Joan Laporta is the new president of FC Barcelona

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Joan Laporta is the new president of FC Barcelona. He was elected on Sunday, March 7, 2020. The 58-year-old Spanish football administrator and politician returned to power at the club after winning a majority of the votes at the end of the club’s presidential election.

Joan Laporta got 54 percent of the votes of 110,290 FC Barcelona members, including players and coaching crew. His opponents in the election – Victor Font and Toni Freixa got 29.99 percent and 8.58 percent of the votes respectively.

The landslide victory returned Joan Laporta to Camp Nou as the president of the club for the second time in the club’s history. The Spanish politician was the head of the club between 2003 and 2010, an era which is referred to as the most successful period in the history of the club.

During his first reign as the president of FC Barcelona, the Spanish giants won 12 major titles. He was also the president of the club when coach Pep Guardiola led the club to win six major titles in 2008-2009 season – La Liga, Supercopa de España, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey, and FIFA Club World Cup.

Since then, Barcelona has never had it so good in terms of winning titles and dominating European football. Hence, it is believed that his presidency would help to restore the glory of the club.

The battle before Joan Laporta

Joan Laporta, newly elected president of FC Barcelona.
Joan Laporta, newly elected president of FC Barcelona.

Joan Laporta is returning to the club at a time FC Barcelona is in so many forms of crisis. The club is no longer dominating as much as the club used to both in the La Liga and the Champions League. Hence, the first call for action would be to find a way to make the club competitive again.

Before the presidential election, Laporta had promised to ensure that the club’s talisman, Lionel Messi would remain at the club beyond the expiration of his contract. The contract of the 33-year-old Argentine football icon will expire at the end of the 2020-2021 season and there have not been talks about extending his contract due to the political instability at the club.

However, before the club’s former president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, resigned last summer, Messi had wanted to leave the club but the €700 million release clause on his contract prevented him from leaving because no club could afford such a fee. If he fails to sign any deal with Barcelona before the end of June 2021, he would join another club for free.

Besides Messi, another case Joan Laporta was so vocal about during his presidential campaign was to make the club’s football academy, La Masia, the focal point of the club in terms of recruiting players.

“What can guarantee the club’s future is La Masia: we’ll present a project with a new methodology to make La Masia a center of excellence central to our focus,” he said before the election.

On the other hand, Joan Laporta would be very busy clearing the financial illegality that made the police invade the club recently. Though he was not involved in the financial scandal, he would be made to get involved in settling it as the club’s president.