Víctor Font, candidate for the Barça presidency: “The decision about Messi will be taken by Xavi”

Toni Nadal

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Victor Font is never the only one three candidates for the presidency of Barça who has never been part of the club, but his name has been known in his environment for a long time after many years of preparation for the candidacy and seems the great alternative to Joan Laporta, the favorite.

This 48-year-old businessman from Granollers presents himself with illustrious names such as Toni Nadal, Dr. Ramón Cugat and Antoni Bassas and with the advantage of having, as guaranteed, with Xavi Hernández at the head of the sports project.

He assures that Barça is in danger of ending up becoming a SAD

It has always been a theoretical risk, but given the economic situation the club is in, any decision made in the next three or six months in the economic aspect can deepen the risk that now exists. Therefore, from our knowledge of the economic situation, we will not take any action in the coming months that may increase this risk. That is to say, not to increase debt and Laporta bonds certainly not. We will refinance debt, lower the costs we have now, which are above what we can afford, and drive revenue growth as soon as possible.

Will the cost of the staff go down, then?

It is part of what needs to be readjusted. Everyone in our business and family lives is suffering the impact of the pandemic and we have to readjust to the new reality. Players have made a first effort by deferring part of the income, but apart from deferring, a readjustment will be necessary to adapt it to what the club can afford.

That readjustment brings us to Messi and his renewal. What do you plan to offer?

At Messi case, any readjustment of the wage bill must be carried out by the sports management and those who have to make sports decisions, which in our project is neither the president nor managers but the sports structure, which would be led by Xavi Hernández. Based on your criteria, we will do touch-ups, changes, highs, lows and in that planning Leo Messi is in front of the needs of the next few years. We will do our best to retain you. Apart from offering you a credible, winning sports project, where Xavi plays a fundamental role due to the relationship he has with Leo, we will propose a life contract. The Barça-Messi association is strategic and should go beyond the years that it has been active. That gives us flexibility to offer something attractive to Leo.

If Messi tells you that he would continue with the same salary as the current one, would you accept?

It will be necessary to see what is possible. Advancing to possible scenarios without having been able to propose the proposal that we believe is the best for the club and for him is to venture a lot.

His idea is Xavi as general manager. So Koeman would continue as coach and Xavi would have to wait for his opportunity?

More than waiting for his chance, his chance would become a reality if he won the elections because Xavi would return to Barça. This is the most important news. After having had Johan Cruyff, Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Tito Vilanova … Barcelona fans know that putting the football project in the hands of someone like Xavi is what we have to do. What we want to avoid is to repeat a situation like the one we have suffered with Guardiola. We gave him a coaching position, he was emptied, we did not create the conditions for his link with Barça to be in the medium-long term and he will end up spending seven years in Manchester when he was with us for four. We want Xavi to be our Alex Ferguson. We have Koeman as a coach, we want to shelter him, give him that project that he has not had until now. He has arrived, he had an unbalanced squad, he asked for reinforcements and we couldn’t give it to him. Have a project that fits and from there choose all the titles.

But Xavi seems to want to be a coach …

What we want is for Xavi to be the cornerstone of the project. As you say, his dream is to train Barça one day. He has been trained and is already a reality, a successful coach, and that he can come to serve the club and be prepared to assume different roles depending on what is needed is good for Barça.

Xavi Hernández says goodbye to Qatar.

What profile of president are you going to be?

A profile that is forceful in defending the interests of the club but at the same time intelligent to do it in a way that achieves more than making noise, that the objectives are met and that the interests of Barça are not trampled as they have been in recent years times in various situations. It was evident that in the League after the lockdown, the League was lost due to various decisions that always favored the same team and were very doubtful. We have worked this part well. First, advising us with people who know how you can defend your interests in the best possible way. How to raise complaints, share situations with which we do not agree …

What is your position on the Super League?

You have to understand what kind of competition we are talking about. It is the third time that there are elite clubs that want to promote a competition like this. We are clear that this has to be done with a very broad agreement, therefore we will wait and see. We are in favor of a substantial improvement in the main European competition, the Champions League. We believe that we can generate more games, replicating what is done in basketball with the Euroleague, but it does not have to be at the expense of national competitions, which are essential for the entire football ecosystem to continue to function.

You have never been part of FC Barcelona like your rivals. Does that play for you or against?

The less positive things is the less knowledge that the social mass has of a person like me. A person from Granollers, the son of a middle-class family who, as a child, had had the illusion of representing the club of my heart. Until I was able to start my business, my company, make it grow, make it successful, I have not had the financial independence that unfortunately is necessary today to lead a project like this.

What is positive is that we are facing a major challenge for which we need fresh air, new ideas. With what we did in 2003 it is impossible to face these challenges. With new ideas, new leaderships, with a different way of managing the club, not presidents who make signings. Attracting talent like Toni Nadal, Dr. Cugat, Antonio Bassas, etc, is what has prepared us to represent Barça’s partner in the best way.

What would be your line in the political aspect? Would the club become unmarked or more pronounced?

We want to be faithful to what Barça is. A club that represents a large part of the Catalan people, which has allowed the Catalan people to explain who we Catalans are in the world, to defend the Catalan language. It is part of our founding roots. That does not mean that Barça has to do politics, that’s what political parties are for, you have to differentiate one thing from the other.

On October 1, 2017, would that Barça-Las Palmas have played with Víctor Font?

No. Not because the country, Catalonia, was in a situation of very important social upheaval, both for those who think in one way and in another, we were all in tension. I even remember that I forgot that Barça was playing that day. Soccer is passion, it means forgetting about our daily problems, in an exceptional situation like that day the best thing is that it had been suspended.

Do you look favorite?

The situation is now so unique that only with a project worked on over the years will Barça go forward. That is why we are convinced that the partner will give us confidence. We are facing the most important elections in the history of the club.

F.C. Barcelona Sport

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