ÁLVARO NOBOA ECONOMICALLY SUPPORTS BARCELONA
Proud of his nephews, Toño and Luis Noboa, directors of Barcelona, Álvaro Noboa called a press conference to reveal his decision to support the “Idol of the Astillero” which is facing economic problems due to previous mismanagement.
“Álvaro Noboa, of the Grupo Noboa, has decided to give financial support to Barcelona and in doing so to give my nephews, who are like sons to me, and in doing so, to give to the Barcelona fans of Ecuador some special attention to their team, the national idol, Barcelona.”
Noboa recalled the historic trajectory that has united Grupo Noboa with Barcelona since Isidro Romero was its president, and took the team to various championships.
“50 years ago, the first Barcelona shirts said, “Avena Quaker” (Quaker Oats).
14 years have gone by, said Noboa, without titles for Barcelona, and today it’s at the point of winning the national championship thanks to its directors, who are my nephews and like sons to me.
“It’s a spectacular merit that gives me honor that Antonio Noboa and Luis Noboa have been able, in scarcely one year, to transform the team and take it to glory.”
Álvaro Noboa: May God be with us, Ecuadorians. For more than 50 years, there’s been a very highly-esteemed relationship between Grupo Noboa and the Barcelona Sporting Club. If you will remember, 50 years ago, the first Barcelona shirts said “Avena Quaker” [Quaker Oats]. If you will remember, as well, for many years, during Isidro Romero’s presidency of the Barcelona Sporting Club, the Grupo Noboa supported Barcelona, and in doing so, they won several championships.
Today, after 15 years of not having made it to a championship, and with spectacular merit that does me great honor, and that moves me, given that they are like sons to me, Antonio Noboa and Luis Noboa Ycaza, in scarcely a year, have been able to transform this team to take it to glory and to change it into the national idol, not only the idol of Guayaquil, which it was before, but a national idol.
Today, from Carchi to Macará, from the Oriente to the Pacific, there are millions of Barcelona followers. But at this moment where they are, at the top, Barcelona, for reasons of bad administration previous to that of Noboa-Ycaza, Barcelona today is in financial problems. For that reason, Álvaro Noboa, from the Grupo Noboa, has decided to financially support Barcelona, and in doing so, to give to my two nephews, who are like sons to me, and in giving doing so, to give to the Barcelona fans of Ecuador, special attention to their team, the national idol, Barcelona.
I do it for the people of Ecuador, I do it for my nephews, I do it for 50 years of tradition.
Long live Ecuador! Long live Barcelona!
Press: Counselor, what is the economic contribution and in what manner is it going to take place.
Álvaro Noboa: The economic support will occur periodically. The details and the manner is for the club to explain. But you can be sure that for the three reasons stated earlier, the wages of the employees of Barcelona and the players will be paid on time.
Press: This line that you have facilitated via Luis Noboa and that you are expanding today, will it be for always? Why now?
Álvaro Noboa: Because this has been a critical moment, historically, in the last 50 years. We have also done so in other historical moments, and from here on, with each case that occurs, we will be talking with the directors, Luis Noboa Ycaza and Antonio Noboa.
Press: Counselor, these loans of $300,000 to the team. Will it be a donation?
Álvaro Noboa: One of the companies has done it as a loan, and that is the start. The rest, I repeat, have patience, you will see little by little the results that they will have and they are also in relation according to the needs of the club and the capacity of the Grupo Noboa, because, well, obviously, we don’t have an unlimited capacity and so, for that reason as well, the club has commercial sponsors.
Press: Counselor Noboa, the Grupo Noboa, has been related to Barcelona for a long time. I was remembering part of the history. I understand that this contribution is not just now, but rather that it has been offering economic credit precisely to get out of the crisis that the team is currently facing. Perhaps next year will we be able to see a Grupo Noboa signature in the team uniform?
Álvaro Noboa: That will depend on the Barcelona directors, Mr. Luis Noboa Ycaza and Antonio Noboa Ycaza, because they also have other companies with whom they have agreements, so that, I repeat, will depend on them, on the decision that they take and what will be best for the team.
Press: Counselor, good afternoon. These loans will carry the obligation of being paid back?
Álvaro Noboa: If it’s a loan, it will have to be paid back, if not it would be a gift. The company is talking about a loan.
Press: Lucho, is there any chance that Attorney Álvaro Noboa will enter into the management wing of the team?
Álvaro Noboa: There’s no immediate possibility of that because, according to the statues, one needs to have been a member for 5 years in order to become part of management. But I am very well represented, and more than busy. Now even more so with the Presidency. What I do want is to say to Economist Correa that right here not just one dollar, I’ll bet Economist Correa five dollars that Barcelona will be the next soccer champions of Ecuador. Five dollars, against Economist Correa.
Press: Why so much?
Álvaro Noboa: Because Economist Correa has an unlimited salary. So if I bet him $5,000, he’ll be out of a salary, and I couldn’t do that Economist Correa.
Press: Maybe it doesn’t concern you to loan money to a team that has been wrong on other occasions?
Álvaro Noboa: The Barcelona team has not gone wrong since the administration of Luis Noboa Ycaza and Antonio Noboa Ycaza. They have done spectacular work. I am moved and honored, nephews are like sons to me, that they have achieved with such intelligence the complete transformation of this team.
Press: Counselor, that was the loan. What will the next Grupo Noboa support for Barcelona be?
Álvaro Noboa: That we will discuss with the same directors in accordance with their economic management. And now, I invite you all to Milagro for a parade.
Press: Together with this support campaign for the Idol of Ecuador, are you confident of the support of the supporters of the Idol of Ecuador?
Álvaro Noboa: One thing is sport, another thing is politics. I think the people are going to look very well on their favorite team receiving my support, but why are they going to vote? They are going to vote for employment, they are going to vote for housing, they are going to vote for an automobile, they are going to vote for a salary of $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, they are going to vote because the people of Ecuador now what change.
Press: Are you sending a message with this loan that the companies are doing well economically?
Álvaro Noboa: The Noboa companies have been working for 50 years, and thanks to God, they don’t have any debts with banks, and we maintain ourselves through certain good moments and bad moments. What has affected them is the political persecution and the workers are going to face that during the campaign, who have come to me with great concern about their positions. I have said to them to not complain to me, but rather to Economist Correa.
Press: Crowds have been seen in the stadium in order to buy tickets. There are complaints that certain people have been given preference. What security measures are going to be taken on the day to maintain order?
Luis Noboa: We have been very surprised to see that the people have come to the stadium to buy tickets. We didn’t expect that. We set a very popularly-accessible price because we take the same line of supporting the Barcelona people. Coincidentally, tomorrow morning we will be holding a press conference. We are evaluating different needs that we have in regards to security. We’ve got to have a plan in place and today I believe that it’s going to be the fans who will go to the stadium at the weekend, the biggest one in the history of any match in Ecuador, because not even the selection…The selection could be playing in Quito and there are 40,000 people. I believe that the Monumental Stadium will have more than 70,000. On Sunday we will be celebrating, or on Saturday, it depends on tomorrow’s match.
Press: According to the fans, there are scalpers who are selling the second entrance ticket at a 50% discount. Any measures?
Luis Noboa: Well, unfortunately there’s no way of controlling the scalpers. The Police Superintendent can get involved in all of this and impose respect for the Ecuadorian people, but he doesn’t, it’s just brushed aside. What I can tell you is that Barcelona has worked in a very ethical manner with tickets at popular prices, including with general discounts, preference and grandstand seats, thinking about the Barcelona supporters and what happens after that the Police has to undertake, the Intendants have to impose order. I believe that it’s a way for various people who have gotten used to it to take advantage.
Press: There is a rumor that there is a hope that the match will not be on Sunday, but rather on Saturday. What is the basis of this rumor that the people are asking for the match to be on Saturday rather than on Sunday?
Luis Noboa: The stadium is sold out and we don’t really have a big problem. If after the match tomorrow with Deportivo Quito, Barcelona comes out champion, the match can take place on Saturday, therefore it’s easier for the people to celebrate the title. Sunday is difficult because they’ve got to return to their cities, outside of Guayaquil and what we want is to support all the Barcelona supporters who have turned out in favor of that 14th star which they have hoped for so long.
Press: This is your initiative? Or is already known at the Olmedo Sports Center and the proposal been accepted?
Luis Noboa: We have spoken with the Federation and today we are going to submit a letter of petition.
Press: What is the last news that you have received with regards to the sale of tickets?
Luis Noboa: Tickets are all sold out: general admission, grandstands, boxes. There are a few preferential tickets, so the stadium is completely sold out. The suites are spaces that we don’t control. Hopefully, on Sunday, or on Saturday, we will have a non-violent atmosphere, a healthy, sporting and festive atmosphere.
Press: Do you have any plan in regards to the issue of safety?
Luis Noboa: We’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Press: Did you accept the proposal put forward by your uncle?
Luis Noboa: We at Barcelona have created an economic plan and we have presented it to my uncle Álvaro and to Grupo Noboa, which has agreed to give Barcelona the liquidity it needs these days. However, Barcelona needs to pay all its debts because the team isn’t being bought here, it’s helping the team move forward. For that liquidity that they are giving us, we are grateful to Álvaro Noboa and to Grupo Noboa, because that liquidity puts gasoline in the motor and the motor is going to become champion.
Press: How much was the economic aid to reach this possible championship?
Luis Noboa: Any economic assistance that is in support of the Barcelona team is good backing.
Press: Candidate, excuse me for insisting: Is this a move for the new elections?
Álvaro Noboa: I think that sport is separate from politics. I have done it in order to bestow pleasure upon the people of Ecuador who, according to the statistics, are 80% Barcelona fans. To reward my nephew for doing a spectacular job of which I feel very proud and in homage of the tradition of 50 years of very good relations between Barcelona Sporting Club and Grupo Noboa.
Press: The opposition are going to see it differently.
Álvaro Noboa: What’s going to happen is that Rafael Correa is going to lose with Emelec and he’s going around crying. That’s not my problem, ask the Economist.