President Sandro Rosell has spoken to over a thousand supporters club members about the progress made last season and the general situation at the club. He started by discussing the change of manager, saying that “it has been a very tough preseason and it was very sad to learn that we shall no longer be enjoying the presence of Tito. It has been a privilege to work with a coach like him. Everyone involved in Barça is here for him and we wish him a safe recovery.” His comment was met with rapturous applause.
He also mentioned Tito’s successor: “Tata isn’t that well known in Europe, but we’ll be getting to know him. He’s the right coach and person” he said. “Everyone who has interacted with him has been delighted. He’s a very good coach, he likes our model and he can make fresh improvements to it.”
One more to come
The president also spoke about Neymar and the possibilities offered by his relationship with Leo Messi: “They understand each other as people and I suppose they will understand each other on the field as well … Messi is ultra-motivated right now, the doctors say they’ve never seen him in better shape. He’s always cheerful in training. He’s our leader.” Rosell ended his discussion of sporting issues with the revealing comment that “there is one more new signing still to come,” although he didn’t give away any names.
He then moved on to the club’s economic situation. “We are still recovering, but we’ve started generating a profit again” he said. “We’ll continue reducing the debt. We found ourselves 500 million in the red and the aim is to reduce that by 300 million to 200 million by the end of our mandate”. He also stressed the increase in assets and how “for the first time in many years we have positive equity … We own more than what we owe and that’s a very important ratio in order to ensure credibility”.
Socially and institutionally strong
2012/13 was also a big year in social terms. Rosell summarised all the different activities, laying particular emphasis on the future referendum on the proposals to restructure the Camp Nou, as well as the drafting of new statutes and the updating of the census. “The Social Area is very healthy” he concluded.
The president also touched on institutional affairs, including the imminent trip to Israel and Palestine, saying that “we want to do our little bit for peace … We are a transversal club.” He also commented that “out of respect for our roots, we wanted to honour the 300th anniversary of 1714 by having a second strip in the colours of the Catalan flag.” Those words received one of the biggest ovations of the day.