Rosell: I'll do it my way at Barca

MADRID, June 11 (Reuters) - Sandro Rosell, favourite to replace Joan Laporta as Barcelona president, will take a leaf out of the book of singing great Frank Sinatra and run the club "My Way" if he wins Sunday's election.

The 46-year-old businessman, with strong links to sports marketing, has consistently topped opinion polls for the four candidates.

The president steps down at the end of June after seven years in charge and Barca's 'socios' (club members) can choose between Rosell, Laporta's preferred successor Jaume Ferrer, former director Marc Ingla and outsider Agusti Benedito.

Rosell was vice-president for sport under Laporta between 2003/05 before quitting over differences about the way the club was run and his opponents have suggested he has a shopping list of big-name players much like Florentino Perez at arch-rivals Real Madrid.

"If we win we'll have our own style and model but it will be nothing like Florentino's Madrid," said Rosell when answering questions from readers of the daily Sport newspaper.

"We all want to have the maximum number of players from the youth system but to have the best team in the world sometimes you have to look outside to cover positions we cannot fill from within."

While previous elections have seen candidates promise to sign different players or coaches if they win, this year's campaign has been marked by a general consensus that little needs changing for the Spanish champions.


Developing the youth system and bringing Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas back to the Nou Camp, for example, are shared by all.

The main differences have been in style rather than substance with Ingla, Benedito and Ferrer attacking Rosell, who stated his intention to stand more than a year ago and entered the race with more signatures of support than the other three put together.

Ingla, a 44-year-old business consultant, quit as vice-president for sport in 2008 after Laporta lost a confidence vote among club members and he has proposed creating an international string of youth feeder schools.

Businessman Ferrer, 46, has focused on his involvement with the Barca side that won six trophies in 2009 while Benedito has enjoyed a surge in popularity following television and radio debates.

The 45-year-old, who runs a family business of car dealerships, has positioned himself as the independent candidate with populist calls to allow members more of a say in the running of the club.

"Rosell, Ferrer and Ingla are all the same," he has said. "There are two models: A Barca run by people with strong links to the media, financial and political elites, or a model closer to the people who speak in a language the people understand."