. I want the Club to improve every year”. Asked about a rumoured interest in Real Madrid’s Spain international fullback, Sergio Ramos, he assured reporters. “We’ve got Dani Alves, but if Pep were to consider that there is an important player in another club then we would try. But that’s not the way we’re going”.


2010-06-14_SANDRO_04.JPGRosell also took the opportunity to outline the main principles of his mandate: “We want to maintain the standard of sport, unite the Barca family and make it so that when the 18 Board members walk along the street, people say we’re just normal people. I’d like to see the various interest groups disappear. They don’t make sense. This is Barca and there’s room for all of us. Laporta, Cruyff, Núñez, Kubala, Suárez..., we’re all Barca”. He hopes to be in contact with Cruyff shortly: “The president of honour is in South Africa. I haven’t got his phone number but after speaking to Laporta maybe I should speak with him. We’ll do it”.

Mr Rosell’s speech was interrupted many times by applause – in particular when he referred to the club’s former legends. “We have to learn to love our ex players much more. The Club has to make a bigger effort. We’re here to unite, not to separate”.

Basic principles

2010-06-14_SANDRO_11.jpgThe president elect confessed that he hoped to apply a spirit of reconciliation – “the Mandela spirit” – and emphasized: “The Catalan nature of the Club is undeniable and permanent. But it can’t be mixed up with politics”. He was equally forceful about his footballing philosophy. “Neither is the style of football negotiable. If Pep leaves one day, his replacement has to have a similar style. It’s already part of the Club’s culture”. Finally, he announced: “There’ll be no Barca Park. What is Barca Park in Viladecans (near Barcelona) will be the Barca Space in Les Corts”.
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB).
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB).

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Joy and excitement
Less than 12 hours after achieving his dream of becoming president of FC Barcelona, the memory of the first reactions of his children and parents to the news brought tears to the eyes of the new president elect. Mr Rosell told us: “It’s been hugely joyful and exciting. I hope this feeling lasts us for six years”.

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