The Club President explains: "our project isn't finished, and we want to push forward".
Bartomeu:“Rosell didn't resign just because of the Neymar business - there were personal reasons”.
Jordi Mestre appointed new Sporting Vice-President
President Bartomeu’s first Board meeting confirmed Jordi Mestre as the Club’s new Sporting Vice-President, replacing Sr Bartomeu. Sr Mestre was previously the director in charge of academy football and Barça B, as well as the women’s football teams.
The FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu and his Board of Directors feel strong and are determined to take on the challenges and projects they began under Sandro Rosell in the summer of 2010. “We feel strong and able to do everything we set out to. I’d ask the members to have confidence in myself and the board . We are the same group who have been running the Club during these four years with Sandro Rosell. This is not a break, it’s a continuation – we are the same people and we are excited about the future”.
Martino set to stay
The President also touched on the future of coach Tata Martino: “we are hoping to announce shortly that Tata Martino will be with us for many more years, at the very least until the end of our mandate. He is a professional and is doing a great job".
Answering questions from journalists, Bartomeu ruled out new elections: “we have a project which we believe in and which we are carrying out successfully and I can see no reason to call for new elections because we are doing a good job on an economic, social and sporting level”. Amongst the projects which have been undertaken are the remodelling of the Camp Nou, something which Bartomeu claimed: “inspires us to go on until 2016”. The President also reminded journalists that: “the Club statutes allow the Board to continue and state that if the President resigns, it is the first Vice-President who should take over. I formed part of a list which won more votes than any other in the history of the Club. The project hasn’t finished – we have important challenges ahead of us and we want to push forward”. Sr Bartomeu also insisted that the Board would not allow the referendum on the new Camp Nou to become a vote of confidence in the new President.
The President also made it clear that:“even if the lawsuit is widened to include myself and vice-president Faus (who both signed contracts with Neymar), we won't be resigning. We feel strong. Sr Rosell didn’t resign just for this business, he also had personal reasons. We did all we could to convince him not to resign, but it was impossible because he was very clear in his own mind. As President – and also as Vice-President before that, he brought such a lot to the Club”.
“This is a unique and unrepeatable occasion - I didn’t need to think twice when the post was offered to me. I’ll have a different way of doing things – not better or worse, just different. We will be working for Barça, making every effort to improve as a Club and to lead the world of sport”.
A big part of that leadership will be down to Leo Messi and the President explained he'd soon be talking to the player's agent - his father Jorge Messi -about improving his contract: “Messi is the best player in the world and we want him to continue to be the best paid player”.
Looking to 2016, Bartomeu, who looked relaxed throughout, explained: “our idea is to stand for re-election – we feel that responsibility. When we won in 2010, the idea was to be in charge over two mandates and we will do that. I hope that my fellow Board members will continue to show confidence in me in 2016”.
Finally, Sr Bartomeu explained that having been able to reveal all the information concerning Neymar’s transfer: “has taken a weight off us and allows us to be even more honest with the members”