Saturday 22 April 2017


We have forgotten everything. Everything that made Barça great, as a team, as a Club, as an entity, has disappeared. And if there is anything left, it is hidden in some drawer, as if we were ashamed to show it.
They have forgotten the famous "values". A Club that helped as it did to the Brazilian Chapecoense after its accident, a Club, where the U-13 team goes around the world with wonderful images after winning a Japanese team or, a Club that was showing off UNICEF on the chest and was paying!!! to do so, can not fail to not return the ball after the opponent sends it out to attend an injured player, further if he was wasting time or anything else. The image, by itself, is not pretty. Or, it can not be that a team of our Academy, in one of these tournaments that are played now at Easter, make the kick-off when the opponent is celebrating a goal. It is possible that the boys are not aware of what is going on, however, the referee does not have to give permission for the kick-off, and the team leaders have to tell the children to stop and wait for the opponents.
And, with that, we have forgotten grassroots. The social networks of the Club only talk about wins of U-11, U-15 or U-19, while at the first team there is no player arriving from the lower ranks since many years ago. The last was Sergi Roberto, who debuted with Guardiola. Rafinha was loaned and, if it is not because the coach is Luis Enrique, who had him at Celta, I doubt he would have returned. Thiago, Bartra, Onana, Bellerin, Deulofeu, Adama, Grimaldo, Samper or Munir are not here. For one reason or another. Some have been sold (better or worse), others have been shown where the exit door was, and others are on loan. Surely, more than one of these, or many, would serve perfectly to do the work that others, who cost than 150M€ in transfers, do not know, can not do, or, do not want to do. Not to mention the B. But if they are leading the 2ndB and they have quite well to be promoted to 2ndA, you will tell me! True, but 2/3 of his players have not even come through the Youth, with all that this implies. And I doubt the vast majority will continue in the team if it is promoted. So, what is the aim?
And, having forgotten grassroots, we have forgotten the "model", the one of playing. The one everyone in the football world applauded and admired. The one that was the envy of all. Now we play something different. "Evolution," they call it. But, so much evolution that, in the end, does not resemble it at all. Hey! However, we have possession! We have what??? They have not understood anything. Absolutely nothing about how Barça plays. And, now they tell us that we have to bring players with muscle for the midfield, that Xavi and Iniesta does not serve, that Mascherano and not Busquets should be the central midfielder, that this is "modern" football. I insist. Nothing. About nothing. And, when Luis Enrique uses 1-3-4-3 as a system, they tell us it is what Cruyff was doing. No idea, listen. No idea. Because Cruyff did not play with 3 center back (or Lopez Rekarte, Ferrer, Sergi and Juan Carlos were CB???). The Barça of Cruyff (and the one of Guardiola when it used this system), had width with the full-backs and width with the wingers. So, 4. This one, only 2. There was Koeman alone (perhaps with Nando or Nadal). Here we have Mascherano-Piqué-Umtiti (or Piqué-Umtiti-Mathieu... it doesn’t matter). There, Bakero played with his back to the goal. Here, Messi, when playing in this position, does so to receive and play up. Txiki or Goiko were wingers, wingers. Do we have any of these now? It's the same... Come on, man, come on!
And, we have forgotten that Barça can not be al the day in the courts. The signing of Neymar, the FIFA case, the land of Gavà-Viladecans, the "estelades" ... and now the appeal for the sanction against Neymar before tomorrow's match against Madrid. I am clear that it is not acted the same against Barça as against others. No doubt. But, that the level of incompetence of the Directors and Legal Services (or other contracted lawyers) is stratospheric, I still have less doubt. One thing is very clear. The Laws have been skipped. Further that from Madrid, Nyon or Zurich they push more here than to other sides, the truth is that they have not given us the reason in anything. This, when appeals have been sent late or with defects. Remember the Cup Final in Madrid, where they wanted to ban the estelades. The appeal of the Club was not admitted, because it was not signed by the one who has to (it was the Club and, it had to be a private, if I have no misunderstanding). With the case of Neymar (that seems that it is not yet finished), at the moment the Club is convicted. Yes, we are criminals. The same ones (Rosell and Bartomeu), who continue to repeat that "we would do everything the same" are those who say "they want to condemn us for a crime committed by the Club." For the Club! Not them! You have to be a real shamelessness to say so. All this without talking about the Directors who, for one reason or another, with a constant drip, appear in newspapers (in some newspapers, because others..., better not to talk), TV, etc.,with different problems with justice because their business activities. And this can not be. One thing is bad management and, another, to be a criminal offender. This is Barça and, like Caesar's wife, if it is not honest, at least it should look like it is.
And, with all this, and more, we have forgotten that we are "Més que un Club". Now we are "More than a Club". In fact, it should not surprise us too much. The official website of the Club is in English (.com), as well as social networks like Twitter (the @FCBarcelona account is in English, while _cat, _se, _jp,... are the associated accounts), in case someone did not know it. We are so international that there are “socis” in Colombia, the United States, Switzerland, Russia, China, Japan, Senegal..., that they have to take a plane if they want to vote the day of  Elections, because, in a world so technological and other, it turns out that you can not yet vote electronically. Because we have also forgotten the soci. Or, maybe what does not matter is the soci. Because the soci complains when things are not going well. And, if you have a Camp Nou with a majority of tourists, these do not come to complain. Although a sandwich full of fat and a drink costs you 9 or 10€. A Camp Nou which, by the way, should be reformed. I've said it more than once. Compared to the new stadiums in Europe, we are light years away from those. But there is not a cent in the cash. And, Barça, who has never been a seller club, must sell (better or worst), players to equilibrate the accounts. Because, in addition, a Project that was going to cost 600M€, already woit will cost 630M€ before doing anything. But, we are a global club and therefore we are "More than a Club". And everybody is happy.
We have forgotten so many things that the list is endless. Even what the shirt is. And now, we put horizontal stripes or, we do not know how many vertical stripes..., marketing, they call it, globalization... And, in the meantime, the shirt with the senyera (the one they said it would ALWAYS be), has disappeared. They have also forgotten it.

Jordi Pascual

You can follow me on twitter: @JordiPascualP

Friday 21 October 2016


Last Wednesday I watched Barça-City (U-19). Beyond confirming that the Barca youth also wants to play as the 1st team (without wingers, a less constructive play in midfield, etc.), one of the things that caught my attention was the fact of watching many mistakes of tactical kind in our team.
Thursday, via twitter, sirocco_10 was telling us as that a scout of Villarreal was explaining him the change of mentality that there is in many big clubs with respect to youth football. For you to have an idea, those who do not know too much how this goes on, remember that, in general, grassroots football develops in 4 stages: iInitiation (up to 12 years approximately), Development (16 years), Performance (19 years), Competition (21). What is it happening? Very simple: the big clubs are focusing more on Performance and Competition (both, at training level and at scouting and recruitment level), than in Initiation and Development.
And that is bad. Very bad. For football in general, but particularly for Barça even more. By all the famous "model,  and its implementation, means.
I'll explain. The last 25 years (since the arrival of Cruyff to Barça’s bench, although this doesn’t like to many), Barça has developed a special model of training and playing. Not unique (at the end of the day, Cruyff took it from Ajax and mixed it with the things that Laureano Ruiz was doing), but so well implemented that it has led us where it had led us (League, Champions League, National Teams... ), and that it has deserved the unanimous recognition worldwide (football and non-football).
The problem is that the "model" was more than a form or style of playing football. The "model" contained all the Principles of Football (I wrote about it a few years ago on the magazine of Martí Perarnau). If there’s anything good at the Coaches Courses of the RFEF is that they establish Principles (Offensive and Defensive), that I have not seen in any other country. In fact, in many countries, according to who you talk, some will say that the Principles are one or the other.
This means that any boy who had gone through the Barca youth football knew the "game", the "what", but also the "how" or "why" of a given situation on the pitch Not now. And this "not now," includes the pause and the delay. The pressure, the possession, the width, the 1-4-3-3 can be used in many ways to play, however, pause and patience are linked unequivocally to positional play. And, pause and patience allow to have lines together, allow unmark support (the "3rd man", " the free man"), allow to close the pitch correctly and allow much more.
All this, however, is no longer. And it is not that you don’t see it with the 1st team. It is not seen at Barca B, neither at U-19. But it has its logic. Beyond that grassroots teams should play as “seniors" do, the fact is that the vast majority of players at B (17, I think they are), they have not played for U-19 and many of the U-19 are not trained at home. And, they do not know the positional play; however, it seems that many do not know neither the Principles we spoke earlier. And, the coaches (Gerard and Gabri), it seems that neither or, at least, it seems they do not care whether they are applied or not. And instead of teaching (Professional Formative Football, it’s called now B and U-19, but still "formative", right?), they want to win at any cost.
But there is more. Until now, they were looking for, particularly for grassroots, skilled players who could play the ball, able to run with it, pass, dribble ... Not now. Now bigger and stronger players are searched. And they tell us that Rakitic replaces Xavi, or Andre Gomes or Denis Suarez replacing Iniesta. Or, if Busquets is not playing, Mascherano can do it easily. And they are so calm. As if it was the same! As if there is any relation between a dribbling of Messi or Iniesta with one of Rakitic or André Gomes. No. No relation. The firsts dribble because their quality. The latters, because their strength. Make no mistake.
And it’s also said that, of course, you have to play with the players you have. The coach must adapt to the characteristics of their players. I think it's great, but, all these players have come because Luis Enrique, don’t’ they??? And those who have come for the B, to do something similar, is it a Gerard Lopez thing, right?? Or is there someone who believes that coaches have no say in making the squad??? And the respective Technical Secretaries (Robert Fernandez, Pep Segura) seek what they want or do they follow the ideas of the coach? And all this is done following the guidelines given by the Board, because, of course, do not forget that the boss is the Board. And they are the ones who decide what "model" the Club has to follow. They are, nobody else.
But, about the Board and I’ll talk another day, if that. Let’s go back to our "positional play". They tell us that grassroots (Amateur Formative Football, until 17 years, as said at the beginning with Initiation and Development), continues to work in the same way as before. I really doubt it. But it is that, besides hesitation, it is an inconsistency. That is, until 16-17 years we teach them one thing. From here on, a very different one. And all this, while we are taking kids from outside for the B and the U-19 who are not trained in positional playing.
But, what about the coaches?? Until recently, the majority of coaches in grassroots football were people who had spent many years in the house or were former players who knew the model. For one reason or another, many of these are no longer and those who have returned have done with other ideas. It is somewhat sad that coaches trained in the club go around explaining the model and, when they come back, they do not apply it. It is what it is. It is said that, in the not too distant future, Xavi could be the ideal coach for Barça. I do not doubt it. Now, I doubt that he comes with this Board and I doubt, even more, if he can apply positional playing with everything I have said so far. And if not, look at the difficulties of Guardiola to apply it, first at Bayern and, now at City.
I have no doubt that Barça will continue to win competitions, even when Messi leaves. We will play in a different way, with players that will be different and, with a majority of outside players. But we will win, for sure. At the end of the day, the vast majority of “socis” and supporters only care about winning at any cost.
Now, "that" that dazzled the world and many have not yet learned that it is NOT called "tiki-taka" and it is called "positional play", take off the illusion. It will take years to see it again. If we see it again.

Jordi Pascual
You can follow me on twitter: @JordiPascualP

Saturday 30 July 2016


Barca economic Vice President, Susana Monje, presented the economic balance of the 2015-2016 season. Before going on, let me make a couple of considerations.
The first is, Mrs. Monje, that the fact that the judge has concluded that the famous 40M€ paid to N&N for the transfer of Neymar to Barca are salary and no transfer, does not mean that this transfer has cost 19,3M€. At "accounting" level it will be reflected in this way in the books, sure. But the reality is that, between one thing and another, the transfer (not counting the "real" wage the contract says), is around 100M€. That we are not experts in Economics does not mean we do not know about addition and subtraction.
The second consideration is that, according to the same Mrs. Monje, the accounts have been audited, as established by law and that, for the sixth consecutive year the accounts have been validated without any annotation. Perfect. Or not. If auditors are the same who said they were 40M€ transfer and, it turns out they are not, I would not be too quiet. Let us not forget that the Club has come to recognize two tax crimes, while the same authors (who signed the agreements, Mr. Rosell and Mr. Bartomeu), have come free of any charge. And it was audited. Not to joke about it.
Let the numbers as such. As starting point, when you see the big numbers, you can’t say anything but: AMAZING! They had budgeted income 633M€, against 598,5M€ spending, with a profit (before tax) of 34.5M€. The results were:
Income:                      679M€            (+46M€)
Expenses:                 630M€            (+31.5M€)
Benefit:                       49M€            (+14.5M€)

Moreover, debt has been reduced from 328M€ to 271M€, i.e. 57M€. Another great news in terms of numbers:

Now, let's analyze where these data come from, and we’ll see that the situation, although economically it seems more than good, at productive level perhaps it is not so.
The first thing is that the club received a bonus of 24M€ from Nike and sold players (Pedro+Bartra+Adama), for a total of 48M€. That is, as such, we have only achieved revenues of 607M€. When it comes to reaching 1,000M€ in 2021, it seems to be quite difficult if there is no ability to generate more revenue out of extraordinary circumstances. Because there is something we can’t forget: the great clubs are players-buyers, not sellers. Clubs of medium/small size include in their budgets the sale of one or two players to have a balanced numbers. The large, don’t. And at Barca, heading fastest growing in terms of revenue is sales of players and, marketing (new sponsors), not selling products.

What does this mean? Well, I understand that this means that the economic model that we have is not useful anymore. If you look at the "Stadium" section, you will see that increases 9M€ over the previous year. A game like Spanish Super Cup (paying for socis now), can allow to enter 4-5M€. There is a clear stagnation. I repeat: for an economist, what matters is the total amount, but for those who have to get the money means something is not done well.
Let's go to debt. 57M€ less. But, if there is no the sales we have said before, you can’t reduce debt. We are back in the same place. Since there is no normal increase in revenue, the only way is the extraordinary one. And, of course, it’s not every year that extra millions will come from a sponsor or we’ll sell enough players to fix the situation.
Think, on the other hand, that more sponsors mean fewer tickets to sell ... or less socis in the Stadium. As the agreements are "confidential", we don’t know what the sponsors have in exchange, but everywhere, one of the things they receive are obviously match tickets. The more sponsors, the more tickets you have to give, obviously. And the Estadi has a limited capacity. Therefore, if we add sponsors, we will have to stop selling tickets or, when there are socis who leave the Club, these seats will not go to socis who are on the waiting list. They have not said the number of season-holders tickets. Last year it was 84,000. We'll see how many are this year or next year.
We go to a third point. The payroll. The budget was 419M€ meaning 66% of revenues. The reality tells us it is 435M€, representing 69%; if winning the League and Cup is not included in the budget, we have a problem. A problem aggravated when the amounts paid in bonuses to players exceed the bonuses we receive from sponsors and others. Somewhere the accounts have been done too lightly, without calculating all circumstances. And this year, unfortunately, we didn’t win the Champions League, which always represents an expense that makes all the economy stagger the club. It can’t be.
To all this we have to add the issue of "Grand Sponsor": 35M€ (5%¡¡ of the Budget), for a Board that shows off Trident, Triplet and I don’t know what else. 35M€ for a shirt that wear the world's best player by far, the one that should be his replacement and the best striker in the world. When you see all this, it is clear that, at commercial and image level, things aren’t well done. All this, when you're considered one of the most valuable Clubs in the world (it matters little whether first or second, because the criteria used can have many variables, the fact is you are up there). Me, I'm sorry, but I do not understand any of this. Or they are very bad selling the club or I don’t know what to think.
In short: the financial situation of the club looks very good -although still they have not explained why it was that Nolito (18M€) could not come in January, but we have now these figures of income and profits-, but, on the other hand, the business situation it is stagnant, without solutions to increase revenue, either by way of further exploitation of what is done now, either by way of new activities to do. In the short term they can give us good results and the accounts can be good. Once everything is sold, what will they do?
Club sports model have been already burst. Now, it seems they will do the same with the economic model. Selling players to have benefits is sending us away, every day, of being "More than a Club" and brings us closer, increasingly, to be "One more Club".
Jordi Pascual

You can follow me on twitter: @JordiPascualP

Monday 16 May 2016


Sunday ended the regular season in 2nd B Division. From this weekend we will have the playoffs for promotion to 2nd A Division. Barca B will not be there. And, when things have a bad starting, it’s normal to end badly.
The elections to the Presidency of Barça took two very significant changes at the level of the sport structure that affects B team. On one hand, García Pimienta, who had done all the planning together with Roura, found that, overnight, they put Gerard Lopez above him, as 1st coach. On the other hand, the sports organization changed: the club was splitted into 3 parts (4 with Women's Football): Professional Football (1st team), Formative Professional Football (Barça B, Juvenil A (U-19) and B (U-18)), and Amateur Formative Football (Cadete A (U-16) to Prebenjamines (U-8)). The EscolesFCB are outside and are part of Marketing Area (what do you want I say?).
Each of these parts has a Technical Secretary and still we have the ​​Scouting Area and the Methodology Area (which in principle are transverse)
Is this you see here above.
The first problem is that each Technical Secretary seems to do what he wants. They call it Technical Secretary, but it seems rather a Technical Director. That is, marking the lines to follow in terms of the way of working, playing, etc. With all that it has as consequences. Roura does one thing, say classic "model". Robert Fernandez is only for the first team, looking for players around the world to enable keep winning, increasingly "as is."
We have the Formative Professional Football. The Technical Secretary is Pep Segura. They sold it as the intermediate step between "grassroots" and "professional football" as it was neither one nor the other. And indeed, when you're in no man's land, you end up not knowing where you are and the results are what they are. Juveni B is the only one, with one game to finish the league, can win. The Juvenil A has finished 4th at 19!! points behind the 1st, with no option to play the Champions League (both, Spanish and European), or the Cup. And, the B...
Barca B. After the disappointing season 2014-15 where the team dropped from 2ªA to 2ªB (although for some Directors that was not problematic or bad) with coaching change in mid-season (Vinyals instead of Eusebio) and, speeches here or there saying if players this or that (incidentally, quite players had been in the Juvenil A with Vinyals, so if not adequate behaviours were detected and nothing was done to correct it...), the 2016 season began with a coach appeared at the last minute with some players signed who could not play for the famous "FIFA Case" and the desire to come back to 2ªA quickly. The reality was very different. At the end of the year the team was in position for the relegation to 3rd Division. Excuses were everywhere ("they are very young," "no experience", "the FIFA case"...) and when the winter market came there was a revolution. A lot of new players (7?, 8?, 9?... I do not remember), which also meant a lot of players released.
In summer they had gone some as Adama; others, like Deulofeu, still running around Europe and it seems with no return. The latter case seems pretty clear: Quality, indisputable. The character, too. And I wonder, with so many coaches, assistants, psychologists, etc. that we have in the club, no one has sat a couple of hours with this kid to see what happens? And I ask the question from complete ignorance. I have no idea if this has happened or not.
Other players left because, by contract, should be promoted to the first team. Amazing!!! The top of incompetence. Having in a formation team players that are promoted by contract and not because the quality. And, of course, there wasn’t room for them at the 1st team. And therefore...
We continue. Two names: Grimaldo and Robert Gonçalves. The first seems not very "friend" of Luis Enrique and this does not want it for the 1st team. Until here, it’s perfect. Now, if the club believes it is a player with a future, why not to loan him and we'll see in a while? Well, no. Sold. No option for buy-back. The second, a player who came on loan from Fluminense of Brazil and sold to us as the new... Neymar! He came to "cost 0" (this was told to us), with a buying option this summer for 7M€. First, if he was overweight; then we know nothing more. The truth is that it has played in the league, exactly the same as its price: 0 minutes. And what is worse, without any explanation.
Now, it seems that for next year, a new revolution for B is prepared, with the aim of being promoted to 2ªA. It sounds good to me... or maybe not. The aim of B is to prepare players to be promoted to the 1st team. The higher the B is, more competitive and therefore better for the players. So far, the theory is fantastic. The problem is putting it into practice. There have been games where only 2 B players were coming from La Masia. 2!! Is this Barca B?????? Is this a formation team ???? If I was told that next year there will be 4 or 5 of these "new" in the 1st team, although I could understand, however, it seems that this will not be the case.
This revolution also seems to be aimed to find/sign other kind of players: now we have to look more "physical" players. This is, Roura continues working, as we have said, "the model" but when they reach 17, only the bigger and the stronger will continue. Is that, isn’t it? That is, as I said before three "Technical Secretaries", each one making the war on their own, with no one, at Executive Technical level, marking the line of the Club. We go like this.
Why do we want a "Formative Amateur Football" full of quality players if, when they reach the Juvenil B, w will not want them for being small? Why do we want Juveniles and a B if, hardly, they will not contribute with player for the first team? And, to contribute means players who can compete with those who are playing. Having 20 minutes in a cup game against 2ªB team...
Zubizarreta said one day, when he was still the Technical Director: "If we don’t find out what we want, we will have to look for it at home." Translation: the priority of B is NOT the formation for the first team. The priority of B is... I cannot see it.
By the way, it seems that Samper is one of those players who, as he has no "physical aspect", it is quite difficult for him to stay at the 1st team. Nothing more to say.
Jordi Pascual

You can follow me on twitter: @JordiPascualP

Wednesday 23 December 2015


Some notes and comments about the Blaugrana present:
1. Messi is the best. No doubt. He can play walking, he can run or he can do whatever he wants to. When he has to be, he is. And, while he is, we will win titles. Then... we'll see.
2. The way to play Luis Enrique seems increasingly "it". Interestingly, the more we resemble "that", the more important have become players like Busquets who some wanted to send to the bench and put in his place Mascherano. As if they were the same. As if a change of stamps.
3. In this line, the model was changed (it was not evolution, it was change, for sure) to come back, now, as close as possible to the model. The worst thing is we do not know if the model is for the Club or for the team.
4. Iniesta (84), Pique (87), Messi (87) and Busquets (88), were already when the FIFA Club World Cup 2009. Thiago (91) and Sergi Roberto (92), should be next. The first is gone. The second, is not yet consolidated. Danger.
5. If in January we should bring 5 or 6 players to save the "B" (playing in 2nd B, do not forget, after relegation last year), it means that something is being done badly. B's mission is to serve to prepare the players for the 1st team.
6. So many players coming and going from the "B" also means that something is not well done at the level of planning and scouting. The "B" players should get there to go to the 1st team, not for commercial transactions.
7. It is great that the Technical Secretariat goes up and down and tries to have as much information about players worldwide. The problem is that we have gone from "What we do not find at home, we’ll go to look for it out" to "What we do not find out, we're going to look for it at home."
8. The Club is in "excellent economic situation", but we can not sign in January, because we would not be on-line with EBITDA and new elections should be called. In other words, maybe we are not so well.
9. It seems that the only way for the club's new revenues is through agreements with sponsors. Agreements that we do not know what they really mean for the soci. What do we give in return? We're not told. They talk about "confidentiality clauses". Given that everything had to be done with "transparency"...
10. All this, with a reform of the Stadium that still we do not know if we have permission from City Hall and the Generalitat or, either, how it will be funded. Remember that 200M€ were coming from downgrading the debt from 400 to 200M€ to borrow again. Today, the debt is more than 300M €. Complicated. Very complicated.
11. The Club continues at the courts (and losing lawsuits). The latter, with bills paid for a work not done. In any normal place this should make those responsible resign. Here...
12. We all know that guilty ones are Jordi Casas and the "black hand". Interestingly, judges (both civil and sports), say the opposite. Why is that way.
13. Do not turn around more. The team holds the Club. The day the team stops winning (and we've seen this year after Anoeta), the situation will be untenable. Those who know me know that I do not want the team to lose never. Neither the team, nor the Club, deserve the officials we have. I know there have been elections and Bartomeu won clearl. No doubt. But, that there are many socis who vote based on whether the ball goes in or not, it is also very clear. And, the same that voted Bartomeu now, will ask for his resignation as soon the team loses two games in a row. And back to point 1. Will be able Neymar (beyond the 57,1M€ or whatever), to do what has made the Argentine when this one is gone? And, it is not about a couple of months, as he did recently because the injury of Messi. It is doing so one year, yes, and next year, also.
And 14. The "repoker" this year has only one point of comparison with the sextet or the Champions League in Paris. And it is that we have been for 10 years at the top of world football. No one had ever been so long up there. And it has to continue, because otherwise...
Anyway, only to wish Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
Jordi Pascual

You can follow me on twitter: @JordiPascualP

Saturday 25 July 2015


Finally, we have had elections at Barça. Bartomeu has clearly won and will be President the next 6 years (in theory, we all know how this Club goes...)
As there have been many analyzes of these elections, I do not think we have another matter. So, here it is.
BARTOMEU: The triplet and trident. The triplet and trident. And everything works fine. And, what does not work, it is the fault of others. This and the support of a press unworthy of the name (with exceptions), which has hidden to all the socis the "bad" issues, has had enough to win. He has not presented any program (go to his website and see if you can find it), and neither it has been necessary. He asked for fair play in January, when he said that elections would be at the end the season but he and the members of his Board have been traveling up and down since then on behalf of the "events of the Club". He dind't want to go to any debate with the other candidates, except the obligatory on TV3, which is the essence of democracy. But, he is chosen by a majority of socis and, if they think the Club has to be this, it is their decision. We will have enough time to check if this Club becomes just a football team.
LAPORTA: I think he was wrong on both the timing and strategy. He said he was running for elections at the last minute and thought it was because he had to and not because he really believed in it. Nor did he present any particular program (also, go to his website), but a good number of names, really, quite exciting. Program as such was "we did so and will do so if we win." It seemed the student who leaves everything to the last day trusting his memory, and it fails him in the final exam. While on stage he is the best of all by far, the day of the debate was at a low level, without getting virtually the melee with Bartomeu (and it is very clear that Laporta is much better in this regard). If he wants to continue in the race, I think he has to do a deep self-criticism and start working from scratch.
BENEDITO: Got 8000 votes in 2010 and now 3000. Does this mean that people have no trust on him or he has done a bad campaign? Surely not, but Laporta was not in 2010 and had no clear replacement within his group and, now he was. It is quite possible that, sociologically, voters of one and another are very close, though, defended Club models are quite different. He presented his "100 proposals" as a program and many of them, really, really interesting. It has been five years breaking stones going across the country. As a worker, I do not think anyone can say anything. However, as I said once, I think he lacks something to be a media and charismatic leader. I doubt that, after two consecutive defeats, can present something more exciting for the future. We'll see.
FREIXA: A very well presented program (go to the web, like everyone else). A group of well known names by the fans, together with another group of "football workers" unknown to most of the general public. However, I said from the beginning that his credibility, to me, was nil. He has been 5 years in the Board and now he criticizes left and right. "Everything they did was wrong, the Board members had no information ..." I ask: Why did he not leave, if it was like that? If one day he is able to explain it (I doubt), he could be an interesting candidate.
BATISTE: I respect everyone's ideas, however, I can't come to understand that a group that only appeared with the idea of ​​having the famous "animation stand" and to get affordable prices for travel to matches, has been about to be a candidate. Or maybe that's what really matters to the soci. The team wins, no matter how, and that we can go to watch it wherever in Europe.
FARRE And, following the above reasoning, he was much more far from being a candidate. And, in contrast, he had a very interesting program. Even a sponsor to put more money than Qatar Airways! The upside for me is that, now that he knows how it works and what to do, can be a very interesting candidate for forthcoming elections.
MAJO: Beyond the idea, pretty well explained of the electronic voting, I do not buy anything. Majó is the person who said "Messi, best mum" when the Faus-Messi affaire ("that man", remember?). As Benedito, he has already been (and lost) more than one  elections, which does not make him for the future.
FONT: His name was mentioned as a possible candidate for many weeks and finally decided, due to time constraints, not to show and prepare the next elections. We'll see what happens.
MANAGING BOARD: They weren't a candidate, but it seemed. They bought, sold and loaned players during the election period, going far beyond what the statutes say, with the excuse of "The coach demanded it." Unacceptable for a club like Barca.
Personally, it has made me very happy to see how many of the ideas that have been put in this blog in recent months about the "Model of Club" and other stuff, have appeared in many of the programs of the candidates. I do not mean (which could also be), that some of them have been copied. To the contrary, what makes me happy is to see that, someone unknown like me is not so far, in concept of Club and way of doing things, of these that have been present at the elections. Also, you know I was in the group "Origen" which got to submit a program and finally decided not to run the call of the elecions. Right now, I do not know if we will try to participate in the next one.
I know that some candidates will read this and some will not. Some will like it and some will not. It is what it is. In any case, this game is over and now it begins a new one. We'll see what happens!
Jordi Pascual

You can follow me on twitter: @JordiPascualP

Wednesday 24 June 2015


I wanted to write about the elections and the pre-candidates. In fact, I had it prepared fifty-fifty. However, what I have read of Josep Maria Bartomeu about the "Espai Barça" has made me change my mind. According to the pre-candidate and former unelected president (but legitimate), if his candidacy doesn't win, it is unlikely that this reform is made. Let's see:
1) The reform approved by the socis was "all or nothing". There was no alternative. It was the proposal of the Board or not doing any action.
2) A project was presented for a total amount of € 600M, when this same Board was contrary to the known "Foster Project" by Joan Laporta, costing € 300M ... because it was very expensive.
3) The construction of a new Palau Blaugrana is presented to a vote when it was already included in the electoral program. What is the reason for it? This new Palau will have a capacity of 10,000 spectators. The minimum demanded by Euroleague Basketball. Is it there so little confidence in filling it? Unable to be 12,000 or 15,000 spectators?
4) Mini-Estadi disappears. If there was so few people attending (and better not to mention Barça B match against Betis), do you think that they will go a lot to Sant Joan Despi?
5) From the 1st Ring, they will disappear several rows of seats (we do not know how many), to make way for a series of "VIP Boxes" and "Hospitality". "UEFA compels us", they say. LIE. So clear. And when they want, I show them. Show us UEFA regulations obliging do this.
6) WiFi coverage will be placed around the Camp Nou. Wasn't this in the electoral program, and it haven't been done?
7) Catering kitchens and modern extraction systems will be improved, they tell us. Let's see, so many stadiums they have seen and they have not realized that what is needed are real restaurants where people can have different offers (sandwiches, snacks, menu, "a-la-carte" ..) and not a better system for smoke's extraction?
8) Some of the money needed to make the reform will come from all these concessions and other spaces (shops, etc.), which become long-term (can be up to 50 or up to 99 years); this point was confirmed by the then Vicepresident Faus ("this man", do you remember?), asked about it in one of the presentations of the reform. But let's have clear that if they give us the money now, for all the years of the concession we will not see anything. Or is it not? What revenues will we have therefore?
9) The number of season ticket holders at the Camp Nou has dropped to 84,000. That is, there are 15,000 seats available to the public for each match. This, while there is a fairly long waiting list of socis who want a seat. Meantime, in time of Laporta, the seats were changed by others narrower, so the actual discomfort is clear enough in many areas of the stadium, without the current Board has done nothing to fix it.
10) Therefore, we speak of a reform where the socis, beyond escalators and elevators, will have little benefit. € 420m just for the Camp Nou I do not think they are justified.
Now, make no mistake about one thing. A major reform of the Camp Nou is necessary. In many ways, as I have said many times. Not only escalators, elevators, toilets and kitchens cleaner with better flues. The reform the Camp Nou requires is more than that. Make no mistake. And, I have not heard any pre-candidate saying he will do nothing in this regard. What Bartomeu has done with his statements is purely emotional blackmail to the socis.
Is it necessary a reform of the Camp Nou? Yes. So clear.
Is this reform that they propose needed? No. So clear.
Do we need a President with these ideas? No. Even clearer.
Jordi Pascual

You can follow me on twitter: @JordiPascualP