at stake one of the sweetest charges in the country

BarcelonaElections to the Catalan Football Federation (FCF) will be held this Sunday. Four candidates are running. The current president, Joan Soteras, will have to vote for Àlex Talavera, Juanjo Isern and Pep Palacios. Catalan football is in the hands of the Catalan federation for the next four years. ARA has prepared a questionnaire to find out the proposals of the four candidacies. Before, however, we make a brief introduction of each aspirant. We place them in order of guarantees presented in this process.

Joan Soteras (Sabadell, 1948). He has been president of the FCF since 2018, when he took office without going through the elections, as no other candidate passed the cut in endorsements. Textile entrepreneur, he chaired the CE Sabadell in two stages (1994-1996 and 2006-2013). It presented 840 endorsements.

Àlex Talavera (Barcelona, ​​1981). He is running in the elections under the slogan The clubs, first. He is an electronic engineer by profession. He played for PB Sants, in the lower categories of Barça, Damm, Barça C, Barça B, Tenerife, Nàstic, England and then Cornellà, a club of which I have been president for the last ten years. He presented 700 endorsements.

Juanjo Isern (Barcelona, ​​1957). An architect by profession and former director of the Catalan Traffic Service, he is a figure known in Catalan football for his links with Europe, a club in which he first played as a player and then as president. At the FCF, he has been vice president for two stages. It presented 685 endorsements.

Pep Palacios (Barcelona, ​​1963). He developed his career as a sportsman in the world of basketball, where he played in the ACB with Barça and Unicaja. He currently presides over Atlético Sant Just and now presents his candidacy to chair the FCF. He remarks that he campaigned without spending a single euro, “with a pickaxe, a telephone and a car”. He submitted 212 endorsements.

What are the three main points of your electoral program?

Joan Soteras: A very ambitious new competition plan. An economic viability plan, based on savings and good governance. And women’s football, which currently accounts for 10% of licenses and we want to increase that percentage.

Alex Talavera: Making a federation of federations, decentralized: it does not make sense that all decisions have to go through Barcelona. That there is a structure of its own for women, led by experienced women. Protect small clubs and players of training age and reduce spending.

Juanjo Isern: First, that neither I nor my board will charge salaries, wages or allowances. The second is that the federation should stop being a management and be at the service of the clubs. And the third, that the selection is official. The latter are the only ones we ask for.

Pep Palacios: Changing stratospheric salaries for rational ones, creating a new competition plan with two Third RFEF groups and a new Copa Catalunya format, and making Catalan grassroots football not a bargain.

What motivates him to chair the FCF? Is it a greedy charge?

JS: Finish the work of the previous term, which was altered by the covid. It’s a greedy job and that’s good news, it means that Catalan football is alive.

A.T.: Put my experience linked to football to improve Catalan football. More than greedy, it’s a big responsibility.

J.I.: I’ve been to all the places in Catalan football: player, club president [l’Europa], founding president and vice president of the Federation. Being president of the FCF would be the culmination of many years of dedication to football.

P.P.: Subies is running indirectly because he is running for Talavera, and Isern has been vice president of both Subies and Soteras. There were two possibilities: vote for those who are there now or vote for those who have been there. We are the real change.

What has the FCF failed to do most in recent years?

JS: I wouldn’t say it failed. I think the pandemic situation has made it difficult for us. Not just us, everyone. To the general population.

A.T.: Not knowing the reality of territorial clubs. The FCF has polarized. His management style has made Catalan football tense, and it can’t be that the FCF is also in court every day.

J.I.: What has failed most is that they will cover the last two presidents. It has provoked a fratricidal war that has ended in the current discredit. We have lost the idyllic image we had before.

P.P.: The FCF has disconnected from football. It is far from what a vocational body should be, serving the clubs.

How can a more transparent FCF be made? And more equal?

JS: With good governance and values. We embody them. In times of pandemic we have been able to reverse three million debt. This is done rigorously in spending and increasing, when possible, revenue.

A.T.: Implementing the secret ballot in the assemblies to avoid pressure. Also providing complete economic data on the FCF website. For it to be equal, the manager profile needs to be changed: the people who are there now do not believe in a solid project for women’s football.

J.I.: Changing the assemblies and establishing the telematic and secret vote. As for parity, we will create a women’s board of directors.

P.P.: Voting is by show of hands. I have seen assemblies that look more like congresses of the Communist Party of North Korea, in which everyone raised the same poster. You should lose that fear and get out of the two blocks.

What synergies do you plan to weave with professional clubs such as Barça, Espanyol and Girona?

JS: There has always been a good relationship, and we want to maintain it, even though we play in different leagues, in the sense that each other’s needs seldom come together.

A.T.: Being by his side, but what we want is for there to be more Catalan clubs in professional football. Catalan football, with its capacity, must grow.

J.I.: I would like to add more clubs to professional football. Catalonia has many federal licenses and, on the other hand, has very few professional teams. Catalan clubs must be higher.

P.P.: They have more to do with La Liga and the RFEF. His relationship with the FCF is based on grassroots football. But they depend on the federation and they are the mainstay of the Copa Catalunya that we want to promote.

Should the FCF president have a salary?

JS: This was decided by the assembly in the previous term, and was approved by a large majority. I won’t go into assessing whether it’s okay or not.

A.T.: I have asked many club presidents. Everyone who works must have a salary, but it must be reasonable. It is not possible for the president of the FCF to charge 120,000 euros net. You have to pay half.

J.I.: Charging, the current situation has been reached. There is a pit of conflict and judicialization. Why no club president charges and the president of the presidents, yes?

P.P.: This issue would not be so important if it were not for the exorbitant figures. I do not show up to charge, but to change the federation.

Will the Catalan national football team play again against world-class teams?

JS: It is and will be our struggle. It is the selection of a country. Whether or not it is official, unfortunately, is not the responsibility of the FCF.

A.T.: Obviously yes. Country mark must be made through selection.

J.I.: Right now there is a discredit. With me, if we can’t organize official parties, they will be in solidarity, but not in solidarity.

P.P.: It is our dream, but we are pragmatic.



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