Barça Has a New President

Today, June 13, 2010, Alexandre “Sandro” Rosell i Feliu was elected as FC Barcelona’s 39th president by an overwhelming margin. 35,021 socis cast their vote for him (22,067 cast votes for someone else or no one) and a record 57,088 (or 48.11% of the total membership) voted overall.

In his victory speech, Rosell said, among other things, “I want a Barça that is Catalan, Catalanista and open to all supporters outside of Catalunya. I want a Barça that will recapture the world’s imagination and one that unifies and does not separate while being committed to the country and to the causes of solidarity.” My pre-election thoughts are here and as you can guess, I’m disappointed. But because this is Barça and elections are never the true harbinger of things to come, I will, for now, take Rosell at his word (these words, now, today) that he wants an inclusive and universal Barça, that he really does want to make this club better.

More reactions to come, of course, throughout the coming days as I wrap my mind around things and better sort out where I stand.

Visca el Barça!

Joan and Sandrusco in happier times...
Categorized as Elections

By Isaiah

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. General question: If at some point in the future you are planning on becoming a member, would it be smart to bite the bullet and become a member now, just in case?

    1. Basically, what are the odds that as a non-Spanish supporter of Barca I won’t be able to become a member at some point after June 30th?

    2. I would think so. Doesn’t look like happy times for those foreign people who want to socios in the future. I think Rosell said he would give like 3 months before he started limiting it or whatever, so people like most of us would have a chance to become one.

    3. Judging from his campaign – yes.

      Start eating those cup noodles and you should save the money without too much trouble.

  2. Funny video of the day, Iniesta trying to blow the vuvuzela. I think we all know how this turns out: *

    1. Vuvuzelas are quite popular in Mexico, and American cities with high hispanic populations.
      I own a couple, you just have to get used to them, but everyone fails on their first attempt.

      In English(Spansh) we just call them Horns(Trompetas)

  3. isnt the word soci sort of like the word “soc” in _the outsiders_ by se hinton. i guess im gonna be an outsider like ralph macchio. word.

    1. I wouldn’t rush out to buy a membership tonight. Rosell said he’d allow 3 months for people to become members, and I can’t see him renigging on that. A watch, wait, and save money might be the best approach right now.

    2. about 141 dollars at current exchange rate. Another reason to buy now is the Euro is weak right now.

      On other conversion sites it’s a bit less than 140 dollars. I would assume about 140 dollars.

    3. Frankly, there are many reasons to become a soci, but none of them make fiscal sense:

      –Love for the club, and showing it. You can do that in many other ways, right?
      –Membership priveleges. If you don’t live in Spain, or travel to Barcelona at all, those are pointless.

      Luckily, I do travel to Barcelona every year, numerous times, for matches, so I get to take advantage of the soci benefits, from match ticket access (pretty much the only way you’ll ever get to see a live El Clasic without paying a scalper) to discounts in the Botiga.

      But even if I didn’t do any of that, it would still be worth it for me, because it’s how I choose to support the club that I love. I think that your passion as a soci, whether you are Barcelona born or Australian or American or Pakistani, doesn’t have to be any less intense.

      Look at it this way: If you buy an official Barca home shirt, you’re more than halfway to becoming a soci. 😀

    4. For me the main reason is just being a “member” of the club. A “member” officially. I know it does not make a lot of sense fiscally nor does it give me an opportunity to enjoy the priveleges as I do not live it Spain, but still I am a “member” of the club that I love. So I just filled out my application a couple of days back because I wasn’t sure how Rossell was going to restrict new members.

  4. i think you are all overreacting.
    Rosell probably tried to sweet talk the catalans during his campaign for reasons like, you cant promise better sporting project because the current one rocks , outcatalaning laporta’s globalization is always a good idea when the majority of the voting body is catalans(more than 90%) and when every other candidate follows the same pattern more or less as laporta(global barca).
    He wont try to do anything like that , and if he would like to implement a catalan model – the presidency claim for example – there are other far more smart solutions to do likewise that i wont even mention because the whole thing is just funny. Something even funnier is that barcelona was founded by and had its first president a FOREIGNER.bummer.
    Laporta promised beckham when we had 0 money and nobody wanted to loan us , and he ended up in madrid , rosell promises something else more ridiculous , but it was probably the easiest way to go when you are popular enough and need to look different yet promising than the other to the voters that matter most. And these , no matter how passionate and focused followers all of us foreign fans might be , matter most in this process since they are 90% of the voters.
    The whole thing is a joke , the serious case starts from tomorrow though , if guardiola signs a long contract this will probably mean that rosell , promised not to involve himself in the sporting matters

    1. Perhaps. I have said before that in my estimation, a lot of what Rosell said during the election is part of the “more Catalan than thou” sweepstakes that the candidates were engaged in.

      But other things concern me:

      –Future of the sporting project, including La Masia and the orientation of future youth projects.
      –Guardiola and meddling
      –Selling the front of the shirt
      –MES and other global philanthropic efforts

      Those are the four biggest for me.

      Voting in future elections (this was my first eligible go-round, as I joined just before Laporta won, and you have to be a soci for a year before you can vote) will, hopefully, be able to be accomplished via Internet voting. There is indeed a way to make it safe and secure. If you can purchase tickets securely through your soci number and the limits thereof, you can certainly cast your one vote for president. It’s a simple system of exclusion. Enter your soci number/key and when you vote, the system strikes your number from the rolls, so you can’t vote again. Bingo.

      But in many ways, Rosell is right in that foreigners do introduce an element of uncertainty into the process. They tend to be less knowledgeable and sympa to the Catalan cause, and much more interested in the sporting project. I rather imagine that if Internet voting were possible, the Continuity slate would have done far, far, better than it did.

      This, however, doesn’t mean that Internet voting is evil, or that foreign socis are second-class citizens.

      But no, Rosell isn’t going to circle the wagons, because Barca has to be a global club. It’s part of the business plan, and long-term strategy for success.

      Like many, I await his next actions, which will be crucial in determining what kind of presidency he is going to have. He has some huge shoes to fill. Laporta was a dick, but his successes were undeniable and huge: fiscal success, Barca truly becoming a global brand, sporting success, success in battling the Boixos Nois and keeping them out of the Camp Nou en masse. All of those are important.

      If Rosell can get this club to the next level, I will laud his presidency. Hell, if we can keep on keeping on I will still be impressed.

      So now we wait.

    2. the Boixos Nois issue really concerns me as well as the four you mentioned. Just judging from the incidents after the Inter semi-final game, it won’t take long for violence to resurface in the Camp Nou if it is given any foothold.

      That, and Rosell must be respectful and demand that those around him act with grace, professionalism, and humility. Every aspect of the club must reflect these essential elements exemplified by Guardiola. Unfortunately, I don’t think Rosell agrees.

    3. boixos nois are not criminals.
      They are a fan group that had some extremists that were vocal enough against laporta(and every other president) when the club was going downhill ,and later on were enraged and made threats against him when he banned them from the stadium.
      The whole situation about them was unclear especially when it was revealed that people were behind them ( former board members that lost power when laporta’s project was approved) and probably used the boixos nois name to cover themselves.
      Anyway the point is I dont want violence in the stadium too , but having passionate supporters that are highly vocal – and boixos nois truly were- is not bad ,as long as there is the assurance that nothing violent will take place and if anything does they will be kicked out for good.
      Laporta in particular does not really fit the discription of a graceful , focused and with a strong dose of humility person , he was powerful , vocal and passionate ;his era was not as stable as some people view it after all these titles – yet his overall successes are jaw dropping.

    4. You’re jumping to conclusions in the assessments of others about the Boixos. Fact of the matter is that violence, potential or real, at the stadium is a problem when it occurs. Laporta’s taking on the Boixos made the Camp Nou a better place to see matches. Are they criminals? No. Are they ultras? Yes, but one should be careful about perjorative uses of that word. Ultras doesn’t always mean hooligan, as we all know.

      But it is difficult to separate the Boixos from more extreme supremacist views, particularly when you see videos of them doing Nazi salutes or chanting “Heil Hitler.” And whether a lit flare hits you in the head, does it really matter whether it came from a Barca supporter or not?

  5. Colby says:

    General question: If at some point in the future you are planning on becoming a member, would it be smart to bite the bullet and become a member now, just in case?

    No. One of the reasons I don’t see its proper to become a member is the fact that there are still clear cuts between Catalan and none Catalan fans (first class Cule and “the others”). If your pride can accept it, go for it. Or else wait till you can get your membership from the big door, not the back door. It was there since ever, but now that Rosell raised it boldly (and generated votes through that), its time to put things in place.

    Laporta’s era was full of changes. Yet its now the time for things to be formulated (as I mentioned once before). But it doesnt mean you sit and wait your destiney if you feel you are as comited to the club as Rosell (which means he is not in the right position to rank you as a fan).

    In fact, I was even planning to arrange a union for international Barca fans (and Penyas) to voice the common concerns and contribute with the Catalan Penyas and Barca management to set a fair compromise that fit the two groups of fans that the club cant survive without them BOTH: Catalans and none Catalans. So far, only one section of the fans is deciding for both. Yet Some other life stuff carried me away (I was planning to do this before election to contact the candidates).

    Anyway, after an unquestionable support for years, now its time for the club to settle us in return, or I can go as far as saying: continue without us (though will always enjoy the TEAM).

    When things get systematically clarified once and for all, membership become a must for anyone who support the club (and can afford the membership fees of course). Till then, I will not steal what I believe its my right (recognition).

    1. This is where Ramzi and I are going to differ, Colby. I am a soci and have been for some time. I am not a second-class citizen, just because I am a foriegn soci (right now, I should add, since we haven’t seen what Rosell is planning in that regard).

      But at present, your rights as a soci are the same, be you Catalan or not. It is a privelege of club membership. Yes, local socis get to take advantage of those priveleges more frequently because of location, but when you do take advantage of those priveleges, you are considered not one iota different.

    2. Something else that’s interesting: Out of 118,665 eligible voting members, 57,088 voted.

    3. Kxevin, when someone say we need to have members and associates (read between the lines) and that there is a big problem that the none Catalan members are increasing and that the none Catalan fans may end up supporting a none Catalan candidate, there is a big issue.Something Rosell said and was elected basically based Upon. (Which was one of the reasons the local socis are not excited about internet voting).

      Believe me, for a being a fan since more than 15 years, I’ve seen this issue raising its head since ever. It should be sorted out. I -myself- used to cover it up before, waiting for improvement. As you mentioned already, being a soci is not a big deal (it cost an average of 30 cents per day, and you are there). But lets make it clear: There is an issue there. Can you expect a none Catalan candidate to win that election anytime soon? Just saying…

      I mentioned before that the identity threat is valid concern. But it should be true fans Vs fake ones, not Catalan fans Vs the others. Which is no doubt the case at the moment.

    4. But at present, all socis arre the same, which is my point. Yes, Roaell is talking about other things, which may or may not come to pass. But right now, all socis are equal.

      As regards the possibility of a foreign president, if he is a soci of sufficiently long tenure, and has the cash to pony up and most importantly, offers the club strength, then rock on. But never forget that Barca is a Catalan institution, though founded by Swiss and English businessmen.

    5. Resell is a smart guy, Kxevin. When he focus on that specific point to rub it on the Catalan fans’ nerves and end up generating 60 % of the votes, it tells a lot about the situation at the moment regarding members and memberships, which is beyond Rosell.

      Of course the 60 percent is an output of many factors (including the insufficient campaigns facing him). But the focal point of his campaign was the membership and the 50000 Russians or Chinese who may end up electing one of them as a president (the only other thing he talked about is the need to focus on Catalan youth rather than global talents. Same shit different approach). If that wasn’t something the Catalan members like to hear, he wouldn’t have said it as they are the deciding vote in this case. I am more disappointed about the members votes than upset of Rosell. It was ok that he wins, but he shouldn’t have received that massive support for the campaign he made. It was a Boix Nois style of voting that brought us back more than 10 years regarding the identity of the club, the moment I thought we are improving (not changing) the club -Catalan based – identity, it went radically the other way.

      Your last remark is gold. The Club is Catalan institution. But its time to decide what Catalan institution it is (and must avoid double standards based on interest, once we sell merchandise to dear cules and then we consider them as just customers *cough* Associates). are we talking about an athletic Bilbao or a global club with Catalan base. What are we supporting as none Catalan? The team, or the club? That’s a serious question in my opinion. I will not even take it as an absolute fact that the club is the Catalan national team (army) any more. The guy who is welling to consider putting a betting sponsor on the Catalan Flag-shirt, must not lecture about this nationalism a lot.

      In fact, Fc Barcelona is an international institute now, it will not survive otherwise. if Rosell want to make it a Catalan institute again, he has to meet the requirements of that. Or else, welcome to the real -global- world.

  6. Oh crap….how can so many people vote for him after all that has been said. Oh crap.

    1. yep. sandro is gonna do whatever he is gonna do, he didnt elect himself, the soci’s did…or atleast half of them.
      i dont know whats worse: rosell, or the people who actually voted for him.
      but hopefully it all works out.

  7. one question guys…. on the official website it says become a member now for 116 euros until 31st december 2010..
    my question here is that if i become a member now, will the membership be valid for 1 calender year (untill 31st dec irrespecive of the date u become a member)or for 1 full year (365 days from the date)…

    …. i’ve been readng visitng this blog from almost the time it started. i love the match previews and the post match reviews… but i always wonder what does ‘EE’ mean?

    1. It’s 116 now because it’s prorated. Memberships begin and end at the same time every year.

  8. well well..
    he won by a big margin so he must be good.
    i dont understand why rosell get’s so much stick on all the forums/blogs that i follow.
    we definitely must get the wrong info over the net cos the people in catalunya seems to love him.
    all the best rosell!!!

  9. barca96:

    George Bush won with whooping majority in the re-election, so whatever he did (including War in Iraq) should be good. Remember when nationalism is raised people goes blind. It is the basic principle of right wing politics. You want proof, hear it from the pioneer of it :

    “After all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering

    Want to know who is Herman Goering, google it there is so much info on that true bastard(sorry for using this word, nothing describes him better).

    1. Word, Varughese! You briefed perfectly what I was upset about. Its a very passive sign that the majority of the local members showed enthusiasm in Rosell program. That didn’t reflect the “identity” we all shared, promoted and bragged about in the past 6 years. Now we are -almost- back to square one.

      But still I will give Rosell the benefit of doubt just so I don’t fall in the trap of reading too much in his election campaign and voting output.

  10. Rosell was the least person I wanted as the president. As far as concerns my real worry is Guardiola’s stay. The man only signed for one year to see who would the new president would be, and Rosell trying to sign the “big” players, well that doesn’t fit in the Guardiola way (as far as I can see) he knows the players he wants, and well I’m afraid he won’t like this.
    “More Catalan than thou” thing.. well yes they have their every right to do this Catalan thing and exclude the world, is it financially sound? not really. So I’m sure they are going to figure out a way to benefit us, the ones buying jerseys in Florida, USA and those traveling a billion hour flights to make it to a game in Barcelona, Spain 🙂 Not worried about this.
    Membership, become a member. Its a pride thing ! Buy Natural Ice instead of Michelob Ultra a few times a year, save the cash, and become a member.

    1. Actually he was the only one proposing a long contract to guardiola , and wanting him to become our “ferguson”.
      Guardiola has not signed anything prior to this time however ; he gave verbally the promise that he will coach barcelona next year too no matter what , so the media could shut up putting pressure on to us because of that.
      In the first two days he looks good , had the guardiola meeting which seems to have went fine , wants to help laporta in his pursuit of cesc and hasnt really made any big announcements , like he promised ( not be a flashy president)

  11. Whilst I appreciate you guys are all incredibly enthusiastic towards Barça I can kind of understand the sentiment towards foreign socis.

    As an Arsenal fan who’s gone through the transition of moving stadium, I know what the affect of a changing demographic of fans is like.

    Before at Highbury it was a relatively small ground, very close to the pitch and very intimidating for the opposition. We were almost unstoppable at that ground under Wenger and there were many great memories. Due to the small size of the ground it was almost completely local fans as it was very difficult to find a ticket and only those in the know were able to get hold of them without paying extortionate amounts.

    Since the move to the Emirates tickets have been much easier to get hold of and for the smaller games tend to go on general sale, something which was unheard of at Highbury. Whilst it’s great more fans have the chance to see the game it has diminished the atmosphere greatly. Most of the tourist type fans are highly unlikely to know the songs properly (see this hilarious video to see exactly what I mean:–CdA8IhE6Q ) and thus can’t contribute. Of course they have the right to go, it would be ridiculous to say otherwise but when a crowd isn’t completely behind the team it will affect them.

    I stand with the closest thing we have to ultras (in reality we’re just a group of fans who like to sing all game and support but NO violence) and we’re such a small minority in the crowd that it is really difficult to generate an atmosphere.

    I’ve noticed this at the Camp Nou as well (I’m partly to blame!). I’ve tried to sing some of the songs but my poor grasp of Catalan means it’s almost impossible. There are vast swathes of tourists (not fans like you guys) who’ve picked up tickets on a whim who in reality have no care for Barça and are treating it as a tourist attraction. If it ever got to that stage at Arsenal I’d be highly disappointed.

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