A War of Weasely Words

There are a lot of ways to read a statement. There are certainly more than twice that many ways to read two statements. In Wednesday’s El Mundo, Salvador Sostres wrote a very interesting article. It included a quote of Pep Guardiola telling Sandro Rosell, to paraphrase, “Screw me over and I’ll air your dirty laundry for everyone to see.” It mentioned that Pep was blindsided by secret negotiations between the Rosell administration and Tito Vilanova in the run up to Pep’s resignation as first team coach.

The Rosell administration has responded with a double barreled attack in the form of an official club statement condemning Sostres by name and basically calling him a liar. The statement denounces El Mundo’s article and demands an immediate retraction from the newspaper or, in essence, there will be consequences.

One way to interpret this kerfuffle is to point out that El Mundo is Madrid-based, Sostres has had it out for Rosell in the recent past, and the club is merely responding to false accusations in a strong way. Each of those clauses is certainly its own interpretation, and they don’t necessarily follow along logically. Certainly Sostres has pushed the idea of Guardiola being forced out by Rosell as a major talking point, and it would appear that Rosell has had enough.

Sostres’ arguments seem to have little significant backing other than his own bold proclamations. My own interpretation lies between where Sostres has landed (Rosell hates Pep) and where Rosell sits (the administration is doing far better than anyone else possibly could). Rosell is, from where I sit, clearly pushing to eradicate everything Laporta did, not Pep. Unfortunately for Pep, Laporta appointed him and Rosell is still grumpy about that despite the success Pep has brought Rosell’s administration.

If one is to believe Sostres, Tito Vilanova failed to discuss Rosell’s approaches throughout the final half of the season with his extremely good friend who has previously dedicated trophies to him and made it clear that the two would be inseparable as long as Pep remained coach. And that brings up a very serious interpretation of all of this: Rosell is more worried about protecting his personal honor (whatever that means) than running the club in a way that maximizes its successes.

I’ll let nzm take over for a second:

[Rosell] didn’t turn up to the RFEF when strong words and a show at the meeting were needed to voice the club’s dissatisfaction in the refereeing standards. Instead, they sent “a strongly worded letter”. There has been little in the way of public support for Pep and the team, nor any in the places where it counts. Give me Laporta any day. He would have been in there shaking hands, slapping backs and telling them jovially, “Don’t mess with us. Do your jobs or we will become too difficult for you to ignore. Now, enough of this nonsense, let’s go to lunch. I’m buying.”

Yet, whenever Rosell is in the firing line, they come out with all guns blazing. He’s taking it too personally – not able to separate himself from the role that he has. It’s a dangerous thing, because he can’t see the whole picture when he’s only concerned about what affects him.

It’s a fair point to say that when Tito was poked in the eye during a match, when he was, to perhaps put too intense a point on it, attacked by a rival manager (now his direct equal — though always beneath him in so many ways), the club said virtually nothing. Yet now the club is threatening legal action because a journalist pushed Rosell’s buttons, threatened his legacy, said something that didn’t paint the administration in the great of light.

Guardiola made the point that the club kept silent on a lot of things, took the high road. What high road is Rosell taking now? When it’s the players’ reputations, the staff’s reputation, the club’s honor, it’s time to take the high road. But Rosell’s honor? Rosell’s actions? Lawyers, sally forth.

Turning to nzm again:

The next board meeting is at the Dali Museum in Figueres. Wait? No money for colour copies, yet they can travel a couple of hours there and back for a board meeting in a museum out of Barcelona? Couldn’t they find somewhere in the city or at the club?

So much for Laporta being the only one who wants to lead the good life. If it comes out in the papers, will they take Joan to court for having arranged this meeting years in advance (and paid a premium for the reservation)?

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. Judas Pissed
    May 17, 2012

    Unai Emery has said that Valencia have already sold Jordi Alba – I wonder who to..?

    • May 17, 2012

      He has issued an “I was misunderstood” mea culpa.

  2. May 17, 2012

    Didn’t we hear sometime back that Laporta was thinking about running for President again? And quick on the heels, this.

    Which makes me very anxious about Tito. This isn’t exactly conducive environment for a person to take charge of the club even though he was the assistant manager.

    You can feel the weight of expectations bearing down on him by RoSELL as a slipup would mean Laporta would be back with promises of Pep. I know, its farfetched but its one scenario.

    I would like to believe that there were other factors influencing Pep’s stepping down but I’m not fully convinced by them..

    • May 17, 2012

      To my view, Guardiola is too much man to let RoSELL chase him outta town. I think that he saw signs of slipping concentration (seen in the fluffed chances, defensive errors, etc.), signs that the spring is about to unwind. He always said that he wouldn’t stay when he thought he wasn’t helping the club, and I just think that this was that time.

      The question many have is would we have had another year from him, had he and RoSELL had a better relationship? We’ll never know, but I suspect not. I think this was the year.

    • Jim
      May 17, 2012

      Pretty much agree with your assessment of Pep’s reasons, Kxevin although personally I remain disappointed in him. If he saw signs of slippage it was up to him to deal with it not take the next stage out of town. Being a manager is not just about the good times.

      It also makes no sense for Rosell to chase Pep out as whoever comes next ( including Tito) is unlikely to match his success and this will reflect badly on Rosell. This is why I suspect we will have at least one and probably more big signing in the summer.

      Imo, the correct way to deal with the poke in the eye was to let the authorities handle it. The disgrace was that they didn’t deal with it. A slur in a newspaper is much harder unless you are prepared to go down the lawyer line. I don’t share the hatred of Rosell that some appear to have but I’m not deluded enough to think that he doesn’t have self promotion pretty close to his heart. Not sure Laporta was much different but this doesn’t help. For whatever, reason, Pep’s departure seems to have created a bit of tension and a bit of unease around the club. We need to watch that this doesn’t unsettle the players.

    • AJ_10
      May 17, 2012

      But with stronger protection & backing from the president,he wouldn’t be so stressed out. So we potentially could have seen him be coach for another year or two.

    • Jim
      May 17, 2012

      With respect, that’s just an assumption. Not sure Pep has said anything to support that. If he wasn’t happy he could speak out.

      I’m still having trouble over this whole success is more stressful than failure thing. Never subscribed to that. Real pressure is needing to win a match to keep your job and support your family. Was Pep’s stress more than Ally McCoist of Rangers who still doesn’t know if he’ll have a job next season, if the team will be relegated to the bottom league, if all the players will be allowed to leave or if the club will even exist?

    • May 17, 2012

      Taking over after an incredibly successful and popular coach is not a conducive environment anyway. Everything he does will be measured against Pep’s standards. If he’s successful, the media will paint it as “Pep’s team”. If he’s not, it will be portrayed as solely his failure. Tito Vilanova is very brave to take this on, and I hope he’s very successful with the due recognition for it.

      As for Rosell, I don’t trust him. But I will not believe he pushed Pep out, because he couldn’t possibly be that stupid. That article is a bunch of rubbish, starting with Tito supposedly negotiating with Rosell administration behind Pep’s back. I remember reading somewhere else that Tito tried convincing Pep to stay for one more year till the very end before finally accepting the job. Pep said he and Tito spoke about the appointment, and he told Tito to go for it if he felt he should. So, if the part about Tito is rubbish, there’s no reason why the part about Rosell should be anymore credible.

      It’s not like Pep just left abruptly. He has been talking of leaving for a long time. Everything can be painted as a conspiracy, but I’d like to think Rosell is doing a decent enough job on the footballing side of things till he’s obviously not. And this is what Zubi said recently:

      “Tito will be in charge of the football part because he is different to Pep, we will help and protect him as much as we can.”

      Maybe Pep didn’t want so much help and protection? He (and administration) felt he was capable of fighting his own battles? Difficult to judge without knowing any of the facts. Why sue now and not at other times? Maybe because Tito and Pep didn’t want a lawsuit over the eye poke incident, or maybe they’re protecting not just Rosell but also Tito now by saying there’s no bad blood between Pep & him. Who knows? My 2 cents.

  3. May 17, 2012

    As a relatively new kid on the Culé block, I don’t know much about the Laporta-Rosell dynamic, other than what I read in Graham Hunter’s book. In said book, it seemed that Rosell wanted to be “more corporate” and didn’t want to follow the Cruyff model on the pitch of playing a possession system and using Canteranos as the core of the team. Rosell wanted to hire Luiz Felipe Scolari as coach and play a more Brazilian / English style system. Laporta overruled him and went the “Cruyffian” route, first with Rijkaard and then Pep. This and other philosophical differences caused the once allies to become enemies, and Rosell resigned from Laporta’s board.

    Laporta’s accomplishments speak for themselves. Rosell took over the team at or near its apex, and this year things slipped a bit. I get that. But I’m also trained as an attorney and know there must be multiple angles to every story. Laporta can’t really be as angelic nor Rosell as evil as they are typically portrayed on this blog. So, I have some questions, if any of the resident experts would care to enlighten me.

    1. If Rosell is so terrible, how did he become the president?

    2. If Laporta is so great, why didn’t he stay in office for 20-some years like the skinflint Nuñez did?

    3. What specific evidence is there that Rosell is a poor club president? To this point, it seems the case against him is: A) He isn’t as good at politicking the RFEF as Laporta was, B) He shouldn’t have kept Eusebio as the B team coach, and C) He may or may not have contributed to Guardiola’s decision to leave after this season. What are the verifiable facts to back up these claims?

    4. Is there any merit to the accusations made by Rosell against Laporta concerning the Club’s debts? Why or why not?

    5. When is the next scheduled FCB presidential election and/or opportunity for a no-confidence vote?

    • messifan
      May 17, 2012

      To answer your questions:

      1) The general public didn’t know a lot about him prior to his presidency. Maybe he ran on a platform of hope and change. He was an up and comer and maybe voters were tired of the previous administration (they were there for 7 years).

      2) Laporta is not perfect. Boardroom politics and different factions were formed as his presidency continued. In the end, he left. He is now a member of the Catalan parliament.

      3) All the things you mentioned along with corruption allegations in Brazil and brought Laporta to court in a very public way, thus adding another major distraction to the club when it was not needed.

      4) There are ways to manipulate financial statement and balance sheet. But Deloitte did audit the club and found some not so great number. Maybe it was exaggerated a bit, but I believe we have debts. Although, I can’t justify his “no-color printing”.

      5) The term is 6 years but it may be changed back to 4 years according to this article.


      As for vote of no confidence, not sure. I’m guessing that members can partition a vote of no confidence at any time during his reign.

    • nzm
      May 17, 2012

      I’ll add links to some supporting articles, but will keep them from going active, otherwise my comment will be blocked in moderation for having too many links. You’ll have to copy and paste them into your browser to read them.

      1. If Rosell is so terrible, how did he become the president?

      He didn’t show his colours until after he won the Presidency.

      Rosell has huge backing in Barcalona from the “right kind” of people. He and his family are very influential around here.

      As part of the procedure for being elected President, a candidate must collect a number of letters of support for his candidacy from soci members – members of good moral standing. That number of letters stood at 2095 for the 2010 election. If a candidate failed to produce at least that number of letters, they could not run for presidency. Rosell had 13,000+ letters of support.

      Catalunya is very political, particularly “underground”. It’s who you know and what you know. There were a lot of people who hated Laporta for being who he was – outgoing and presented himself as a party boy. He represented a more modern type of character and this persona was not liked by the old Catalunya guard. Laporta came into the hierarchy by who he married (his wife’s family was influential) and not of his own doing, and that rankled the Catalunya “royalty”.

      Laporta took the stick for promising Beckham to the club if he won, but that was actually something that Rosell drummed up, reportedly with the knowledge of the Real Madrid President, both of them already knowing that Beckham had signed for RM. (I’m not sure why this was done and why Rosell collaborated with the RM President – even the Catalan Barca fans that I ask cannot tell me the whole story!)

      Rosell won the 2010 election with 60% of the vote, running on a ticket of promoting “Transparency” on all club matters. His campaign slogan was “Tot soms el Barca” (We are all Barca). He instilled a fear into the Soci membership that the club was in dire financial trouble, and that he was someone who could rescue the club. In fact, the club was not in that bad a shape, but the damage was already instilled in people’s minds. I still see people writing of the club’s brink of bankruptcy status. Rosell used fear, uncertainty and doubt to persuade a lot of people onto his side.

      Swiss Ramble is an authoritative blog on all accountancy matters. He’s produced at least 4 solid articles on Barcelona’s financials which would indicate that the club is in solid shape and nowhere near bankruptcy – especially when compared to other clubs who claim that they are in better shape. swissramble(dot)blogspot(dot)com Search on “Barcelona” on his blog and the articles will come up.

      In the financial aspect, neither Laporta nor Rosell come up smelling of roses – both have manipulated the numbers to suit their agendas. However, it’s also important to recognise that when Laporta took over the Presidency, the club was in far worse financial shape that when he left it. He reduced the debt that he inherited. Laporta also built the club into a worldwide recognisable brand, and the Soci numbers were climbing steadily as the club became more known and more successful on the pitch. The Soci membership fees, for the existing number of approx. 170,000, brings in over 40 million dollars CASH per annum on membership fees alone which is more than the shirt sponsorship. A growing Soci membership would be a really easy way in which to increase and grow the club’s cashflow.

      Almost as soon as he was elected, Rosell closed off the Soci membership to control the way in which the General Assembly (which is a representative 2,000+ members who attend Soci meetings “on behalf” of the 170,000 Soci membership) is selected. (His public reasoning was to make the club more “Catalan”. What happened to that campaign slogan of “We are all Barca”?) Why would he close off a guaranteed-to-increase revenue flow if the club was in so much financial trouble?

      According to club statutes, General Assembly Members will be:
      a) Members chosen by draw, of a number resulting from the multiplication of the total number of Club members by 0.015 and adding 850, rounding down.
      b) The longest serving members of the Club, of a number resulting from the multiplication of the total number of Club members by 0.006, rounding down.
      c) Members that form the Club’s Board of Directors at the moment that the General Assembly is held.
      d) Ex-presidents of the Club.
      e) The members of the Disciplinary Commission and the Financial Commission, and a number of members no higher than twenty-five designated by the Board of Directors in recognition of their merits or social significance, who shall be nominated for each General Assembly.

      By freezing the membership, Rosell pretty much guaranteed himself that the same people will be selected for the General Assembly per annum.

      In one of the first General Assembly meetings, Rosell proposed the Qatar Foundation shirt sponsorship, still basing his reasoning on the dire financial problems of the club.

      In the process of the discussions which happened across 2 or 3 General Assemblies, a body of Soci members, who were concerned about the Qatar Foundation sponsorship, wished to get more details about the deal. They set themselves up as the “Consulta Barca, Consulta Qatar Group.” consultarqatar(dot)cat. This was so that they could collect the required amount of soci votes to force the club into a referendum on the shirt deal.

      The group wanted to know more about the deal from a financial aspect (was it really that good a deal when matched up to all that the Qatar Foundation would receive in return?) and also about the ethical implications of having a sponsor from a country which did not have an exemplary human rights record, and promoted ideals which were far removed from those promoted at FC Barcelona. (mostly in areas of equality, non-segregation and non-discrimination.)

      During the time designated to them in the meeting program, when the Consulta Qatar Group stood at the General Assembly, they were heckled by, and turned upon, by other socis in the room, who called them traitors and “collaborators of Franco” for daring to go against the wishes of the club. (To be branded as a Franco sympathiser in Catalunya is one of the worst insults that you can make.)

      While this was happening, none of Rosell’s board, nor Rosell, made any effort to silence the hecklers. No attempt was made to allow the Consulta Qatar Group to have their say, as was their right. Heads were down on the stage and they did not react at all. Consulta Qatar never got the answers that they were seeking – they were shouted down, and the sponsorship deal went ahead. Transparency, anyone? It was a disgrace.

      Rosell has turned himself into a powerful man, but he’s deathly afraid that the media will undermine that. The issues of his Brazilian misadventures and bribes raise their heads now and then.

      Guardiola was very public in his support for Laporta and his disgust at the lawsuits brought against Laporta by a member of the club, as well as Rosell. Guardiola’s outburst caused the board to approach the club member who was suing Laporta to “persuade him” not to proceed, and the member’s case against Laporta was dropped.

      Nothing much has been heard of Rosell’s and Laporta’s case. It went to court late last year, but I don’t think that it’s resolved, unless a private and confidential agreement was reached.

      It’s no secret that I am not a Rosell fan, but I will give credit where it’s due. (I don’t like Cristiano Ronaldo, but I do think that he’s a brilliant football player!) So far, there has been little about Rosell that has impressed me.

      He has reneged on his transparency promises, and he has failed to back key members of the club’s staff when controversy arises and the press starts making a meal of it.

      The only times that we have seen him react is when he is personally attacked – in this current El Mundo article by Sostres and also in the Cadena COPE radio accusations which questioned his abilities to run the club, as well as inferred that the Barca players were doped and the medical staff was covering it up.

      The only things, that I can commend him for, have been some good player transfers, and he made a great speech at the Laureus Awards in London when he accepted the award for Best Team for the football team. 🙂

    • nzm
      May 17, 2012

      2. If Laporta is so great, why didn’t he stay in office for 20-some years like the skinflint Nuñez did?

      Laporta had political ambitions. He left to concentrate on those. He was elected to the Catalunyan Parliament as a member of the Independent Catalunya Party (Si), but left the party and is still in parliament as an independent member.

    • nzm
      May 17, 2012

      3. What specific evidence is there that Rosell is a poor club president? To this point, it seems the case against him is: A) He isn’t as good at politicking the RFEF as Laporta was, B) He shouldn’t have kept Eusebio as the B team coach, and C) He may or may not have contributed to Guardiola’s decision to leave after this season. What are the verifiable facts to back up these claims?

      I can’t speak for the other, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever stated on here that I think that Rosell is a poor club president. However, I have never been backwards in coming forwards to state where I think that there is room for improvement. 🙂

    • nzm
      May 17, 2012

      That should read:

      I can’t speak for the others, but I’m sure that I’ve never stated on here that I think that Rosell is a poor club president. However, I have never been backwards in coming forwards to state where I think that there is room for improvement. 🙂

    • nzm
      May 17, 2012

      4. Is there any merit to the accusations made by Rosell against Laporta concerning the Club’s debts? Why or why not?

      I’m sure that Rosell thinks that there is merit, but whether his grounds are based on a personal vendetta or solid evidence has yet to be determined.

      As above in my reply to your first question, the court case outcome has still not been finalised, and it’s business as usual for both parties. They both have skeletons in cupboards – it will boil down to whose will make the bigger mess when revealed.

    • nzm
      May 17, 2012

      5. When is the next scheduled FCB presidential election and/or opportunity for a no-confidence vote?

      I can’t find out that for sure. I believe that the next election will be in 2016, as a President is elected for a term of 6 years.

      A vote of no-confidence can be held at any time, but the vote must be 66% in favour of no confidence for it to go ahead. Laporta’s detractors failed to get that percentage, and I highly doubt, that unless Rosell does something really, really bad, that he’ll ever be ousted through a no confidence vote.

      The changes that messifan refers to in that news article is an effort by Rosell to secure his next term as quickly as possible. Moving the vote to an earlier date means that he’ll cash in on his still-high popularity.

      With Laporta making noises about possibly running again, it’s got Rosell worried. Especially if Laporta promises to bring Pep back… 🙂

    • nzm
      May 17, 2012

      Wow – I should proof-read better before I hit that reply button!

      The changes that messifan refers to in that news article: if an effort is made by Rosell (to take advantage of the new laws and move the club election to a nearer date), he’ll be doing it to secure his next term as quickly as possible. Moving the vote to an earlier date means that he’ll cash in on his still-high popularity.

      With Laporta making noises about possibly running again, it’s got Rosell worried. Especially if Laporta promises to bring Pep back… 🙂

    • May 17, 2012

      I appreciate the insights, nzm. Thank you. As both an American and a relatively recent convert to club football and Barça, there’s a lot I’m still learning. This blog community has been a great resource.

    • nzm
      May 18, 2012

      You’re welcome.

      My apologies for all the spelling and grammar errors – I’m usually better!

      It was about 2am Barcelona time when I saw your comments, and couldn’t go to bed until I had attempted to answer your questions!

      I could go on about Rosell.

      He cut the budgets of some of the amateur disciplines that are affiliated to FCB. However, the people in charge of these sports didn’t hear about the cuts from Rosell or any of his board members – they read about it in the local newspapers!

      Rosell is never the one to deliver bad news to any of the people at FCB, nor will he give press conferences where issues to be discussed are less than good-news-PR-soundbites. He always leaves the bad stuff to his Vice Presidents: Bartomeu, Faus or Cardoner.

      When the lawsuit against Laporta was announced, Rosell had left Barcelona for the US the day before the announcement!

      The man is a good-news president who only uses bad news scenarios when it helps his cause. The bad debt situation was one of them. He knew that it wasn’t that bad, and he could look like the knight in shining armor who rescued the club when he released more favourable figures a year later – having done not much more than moved around a few numbers on the balance sheet.

      But he justified the Qatar Foundation sponsorship by attributing the sponsorship to having saved the club. I’m not sure how it was supposed to do that when all it brings in is about 30 million per year – less than the Soci membership would have done if it had been allowed to grow and double in size.

      QF also receives back 2 million per annum from a Barca friendly game as part of the sponsor agreement, so the shirt deal is really only worth 28 million per annum. That’s a ridiculous deal when you consider how much other top clubs are getting for the fronts of their shirts. The Barca shirt is worth a minimum of 40 million per annum, and Rosell seriously undervalued it.

      I’ll stop now…!

    • May 18, 2012

      Wow. It is so nice to have someone in Barcelona to write, here.
      So informative nzm.

      Somebody was telling me that, Rosell is a die hard fan of signing Neymar, to have his own legacy on the club, and Pep is not positive at all about this and this could be one reason why Pep decided to leave. Any thoughts?
      And whatever it looks like in public, Pep does not like Rossell. Didnt we hear that even before the puto amo, press conference the club had adviced against making any sharp reactions, but Pep went against it.

    • nzm
      May 18, 2012

      Thanks, fotobirajesh – seems that we both do double-time here and at tB! Although I’ve stopped commenting there and concentrate more on this blog where the conversation is more intelligent and rational!

      I don’t know if Rosell is a Neymar fan or not – the press certainly paint him to be one.

      If Rosell wants to bring Neymar to Barca, certainly a huge part of the attraction for Rosell would be the sponsors that Neymar would bring with him.

      Neymar is already sponsored by Nike on an 11 year contract – and we all know that Rosell worked for Nike in Brazil, and still has financial dealings within the country based on the work that he did there during his Nike time and with his own company.

      Neymar is also sponsored by some other big names – Red Bull and Panasonic among them. I’m pretty sure that Rosell would have no hesitation in capitalising on those brands and formulating sponsor deals with them, using Neymar as the door opener.

      And all this before Neymar’s skills would even be evaluated as a fit for the team on the pitch…:D

      Rosell’s true test is about to begin. With Pep gone, that’s the last of the remnants of the Laporta days with Laporta, Cruyff, Txiki and now Pep out of the picture.

      Rosell now stands alone, and the onus is entirely on him. Let’s see if he can withstand the pressure, still keep the purse strings tightly closed and still have the club perform at the high level where it needs to be.

  4. AJ_10
    May 17, 2012

    What is the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus?
    An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood. That sticks, right in there somewhere.
    And in today’s media centred world, it’s easy to plant, multiplies at an unbelievable rate and cannot be eradicated. A single outlet leaks a story, and within mere hours a whole world is informed and forming opinions, judging & debating. Never mind that the source took down the article and apologized. The seed is planted and it will grow. And it contributes to your view. You may accept it or reject it but you are of an opinion on that subject so the idea is with you.
    For example:
    “Pep Guardiola is a useless coach who got lucky to manage Barcelona at this time. Which was his most successful season? His first. He then got rid of Etoo. Then Henry .Then Ibrahimovic. Why? Because he had a feeling. And now Barcelona are in dire need of a forward. He made Messi better you say? Well obviously he was going to get better as he grew older. His statistics continue to grow even this season but he wasn’t supported well this season. Whose fault? Guardiola”
    NOTE: (I completely DISAGREE with the above paragraph)
    But admit it, you thought about it. Okay your first thought was “Bullshit” but then you thought about this. (Since readers of this blog are generally well informed and smart, many would have ignored it). However, the idea is planted.
    This is why it’s so hard to maintain a good image. People generally don’t believe in good guys. A single story creates doubt, creates an IDEA and masses proclaim it as gospel & say “You see? He is not such a good guy after all.” David Villa’s religious insults (ABSURD) and Busquets racism row (Stupid claim) come into mind. A few days ago, people were applauding Rosell’s decision to snub a high profile manager & go with continuity. Now everyone is on his back about him throwing Pep out. It’s crazy.
    For this reason I prefer Barcelona’s method of remaining above these petty rumours. For if you respond, you just give credence and more publicity to the original claim. Unanswered claims do cause a stir but what use is denying it? “Obviously the club would deny it” they respond. (Potentially damaging allegations must be responded to however, like the doping one.) But for this to work we need a strong influential president. The club is identified with the players and coach primarily. Let them focus solely on the game. Let the president deal with the RFEF naivety & corruption and media stupidity. Let him threaten anyone who screws with the club six levels of hell. Like Laporta used to do.
    And that is sufficient for me to want him back. Or at least demand Rosell grows a spine and defends this clubs interests with more vigour.
    Just my two cents.

    BTW. Excellent post Isaiah

    • messifan
      May 17, 2012

      Good read!

    • nzm
      May 17, 2012

      Agreed – great read, AJ_10.

      You are very correct in saying that whatever gets reported first is generally what sticks in people’s minds. Only very rarely will people actually research further information on which to formulate an educated judgement. The damage was done with the first viewpoint.

    • AJ_10
      May 18, 2012

      Thanks nzm & messifan.
      Enjoyed reading both of your input as well.

  5. messifan
    May 17, 2012

    Isaiah and nzm, thanks for the post!

    The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

    For me this is how I grade Rosell admin (on a scale of A+ to F):
    -Sporting business: A
    -Media relation: B-
    -RFEF and liga politics: C
    -In-house business: B (get rid of Eusebio, PLEASE!!!)
    -Finance: Incomplete (not much is published since the audit)
    -Branding: B+
    -Character: F (Rosell’s corruption allegation is a serious red flag for me)

    Overall, he’s been average, so I’d give him a B for his two year-performance.

    On a not-so-serious note, I find it funny that the board is going to a surrealist place for their meeting.

    Anyway, nothing we can do, so I’m gonna just sit back and get my popcorn ready for this drama to continue.

  6. May 18, 2012

    very very very well said….and that’s just the way it is.

  7. Gogah
    May 18, 2012

    Excess of anything is a bad thing. And that is why it is pointless for us to debate on who is the better president.

    Laporta was a great president, successful, outspoken, charismatic and always protecting his club’s and players’ prestige and reputation with a bit of aggressiveness.
    The flip side was that he lived a lavish lifestyle and was somewhat naive and careless in his management of money.

    Enter Rosell, a man who has obviously played the campaign cleverly enough to make people believe that joan had fucked up more than he might have actually did and a man whose business abilities however, cannot be questioned. But he is too silent when it comes to sensitive matters and he definitely should not have allowed pep to take on the responsibility of defending the club’s honor. thats not pep’s job, he already had one hell of a job, just managing the worlds best team. I cannot believe, when all our cule bloods were boiling, that he chose to do nothing when we were blamed for racism, corruption and doping. like someone said, either here or in the film, inception, that an idea is the most contagious thing in the world. A president can simply not allow such ideas to gain weight through his silence.

    too much of something is never a good thing. We need a president with the right balance. someone like pep. damn..we need pep clones.

  8. blitzen
    May 18, 2012

    Wow, nzm! Your responses in this thread are informative, comprehensive, and well-thought-out. Fantastic reading!

    • nzm
      May 18, 2012

      Thank you, blitzen. 🙂

    • Messiah10
      May 18, 2012


      Completely agree w/Blitzen. The responses you provided were very well written and researched. Thanks!

    • nzm
      May 18, 2012

      Thanks, all. ;.)

    • AJ_10
      May 18, 2012

      Completely agree.

    • nzm
      May 18, 2012

      Thanks Megster.

      That’s a very interesting article that you’ve linked to!

    • May 25, 2012

      The defeat against Real Madrid, the party that triggered the wrath of Messi in the locker room, and falling against Chelsea precipitated events. The team lost natural and forced the situation on the court and in the office, Guardiola exploded. — dear nzm, the above line from the article posted by Megster, would you mind clarifying it to me please. I can only read the google translation, so just wondering as it is pasted here- is it true – what is the party that triggered the wrath of Messi in the locker room.

  9. Smiler
    May 19, 2012

    Say what you like about Rossell but at least the club is heading towards being run on an even keel instead of being run as an open cheque book for Laporta and his cronies.

    • nzm
      May 19, 2012

      We’ll see if he can keep up with that, now that he no longer has the Laporta legacy on whose shirt-tails he has ridden for the past couple of years.

      But somehow, miraculously, the figures have started to show a profit (according to Rosell), so again, miraculously, he’s going to have money to spend, now that Guardiola has left.

      Amazing timing, that.

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