"The partners can make Bartomeu resign in the Assembly"

Agustí Benedito (Barcelona, 1964) will run for the next Barcelona elections, called for March by Josep Maria Bartomeu's board of directors if nothing changes.


Agustí Benedito (Barcelona, 1964) will run for the next Barcelona elections, called for March by Josep Maria Bartomeu's board of directors if nothing changes. Something that could modify this date would be the success of a motion of censure, an option that Benedito does not advocate now. Instead, it is committed to forcing the resignation of the president in the Assembly of Committees in October in the form of non-approval of the accounts.

In this interview with EFE Benedito, who was already a candidate in the 2010 and 2015 elections, also explains that he agrees with the hiring of Ronald Koeman and that this would be his coach if he won the elections.

Question: How did you feel while watching the game against Bayern Munich?

Answer: Unfortunately, the Catalans of my generation have experienced some other tough defeats such as Seville in 1986 and Athens in 1994. I am 56 years old and the feeling of emptiness, anger and pessimism that I had during the game made me remember those defeats. That is the primary feeling I experienced, although as a candidate and a Barcelona player who analyzes the club from different points of view, other types of thoughts also came to me.

Q: Do you think Bartomeu would have had to resign after the debacle against Bayern Munich?

R: Bartomeu would have already had to resign in 2017 and that is why I then activated the only mechanism allowed by the Statutes to force this resignation: the vote of no confidence. I got 12,500 signatures and I did not reach the necessary ones because, in violation of the Statutes, as a court ruling has proven, the club did not allow me to collect the 3,000 signatures that we were missing from the game at the Camp Nou. In the three years that have followed, the compelling reasons for requesting that resignation have only increased.

P: Would you now promote or participate in a vote of no confidence?

R: I participated in the motion of censure against Josep Lluís Núñez in 1998 and later I promoted the one of 2017. In addition, I have close knowledge of the one that the people of Rosell and Bartomeu did to Laporta in 2008. Thus, I can say that I have a lot of experience in this sense.

333 333 Of the 12,500 signatures we obtained in 2017, 60% were achieved in three games at the Camp Nou. Without the possibility of there being games in the stadium and that, therefore, there are concentrations of partners who can be asked to sign, I see it impossible for a vote of no confidence to succeed. And furthermore, we are already very close to the date of the elections. I am not saying that the presentation of the motion is not justified, but without matches in the stadium and with the pandemic I see its success impossible.

P: So you think Bartomeu will exhaust the mandate?

R: Your board of directors is very interested in holding the Assembly of Committees in October with the intention of approving the accounts, but it could happen that the Barcelona partners represented in the Assembly decide not to approve them. It must be remembered that two years ago, when Bartomeu asked the latter for permission to break the debt ceiling of 10%, the Assembly said no. And in October, very sensitive issues such as Goldman Sachs loans and other matters related to Espai Barça will be put on the table.

The Assembly will then have the option of not approving the budgets and this would surely force a resignation of Bartomeu and his board, and the holding of elections in January.

Q: Could the disapproval of accounts have more consequences?

R: These would not be consolidated and, therefore, those of us who fear that there has been a lot of financial engineering that has distorted the operating account, we would see how these accounts should be reformulated and approved in another Assembly, surely with a new board of directors. This would bring us closer to the economic reality of the club, deriving from it the responsibilities and pertinent consequences.

Q: Is it a fact that you will stand in the elections scheduled for March 2021?

R: I presented myself as a candidate before Sandro Rosell in 2010 and before Bartomeu in 2015, in addition to presenting the motion of censure of 2017. I have been facing this project by Rosell and Bartomeu for some time. And a year ago I already said that I would introduce myself and I confirm it right now. We have been working for a long time and we have some advantage such as having participated in other elections.

Q: Would you count on Koeman if you were the winner of the election?

R: If you make me highlight the correct decisions of Bartomeu the list would be short, but one of them is the signing of Koeman. With Koeman I was negotiating, speaking and signing in the 2015 elections and he was our chosen one to occupy the Barça bench if Luis Enrique decided not to continue, as it seemed then that it was going to happen. Koeman at that time was managing Southampton and for me he was the ideal coach for Barcelona, something that I still think about.

P: What qualities do you see as a coach?

R: We all have recorded the goal against Sampdoria at Wembley and he has grown as a coach. His career in the different teams, both in the Netherlands and in other countries, is very outstanding and draws directly from the sources of Johan Cruyff. He lives off 'cruyffismo' from his own experience and maintains friendship with Pep Guardiola. He has the experience and the good work to manage a situation as difficult as the current one and, if I win the elections, I want him to be the one who leads the team to build a new cycle.

Photos from as.com

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