Interview with Dani Sanchez-LlibreBy: Mando | July 31st, 2011
In the latest Don Balon, Spain´s preeminent weekly Sports Magazine, they have an interview with our outgoing President Dani Sanchez-Llibre. Here are some highlights.
Game day will be, ¨Completely different¨, he says, ¨I´ll arrive half an hour early, like all the other supporters. I will hang out with friends, and when the traffic is more fluid, I will go home with no press conferences and no need to greet the other team´s entourage.
Memories: He´ll remember many things, but he says the eight year process of building the new stadium is his lasting legacy. ¨From when I had my first meetings with the mayors of Cornellà and El-Prat, and with ex-President (of the Generalitat) Jordi Pujol. The work was completed in August 2009. It is to be proud considering that the club´s heritage (Sarrià) disappeared in 1997. 14 years later, Espanyol has a much stronger global image, better than before.” As for difficult memories, he mentions the 03-04 season when not only were the club in serious danger of relegation, saved on the last day in Murcia, but that off the field his presidency suffered the indignity of a failed coup by Grupo 3.0 and José Manuel Lara. From then on, the club was split and held together only by the supporters. It would end only after buyout Lara´s shares. He also of coure mentions the death of Jarque. ¨He had fainted and were trying to revive him. At that moment I thought it was a low blood sugar because my father and my brother had suffered. Five minutes later I called again to say that things went wrong. 30 seconds later they tell me he has died. We had a very special relationship. Three weeks before we had dined together. He had put his contract on the table so that I could fill in the duration.¨
Regrets: He states that when he became President in 1997 he had very little experience and would ¨rectify many things; a signing that did not go well or a coach who was worse.¨ When pressed, the assumption was that he still harbored some resentment at Bielsa for leaving so soon after signing with the club, but apparently he was talking not of the Argentine but about Juande Ramos who was fired in 2002 after only five games in charge and the club in last place.
Television Rights: it has always been a sticking point for the ex-President. ¨’It’s a struggle that began with six teams a couple of years ago. It is an abuse and the worst thing that could have the football. I once said the league has been prostituted and I meant that is sold until 2020. Barca and Madrid have secured the League Championship and most will tell you that virtually Champions too. Besides the two mentioned, there are two or three teams with budgets of between 100 and 200 million euros.¨ Until they fix the issue of television rights he adds, all but two clubs are obliged to make a sale every year.