While the team navigates as best it can through the League, the Barcelona environment is constantly boiling. Election pre-campaign. Barcelona fans are very aware these days of the race to occupy the presidency of the club, because many members have disconnected from the squad led by Ronald Koeman, from the matches, from the day-to-day of Messi and company. The present has become something of a nightmare. The decline of the best Barça in history was telegraphed. It was warned. It was seen coming so much, that when it has arrived it has not surprised any culé.
And when the past is glorious, nostalgia invades many Barcelona fans. Because the present looks like an ordeal. The nine candidates for the chair that Josep Maria Bartomeu occupied until his resignation are clear that they have to sell enthusiasm for the future. And above all, solutions to a major economic crisis.
He forced the motion of censure against Bartomeu
It was he who forced the motion of censure, which was not carried out but which pushed Bartomeu to leave. He had to resign and the Management Board called elections in the middle of the pandemic, in January, for when a third wave of infections is expected. Farré got 20,000 partners to support him with their signatures to oust the previous president. Bartomeu preferred to leave rather than be doomed to lose a vote of no confidence.
Jordi Farré has no problems in qualifying as an independentista, close to Esquerra Republicana, although he also defends that politics should not enter the club. Entrepreneur of the food world, he says he has tested Jurgen Klopp, a coach who won over a sector of Barcelona when his Liverpool destroyed Valverde’s Barça at Anfield. His candidacy has a lot of support among the base member. He would be the people’s candidate. He promises a free tattoo with the Barça crest and a pizza to each member who gives him their signature.
The memory of Guardiola’s golden years
It is the favorite, a priori. Polls give you a winner if the youngest member turns out to vote en masse. In his first acts of pre-campaign he has been restrained, focused and conservative. The Laporta who threw himself French cava in a nightclub in the upper area of Barcelona does not connect with the oldest member, who has always voted for Núñez and for centrality. That is why he wants to give the image of a calm man and attract more votes. But at the same time there is a successful Laporta, who smokes cigars and spends his vacations on luxury yachts, with women of scandal. That is the idol of the younger members, who dream of being like him, of returning to Madrid at 5-0. If they vote for you, you win.
Laporta has promised to end the division of Barcelona and for that he called his arch enemy Sandro Rosell when the one who was president between 2010 and 2015 was released after two years in prison. They have recovered their relationship and he wants to take a photo with Rosell to seal the peace and end the division between the ‘cruyffistas’ and those who are not.
Lawyer, he was already president from 2003 to 2010 and makes a flag of his independence. Founder of Democràcia Catalana, he was a member of Parliament for Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència. Mateu Alemany, formerly of Valencia, is his first signing as a club executive. Under his tenure, Barça won two Champions League titles and boasts of being able to convince Messi not to go to Manchester or Paris Saint Germain.
A serious aspirant who goes hand in hand with Xavi and Jordi Cruyff
Laporta’s great rival. In 2018 he already announced that he was going to present himself, and his project is solid. He has Xavi as coach, in an attempt to make him the new Guardiola, and with Jordi Cruyff for his sports structure. Víctor Font is a telecommunications businessman who has succeeded in Qatar with his company. He was a founding shareholder of the Catalan newspaper ‘Ara’, champion of independence, although he declares himself realistic about the few possibilities of achieving secession now. He has already received criticism from the most radical fans because he said he would accept, without problems, a game of the Spanish team at the Camp Nou. Toni Nadal, uncle and former coach of the tennis player, is in his candidacy. Font and Laporta are very close in the first polls.
Flee from the label of being a continuist
Toni Freixa will try to be president for the second time. In 2015 he was last in the elections. Lawyer by profession, he was on the Laporta board. Then he was spokesperson and secretary with Sandro Rosell and was on the board of Josep Maria Bartomeu for a few months. Politically, he is a Catalanist but marks a distance with the independence movement and is seen as a focused candidate, far from radicalism.
He does not want the continuation label to be hung on him, although he is closer to Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, Laporta’s eternal rival. He is a regular commentator at COPE and wants Koeman to continue for many years. Former Barça player Lluís Carreras will be in charge of developing the football project. In summer he criticized Messi’s behavior towards the club as a result of the burofax sent by the Argentine, although he will count on him for the future. He has always made a constructive opposition to Josep Maria Bartomeu.
I was going to be Bartomeu’s dolphin
Emili Rousaud is an entrepreneur in the energy sector, whose company was a pioneer in breaking the monopoly of electricity in Catalonia. He was a director of Bartomeu. It was going to be his dolphin. But when the ‘Barçagate’ exploded – the hiring of a company to praise the last president through social networks and criticize players – he resigned to denounce that someone had put his hand in the club’s box. He is Catalan but not pro-independence.
The central idea of his candidacy is to sign Neymar for free, when his contract in Paris ends, and another world-class player. He wants Koeman and Messi to continue. Supporting Rousaud are the former player representative Josep Maria Minguella and his son, who follows in his father’s wake as a FIFA agent. Minguella has hinted that Michael Zorc, Borussia Dortmund sports director, or Monchi, would come to Barça to make economic and travel signings that allow the debt to be reduced when they are later sold.
He wants to demolish the Camp Nou and build another stadium
He will try to be president for the third time. He was second in the elections that Sandro Rosell won in 2010 and third in 2015, when Bartomeu surpassed him thanks to Luis Enrique’s ‘triplet’. Entrepreneur and recognized independentista, he has not given many details of his project yet. Polls give you little travel. He proposes not to start remodeling the Camp Nou, but to tear it down and build a new stadium in another location.
Endorsed by his great work in La Masía and the women’s team
Xavi Vilajoana is an industrial engineer and businessman. He has been a manager of formative and women’s football with Josep Maria Bartomeu until the end. Refuse the word continuist and remember that there is no one from the previous board of directors in your project, although you will not have to endorse for having belonged to it. Bet on Ronald Koeman. He has done a good job at La Masía during Bartomeu’s tenure. Young people like Ansu Fati or Mingueza have emerged with him. It has also turned Barça women into dominance in the Iberdrola League, because they had responsibilities in the women’s section.
A little-known businessman in the culé environment
Lluís Fernández-Alà was not known in the culé environment. Entrepreneur. He does not hide his independence movement, but clarifies that it is important to separate politics from sport. He was close to Unió Democràtica de Catalunya, Jordi Pujol’s Convergència partner. He supported the motion of censure against Josep Maria Bartomeu. His ideal coach for the first team is García Pimienta and having more with La Masía is one of the axes of his project.
The most ignored of the aspirants
The ninth candidate is the most unknown. Entrepreneur in the chemical and real estate sector. He has not yet made his candidacy public, but it has transpired that he is preparing it and that he wants to collect signatures to try to reach the status of official candidate.
FC Barcelona has partners all over the world.
Members will be able to vote in five places outside Catalonia: Andorra, Madrid, Palma, Seville and Valencia.