NEWS
Thursday February 13 2014
Bartomeu will stand in 2016

Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed he will stand for re-election in 2016.

In an interview with Sky Sports Bartomeu spoke on a number of subjects, from the resignation of Sandro Rosell to the state of the League title race and Lionel Messi’s contract.

“Rosell was under a lot of pressure,” Bartomeu said of his predecessor, who claimed he received death threats prior to stepping down.

“He wanted to continue but his family asked him to leave so he could relax. No one can be prepared for what he went through.

“This is football, sport and passion, and it should not happen.

“Rosell is an honest man who did a great job. It was his decision.

“I am his friend. My advice was: “The club needs you.” But it was his decision.

“I will continue with the same project. It doesn’t change.”

Rosell resigned in the wake of allegations made by Jordi Cases, a Barca member, over the signing of Neymar from Santos.

“It’s a case of a member of the club against Rosell, not against the club.

“We’ve explained the exact terms of the transaction and that should be satisfactory. We gave the information Neymar’s father allowed us to do.”

Asked how Neymar has handled the situation, Bartomeu suggested the Brazil forward is more concerned about getting fit.

“I’ve talked to him. He’s ok, eager to play again. He hopes to return in the coming days,” Bartomeu said.

Bartomeu insisted that taking the top job at Camp Nou wasn’t something he ever anticipated.

“I never thought of being President, only to help the club.

“After the defeat in the 1994 Champions League final in Athens, we said we have to do something with the club.

“Rosell was there with me and four members of the current board. We were young but we felt we should do something.

“It’s hard. The first thing I want to do in these two-and-a-half years is to modernise the club, the stadium, the basketball section, the museum…Football is the main thing but we want to modernise the whole club.

“The project is long and ambitious, lasting until 2021. The goal is to be in the club and to help. I will be a candidate in 2016.”

Bartomeu also said he intends to teach what he feels are the values of Barca to a new generation.

“Barca’s values remain. To my father Barca was always a way to express his feelings, and not just sports feelings.

“Human too, in a different era in Spain, with the dictatorship.

“Now we are focused on the children, to teach them the values of the club.”

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