Franco supporter with no position at Barcelona recommended Deco for Sporting Director role

Barcelona Vice-President Rafael Yuste has revealed that new Sporting Director Deco became a candidate for the role after Alejandro Echevarria, who has no role at the club, recommended him.

Echevarria was formerly on the board at Barcelona during President Joan Laporta’s first tenure, but was eventually forced to resign. The reason being that he was revealed to be part of the National Francisco Franco Foundation, dedicated to the former murderous dictator of Spain, who also banned Catalan.

Publicly, the foundation has the goal of spreading the knowledge and philosophy of Franco, while under the surface, El Triangle claim that it is formed of former regime members, high-ranking government officials, and powerful businessman who benefitted from the Franco regime,wih many still benefitting from the aristocratic relations formed at the foundation. Their information is that those business ties helped Echevarria’s father too, and thus himself. Laporta knows Echevarria through his ex-wife, the two becoming cousins in law.

Recently, Director Enric Masip revealed to Sport that ‘Alejandro is a brilliant guy, who I have been friends with for 40 years.’ He goes on to claim that whenever Laporta has ‘a problem with a player’, he goes to Echevarria, and claims that the same happened during the time of Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Deco and Echevarria also have business relations, working together in Gabon some years previously. During the former’s presentation in his new role, Yuste revealed that it was the former board member, who has no position at Barcelona and receives no salary, who recommended they turn to Deco during their election campaign.

“During the election campaign, when I along with Laporta was looking for someone to lead the sporting project for the club, we looked at Mateu [Alemany], we looked at Jordi Cruyff, and in a meeting that I had with Alejandro Echevarria, he introduced me to Deco in a professional capacity. And one of the things that I learned about him was his capacity for management, analysis and above all negotiation.”

“He’s a man who says things to your face, a humble man, a hard-working man, and a man who will not avoid making every effort necessary to improve the club. And a man of the club.”

Laporta declared that Deco ‘met all of the conditions’ for the role, noting his business background, ability to negotiate, and talent for negotiations.

Deco has never been a sporting director previously, but has worked as an advisor, at Porto and Fluminense, a scout, and as an agent, setting up his own business in the field. Yuste also highlighted the fact that Deco had spent four years at the club previously, and shared the pitch with manager Xavi. Nevertheless, those who question the influence of Echevarria have once again seen him at the heart of Barcelona’s major moves.