President Sandro Rosell has asked for discretion regarding possible new signings. Looking back at the season, he highlighted the 5-0 win over Madrid, the triumph at Wembley and the recovery of Abidal.
After making his institutional statement, Sandro Rosell turned to sporting issues. “It is an
honour to be president of the club. Especially now, after the most titles ever in a year in club
history.” Asked what he’ll remember most, Rosell said “the 5-0 win over Madrid
that was seen around the world, the win at Wembley, because it was our fourth European Cup, and
when Abidal played again at the Camp Nou”.
He also said that the hardest decision was that to sell Ibrahimovic. “It was very
difficult, but I don’t doubt that it was a great decision.” As for self-criticism, he
remarked that “the pending issue is probably improving communication. We’ll work on it.
We have done a lot of things until now but perhaps we should have spent more time explaining them
… I also made a big mistake by holding a charity sweepstake”.
But the pressmen were hungry for information about potential new inclusions in the
first teams. “It is not in our interest to talk too much about signings” he insisted,
but despite calls for discretion, he could not prevent the name of Cesc Fabregas coming up yet
again. “Who wouldn’t want to come to Barça? I suppose Cesc wants to, like most people,
but I don’t what’ll happen. If he is interested, then we will act rationally. We
aren’t going to go pushing the boat out too far.” In his opinion, the Arsenal
midfielder is worth “less than 40 million.”
As for how much the club might spend on new players, Rosell said “the ideal thing would
be too observe the business plan, which is to put aside 45 million a year plus sales. If
that’s not enough to give the coaches what they want, we can advance some of the money
budgeted for the following year”. He also insisted that the young players groomed at La Masia
will only leave “on loan or with an option to repurchase”.
Austerity and competitiveness
He also spoke about the adjustments to the budget to be invested in other sports teams.
“Their competitiveness will not be affected” he said. “Prices are only rising in
football, in the elite, because of the influence of teams like Chelsea and Manchester City. There
is deflation in other sports and we know that through good management we can build teams that are
just as, if not more, competitive on a lower budget. Because our competitors will have to reduce
their budgets even more”.
“We had a debt of 532 million and the fiscal year will close with one of 483. Reducing
the debt by 50 million and still producing sporting excellence is not easy. We have shown that you
can be austere and still be very competitive” he said with pride, and thanked his directors
for helping to do that. “Our work will involve thinking about the club in general, and it is
already in a better state than how we found it. And we will do that through decisions that the
people won’t always understand”.