Joan Laporta during his election as head of FC Barcelona, at Camp Nou on March 7, 2021. -
Joan Monfort / AP
Joan Laporta has just made a successful comeback.
Four months after the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu and eleven years after leaving his post, he was elected president of FC Barcelona on Sunday.
Laporta will have to lead the reconstruction of a club that has lost its scarecrow place on the European continent.
Announced favorite, he crushed the ballot with 54.28% of the votes (30,184 votes), ahead of the other two candidates Victor Font (16,679 votes, 29.99%) and Toni Freixa (4,769 votes, 8.58%), according to Barça's official figures.
A result ardently celebrated by Laporta, who sang the club's anthem and jumped into the arms of his relatives before uncorking the champagne.
While the daily life of the Catalan club is currently punctuated by a search, arrests and sporting disillusions, the return to the fore of the one who had already been president between 2003 and 2010, is synonymous with a return to stability.
If there remains for many socios (supporters-shareholders) the one who started the era of "great Barça", with Guardiola, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and twelve titles in his pocket, Laporta finds himself facing a huge reconstruction project .
The first hot file concerns Messi's future.
The Argentinian, who had wanted to set sail last summer before changing his mind, has not yet decided anything ... but is officially free to negotiate his exit since January 1.
The player also came to deposit his ballot in the ballot box on Sunday morning: a great first for the one who had never spoken before during a presidential ballot for his club.
“That he came to vote today means Leo loves Barca.
Among all, we will convince him to stay, ”said Laporta during his first speech as president.
The second big project will be economic: with more than one billion euros in long-term debt, and 730.6 million euros to be found by the end of June, the new president will have to negotiate a phasing with the creditors ... and discuss with the cloakroom for a possible reduction in wages.
"We're going to Paris to go back up!"
Other files are piling up: the delay in renovating Camp Nou, which was to be launched in 2017, but has barely started;
or the sporting crisis when Barça has not won anything since April 2019 and moves to the PSG field on Wednesday in the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League, after being drastically beaten 4-1 to the 'to go.
During his speech Laporta also warned: "We are going to Paris to go back up!"
To undertake reforms, Joan Laporta starts her new mandate with a very strong base of support.
These elections have indeed generated a significant mobilization, with 55,611 votes recorded (50.42% participation), a few votes from the record dating from the 2010 presidential election (57,088 votes).
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