This is an interesting comment from Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell:
"We must be careful, because from an economic standpoint we are not good. We have a stratospheric level of debt. £420million over what needs to be paid for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Dmytro Chygrynskiy. We must improve the squad each year, but we must also make sure that we are managing the economic resources that the club needs to survive.”
Most presidential candidates run on the platform of how many superstars they can bring in. Joan Laporta himself came in on the back of a bogus "Beckham-to-Barcelona" ticket, and when that fell through, had to bring in Ronaldinho to avoid getting lynched. For Sandro Rosell to run on a platform of relative financial prudence is kind of refreshing.
There's an interesting article on Rosell on wikipedia. Rosell was Laporta's running mate, and was instrumental to the Ronaldinho to Barcelona deal. He resigned from the board in 2005, claiming Laporta had failed to carry out their original plan for the club. Since then, he's been critical about the way Barcelona's been run, calling it "absolute anarchy".
It'll be interesting to see what would happen if Rosell got elected. Some of the more mediocre senior squad players would probably leave. More youth players would be promoted. The redevelopment of the Nou Camp would probably be put on the back-burner (how can you make a 100,000 seat stadium more profitable?). And they probably won't be willing to shell out £50m for Fabregas to act as Xavi's backup.
I'm not sure Guardiola would be impressed. Barcelona have the best team in the world, but there are a few areas that need to be reinforced. David Villa's been signed to replace Henry. They'll probably need a new left-back / centre-back as well. Guardiola is great with getting the best out of players, and he's great at promoting players through the club, but he also likes his marquee signings. Alves and Pique a couple of seasons back, Ibrahimovic and Chygrynskiy last season, and Villa and Fabregas now?
Would he be willing to stay at Barcelona and have a restrained transfer budget?
There's only one manager in the world who could keep an elite club competitive, and yet is willing to keep it financially solvent. And that one manager is Arsene Wenger. So if Rosell gets elected, what are the chances that Guardiola walk and Wenger is appointed manager? And if that's the case, what's the chances that we'll hire Guardiola?
It makes a perverse kind of sense. Barcelona needs a manager who can reduce their debt. Arsenal need a manager who can turn a talented group of individuals into a talented team. Wenger needs a club that will push him to win trophies. Guardiola needs a club which, um... plays like a crappy version of Barcelona's football. Guardiola has won everything under the sun, and he needs a new challenge. Wenger likes playing young players, and La Masia is the best youth academy in the world.
So would anyone else swap Wenger and Fabregas for Guardiola and money?
So on the 337th last day of my 20s, I cracked the shits at work. I'm sick of equipment that doesn't work, and of bosses who are too absent to fix it. It pisses me off in a big way. Can't wait to give notice next week.