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Cesar's Corner ~ Amunti's Valencia Blog

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Hi guys,
I'll post articles from my Valencia blog on the Offside on this thread.
Please feel free to make comments here or on the blog.
As always, AMUNT!!

First up? An interview with Vicente Soriano. Enjoy!

Here, an interesting interview with Valencia president and majority shareholder Vicente Soriano in today’s Las Provincias.

It’s an illuminating read and to that end, I’ve done the hard work and translated it for you, my dear readers.

Please understand I’m not 100% fluent in Spanish. So if this came out poorly, I apologize. I took some editorial liberties here and there, But I think it came out ok, nevertheless. Give it a gander. I think it’s eye opening. To read the original in Spanish, please click the link above.

I’ll refrain from making comments on what he said and leave that to you … what do you make of Soriano’s answers??

Fifty million Euros for Villa … Any other president not only would not have hesitated a moment, he would have put a link to sell sooner rather than later.
- The Real Madrid bid was 40 million Euros. Ramon Calderon made the offer the day of the Super Cup match in the Bernabeu.

In any case, 40 million Euros is also a barbaric offer, don’t you think?
- We studied the offer, both economically, socially and sports wise, and I can assure you that it was not anything interesting.

Are you aware that if you had sold Villa the question now would be the other way around? Why did you sell the top scorer of Euro 2008?
- Yes, certainly you would be asking me that question and I would say that it was done to meet social, administrative or financial needs. We analyzed the situation and accepted that selling Villa was selling bread for today and hunger for tomorrow, and we decided that it was not interesting.

Whatever decision you made would have heaped criticism on you … If you sold him, why did you sell? If you didn’t, why didn’t you?
-Sure. It was a complicated decision and we looked at it very carefully.

Ramon Calderon has said that you, Tamargo (Villa’s agent) and Villa know that it was Real Madrid that finally said no to this Villa transfer operation. Is that correct?
-Is that what Calderon said? Let’s see. Several messengers came to me which I didn’t find very valid and I also felt that way about Mr. Calderon’s offer because he made the offer in the bowels of the Bernabeu during the game, when he personally made me the offer, without any in-betweens. In a sense this was the only bid.

What did you say?
– I didn’t answer him at that moment and the next day we analyzed it carefully. We concluded, I repeat, that the offer was not interesting. To my knowledge, neither the player nor the player’s agent nor myself, of course, received another offer other than that of Calderon that day at the Bernabeu.

Does it hurt that in many parts of Spain fans don’t understand why Villa, like Cazorla (who almost left Villarreal for Madrid), decided to remain with their teams rather than go to Real Madrid?
-Man! I can say that in Valencia we are very proud that a player like David Villa decided to continue with us rather than having lobbied for a possible transfer to Real Madrid. He didn’t do that because he was, is and will continue to be happy with us and that’s what he told me.

In this Villa transfer saga/war, what responsibility did the agents have at the time of the tangle?
I have not seen a war in Villa’s case. It has been clear and transparent. For more than three weeks the agent informed me that there might be interest from Madrid and I replied that we were not interested in selling him, but nevertheless told him they could make an offer, which Calderon did.

And what do you think about a former Valencia sporting director, Amedeo Carboni, who mediated as a FIFA agent to try to bring Villa to Madrid?
- Everyone is very free in their actions, but I should not answer this question. What I want pointed out is that at no time was he a representative of Valencia in this transfer. Never.

Villa reached an economic agreement with Madrid conditional on you and Calderon reaching an agreement?
- I do not know who would believe that any pact was reached, because that would be denounced. He is a player under a very strong contract. On the contrary, what I was told was that he wanted to continue with us and we reached a satisfactory agreement.

Do you think Real Madrid acted in an ethical manner by forcing their ‘machine’ on you until the last day of the transfer market?
-This must be said in a nuanced way., I do not grade Madrid’s forms of action. Calderon has been fair with Valencia and correct with me as a negotiating partner. But I have to complain about some comments that I am not going to define by some members of the technical board of Madrid. Beyond all this, it is not true that Real Madrid has tried to bother until the last minute.

You talked with Calderon yesterday (Monday) …
- Yes, he called in the afternoon to see if the rumors that we wanted to sell Villa were true and I told him no.

Did he make you an new offer?
- He didn’t talk to me about money because I wouldn’t let him. It was fine. I reminded him that we presented the player with a new contract just last week. I think the shirt with the ‘2014′ on the back said it all, and there’s nothing more to talk about.

With the weakened economic state that you inherited as president of Valencia, didn’t it make you think about selling Villa and Silva?
-I never understood how to negotiate the sale of such emblems of this club. You think there could have been negotiations? I don’t understand it like that. We should regulate our economic situation through other resources which, I must say well, Don Juan Bautista Soler left us. Our work is aimed in that direction, to manage the non-sports resources to fix the economic situation of Valencia.

The decision to not sell Villa required a lot of thought but what did your heart tell you?
-My heart always said: Don’t sell.

On the transfers of Pablo and Renan, it’s been 6 years since Valencia made so few transfers …
-Valencia has a great team and have a great staff that can reach the top. I don’t think because we made such few transfers we will do bad. On the contrary. We’ll do better than last season.

You can always say you signed the striker Real Madrid wanted and the winger (Silva) Barcelona dreamed of.
-You said it. The best transfers were signing Villa and Silva and keeping Miguel, Albelda, Baraja, Vicente… all of them. I don’t want to forget any of them. I think that’s the best transfer.

What happened to Zigic, who had one foot back at Racing and is now staying?
- He has simply found it more interesting to stay in Valencia. We will respect and hope that this will be the best thing for him and for the club.

He understands he probably won’t play here much?
- Footballers, as well as being footballers, are people, and each has their way of thinking.

Other cases are those of Maduro and Hugo Viana.
- They believe that staying is the best for their interests and we are grateful.

Are you disappointed with Eduardo Espejo, the representative of Joaquin, for the alleged bid that never came?
- I do not feel disappointed by anything. Everyone is free to handle things as they see fit. Joaquin has decided to stay with us and we believe he’s done well. He’s a great player, very usable, and we hope that he shows that this season.

They receive bad advice?
- It is not my task to value that.

You wanted to bring a ‘crack’, Diego Milito, and he wanted to come. Why isn’t he here?
-We didn’t think solely in Milito. We managed a suite of good players and can assure you that before Milito we had other options, I’m not saying they were better or worse. We tried and it was not possible. To not bring a player to improve what we have, we prefer to stay as we were.

Are you satisfied with your team?
- Very satisfied.

I guess, like everyone, on Sunday we were surprised by the absence of Hildebrand.
- Well … One no longer is surprised by anything. Soccer is both simple and complicated. It was a decision of the coach, a great one, very smart, and I am convinced that at that time Emery did what was good for the team.

What are Valencia’s goals this season?
-To win every game. I am confident that with the goal of winning at Almeria as we won on Saturday, and then the following week… at the end of the season we will be up there. Goals beyond that are inconvenient.

Personal goals?
- Yes, but I’ll keep them to myself, because in principle they are only wishes.

In economic terms, has you been surprised by the economic hole at the club?
-More or less I knew the financial situation of the club, so I’m not surprised by anything. Valencia, as a corporation, has ample resources to regularize their economic situation.

Do I understand what you say as a gesture of elegance to those who were before you?
- No. I neither want nor wish to talk about what has no solution. I love to give solutions to things. I don’t lose energy thinking that if he had this or done that …. The only thing that moves me is the interest of resolving the situation before us. And be sure that we will succeed in fixing it.

Valencia-Experience shows no signs of life, and as long as you advertise it, they should pay Valencia CF 6 million euros …
- It is something that our lawyer is studying. He’ll decide.

Should the responsibility lie with the person who signed this contract?
- It is a legal issue to be resolved our legal advisers.

Will the issue of the Mestalla land plots (selling Mestalla) be resolved this month?
-I hope so. In any case, we will have short-term solutions.

Handling multiple bids?
Yes, and with security we’ll reach a successful conclusion. I think this month.

Will you still get 350 million euros?
- It is what we want. We’ll see what happens at the end of it. The shareholders have all the information with total transparency.

If economic forecasts are met, will the club make transfers in the winter market?
- Speaking of that now is presumptuous. Time will tell. At this moment we see no need to do so, it is not our intention.

How is the new stadium going?
- The construction goes on day by day. And if there is a slowdown it is because of labor issues, a change in something, never for another reason.
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You write really well, Amunt :)
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