A War of Weasely Words

There are a lot of ways to read a statement. There are certainly more than twice that many ways to read two statements. In Wednesday’s El Mundo, Salvador Sostres wrote a very interesting article. It included a quote of Pep Guardiola telling Sandro Rosell, to paraphrase, “Screw me over and I’ll air your dirty laundry for everyone to see.” It mentioned that Pep was blindsided by secret negotiations between the Rosell administration and Tito Vilanova in the run up to Pep’s resignation as first team coach.

The Rosell administration has responded with a double barreled attack in the form of an official club statement condemning Sostres by name and basically calling him a liar. The statement denounces El Mundo’s article and demands an immediate retraction from the newspaper or, in essence, there will be consequences.

One way to interpret this kerfuffle is to point out that El Mundo is Madrid-based, Sostres has had it out for Rosell in the recent past, and the club is merely responding to false accusations in a strong way. Each of those clauses is certainly its own interpretation, and they don’t necessarily follow along logically. Certainly Sostres has pushed the idea of Guardiola being forced out by Rosell as a major talking point, and it would appear that Rosell has had enough.

Sostres’ arguments seem to have little significant backing other than his own bold proclamations. My own interpretation lies between where Sostres has landed (Rosell hates Pep) and where Rosell sits (the administration is doing far better than anyone else possibly could). Rosell is, from where I sit, clearly pushing to eradicate everything Laporta did, not Pep. Unfortunately for Pep, Laporta appointed him and Rosell is still grumpy about that despite the success Pep has brought Rosell’s administration.

If one is to believe Sostres, Tito Vilanova failed to discuss Rosell’s approaches throughout the final half of the season with his extremely good friend who has previously dedicated trophies to him and made it clear that the two would be inseparable as long as Pep remained coach. And that brings up a very serious interpretation of all of this: Rosell is more worried about protecting his personal honor (whatever that means) than running the club in a way that maximizes its successes.

I’ll let nzm take over for a second:

[Rosell] didn’t turn up to the RFEF when strong words and a show at the meeting were needed to voice the club’s dissatisfaction in the refereeing standards. Instead, they sent “a strongly worded letter”. There has been little in the way of public support for Pep and the team, nor any in the places where it counts. Give me Laporta any day. He would have been in there shaking hands, slapping backs and telling them jovially, “Don’t mess with us. Do your jobs or we will become too difficult for you to ignore. Now, enough of this nonsense, let’s go to lunch. I’m buying.”

Yet, whenever Rosell is in the firing line, they come out with all guns blazing. He’s taking it too personally – not able to separate himself from the role that he has. It’s a dangerous thing, because he can’t see the whole picture when he’s only concerned about what affects him.

It’s a fair point to say that when Tito was poked in the eye during a match, when he was, to perhaps put too intense a point on it, attacked by a rival manager (now his direct equal — though always beneath him in so many ways), the club said virtually nothing. Yet now the club is threatening legal action because a journalist pushed Rosell’s buttons, threatened his legacy, said something that didn’t paint the administration in the great of light.

Guardiola made the point that the club kept silent on a lot of things, took the high road. What high road is Rosell taking now? When it’s the players’ reputations, the staff’s reputation, the club’s honor, it’s time to take the high road. But Rosell’s honor? Rosell’s actions? Lawyers, sally forth.

Turning to nzm again:

The next board meeting is at the Dali Museum in Figueres. Wait? No money for colour copies, yet they can travel a couple of hours there and back for a board meeting in a museum out of Barcelona? Couldn’t they find somewhere in the city or at the club?

So much for Laporta being the only one who wants to lead the good life. If it comes out in the papers, will they take Joan to court for having arranged this meeting years in advance (and paid a premium for the reservation)?