Víctor Font (Granollers, 48 years old) is a businessman in the telecommunications, content and technologies sector, also co-founder of the newspaper ARA, who aspires to preside over FC Barcelona. Appealing to rationality in a scenario as emotional as that of football, and especially when it comes to a club as passionate as Barça in the current context of Catalonia, seems reckless and, nevertheless, he assumes the risk of presenting his candidacy with so firmly that he would only have to say: "I don't understand how they don't vote for me." It is not pedantry, but security and conviction that his project is the best solution for Barça. More businessman than politician, more methodical than charismatic, his team boasts figures such as journalist Antoni Bassas, tennis coach Toni Nadal and doctor Ramon Cugat.
Question. Both you and Bassas and Albert Roura, the person in charge of your electoral campaign, are at the top of the list of people who supposedly sought to defame former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Response. We have been working on a project for the future for a long time without having anything to do with the past, without being part of the Cainite war that has always existed, and hence it surprises me a lot .
Q. I would guarantee that, before the presentation from Laporta, you were considered the alternative to the continuist candidacy that still did not have a leader .
R. Yes, but not only that. The fact of having built a project with time and with people with such credibility also caused surprise in the Barça environment. They saw us as a rival that could have according to what interests behind them and they began to stigmatize us
P. Ideologically, both politically and sportingly, are you closer to Laporta than to Toni Freixa?
R. Our project is transversal, there is everything type of ideologies. We only agree with Laporta in fidelity to a style of play; not model-wise. There is one that belongs to the past, presidentialist and alpha male, while ours is totally different. And, given the complicated context such as the one the club is going through, Barçagate reinforces that idea .
R. If we do not turn the page and build a new club management model, these situations can be repeated. Bartogate is exceptional, but the problems derived from the lack of morality and judicialization of the club have been repeated since the time of Núñez and also existed with Laporta. The lack of transparency is generated when the club acts governing as if he were the owner: the control mechanisms are not so effective because the statutory committees are friends and because the assemblies of electors partners are managed by the mando.
P . Do not think your model requires a difficult teaching to visualize and apply in an election?
R. FC Barcelona is fed up by the situations that affect the reputation of the club. And the partner, who logically prioritizes the ball, comes a time when he gets tired. Something similar to what happened in the 2003 elections [won by Laporta]. It was not exactly the same, but the club also suffered a lot. Explaining the how is more technical, but everyone understands that it is convenient to turn the page. Laporta's option seems an act of faith and, as such, it gives the feeling that it cannot be refuted, not even by reviewing the past. I try to fight appearances, not to take for granted what is not firm, and the data assures that there are 35,000 undecided partners.
Q. And how do you convince them?
R. With perseverance and time. If people don't know you and the media speakers focus on a short period, it's good to have days to explain yourself, especially when other candidates who haven't done their homework try to discredit you and knock you down.
Q. Have you been naive in presenting In your organization chart to club assets such as Xavi or Jordi Cruyff when you know they could return to the club with anyone who can be president?
R. I am honest, not naive. I have explained our bet without making bobbin lace, but defining responsibilities. What is not good for the interests of Barcelona is to say that they are not exclusive to me and to try to discredit me. We bet on Xavi as the leader of the project for the next 10 years and the rivals try to deny us with the argument that he is an asset of the club, when neither of them has Xavi. Freixa says he wants it for Barcelona B and Laporta points out that he has no experience. Then it is not worth them to say that we take advantage of Xavi. They try to deceive and confuse. I say: Who has denied us?
P. Jordi Cruyff marked distances with respect to his project when he saw himself as sports director.
A. He did not say it was a lie. But it has been leaked to the press that he would now be Barça's technical secretary if Laporta wins. The game is simple: you are with me or against me, they put people between a rock and a hard place, and if they don't take the step then they don't count on them. Xavi has not given it and that is why they do not have him. Is that taking care of the assets of the club?
Q. What do you answer to those who say that you would be a better president than a candidate?
R. Many do not know me. Some understand that I lack charisma and that I am squared. If they see me strange it is because I do things differently. But people are surprised when I interact with her. There are people who have told me: “I have voted by mail and I have not voted for you. A pity because now that I know you I would vote for you. ”
Q. Is it difficult for you to convince the media world?
R. I think that some have assumed the role of initial favorite of Laporta and have gone after him.
Q. Is it possible to speak of the Barça elections without talking about Laporta?
R. From a journalistic point of view that confrontation is sought. We, on the other hand, think about building and adding as much talent as possible to face the perfect storm that is coming upon us. I have told Laporta that his experience is very useful to face the challenge of the future, but not with his style of leadership and presidentialism. That is not what Barça needs.
Joan Laporta: “I am independent from the powers that be”
P. A non-presidential model seems alien to the world of football .
A. In a club there are many disparate activities and it takes different talent to make different decisions. The world of football has nothing to do with that of basketball: if you have the same person to make decisions in both areas, you are wrong. In the business section of the club, too. If we want to protect the ownership model and continue to win Cups, Leagues and Champions against the clubs that are richer, we have to have the capacity to generate more income than expenses. The model of the Superman who does it all no longer exists. Today's world has nothing to do with what it was in 2003.
Q. How do you convince Messi?
R. Messi makes his decisions based on who deserves more credibility and based on a winning sports project. And in this context, who has more credibility, Xavi or a former president? It is clear to me which of the two letters convinces you the most.
Q. Is Xavi your letter for Messi to stay?
R. The letter to convince Messi is a winning sports project. Guardiola has always said that the challenge of a coach is to convince the player
P. The economic situation of the club will have to be fixed beforehand.
R. Surely it is not fixed by saying that in the same way as it was arranged in the past. We cannot borrow more. It is necessary to improve the lines of income and adapt them to the present time. You need a plan and experience in business management to apply a different model than the world of football is used to. We are committed to the future and that means changing habits, inertia, ways of governing and ways of doing that no longer make sense if they are not addressed in a collegial and professional way.