Joan Laporta is set to become Barcelona presidential after triumphing in Sunday's election.
A total of 55,611 members voted, with Laporta securing 54.3 per cent of the vote, comfortably beating rivals Victor Font (30 per cent) and Toni Freixa (9 per cent).
It means that Laporta will enjoy a second term at the helm of the club.
Laporta’s first spell as Barcelona president was to prove a hugely successful one. He took charge of the club in 2003 and left it seven years later indisputably the best team in the world.
With Pep Guardiola at the helm and star players like Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi all in their pomp, they set the benchmark for quality in the game. Indeed, they are still regarded as one of the greatest sides of all time.
Laporta’s challenge in his second spell in charge of the club will, however, be even greater. Barcelona are mired in debt and will be forced to make drastic cutbacks in terms of their spending in the months ahead.
Furthermore, the contract of Messi expires in the summer. Laporta had promised those who voted for him before the election that their best chance of retaining the Argentine was to vote for him. It would, therefore, be an early blow to his credibility if Messi were to depart.
When he was asked if he would be in touch with Messi’s entourage tomorrow, he said: “Why tomorrow? I can speak tonight, the night is long.”
🗳 2021 ELECTION 🗳— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 7, 2021
Joan Laporta, new president of FC Barcelona pic.twitter.com/W0Klb7d1Je
What’s been said?
“These are the most important elections in the history of FC Barcelona,” Laporta declared. “They have been organised in a model fashion.”
Meanwhile, Font told TV3: “I think it has been a constructive campaign. It is good for the institution that we celebrate a democratic day like today and that we congratulate the winner.
“Obviously, the results are not we wanted, but I want to thank thousands of Catalans who have supported us and given us their trust.
“I believe that the context in which the club finds itself has led to a rebound effect. We were fighting against a well-known former president. Against that it has been very complicated
“I will continue working to ensure that the Barca of the future is as we believe it should be. We have to reflect and digest the result, but the aims of helping to transform the club continues.”