Two time treble winners, FC Barcelona are set to hold their presidential elections on July 18, the club have announced on Wednesday. The date was set, following an announcement made in January, when the then club President Josep Maria Bartomeu announced the club would hold it’s prudential election at the end of the season. This announcement was made, following a crisis at the Catalan Giants, at the Boardroom level. Around the same time, Barcelona were also having an onfield crisis, following an alleged bust up with Leo Messi and coach Enrique as they suffered a shock defeat at Real Sociedad.
Bartomeu stood down on Tuesday as club president to allow the election process to begin. An election committee has taken over.
“We have decided it is best to have the elections as soon as possible so that the new board will have time to make plans ahead of the new season,” Ramon Adell, President of the election committee, told a news conference at the Nou Camp.
Bartomeu was previously the vice president of the club. He took the job in January 2014, when then president, Sandro Rosell resigned amid allegations of tax fraud in the signings of Brazilian forward, Neymar. He was signed for a fee of €57.1 million, with €40M going to a company very close to his family. A judge ordered an investigation into Rosell for misappropriated funds on the Brazilian’s signing, which caused him to resign.
The elections were originally to take place in 2016, with them now being forwarded to the end of the season by Bartomeu amid growing unrest over the club management after Sporting Director, Andoni Zubizarreta was dismissed. He had breached the rules on transfer of foreign, under-18 players which has resulted in the Catalan club receiving a transfer ban by FIFA.
Bartomeu intends to stand for re-election. He hopes the conclusion of a treble winning season will sway voters in his favour. He has however, not yet confirmed his candidacy for the post. Another candidate is former president, Joan Laporta who was president from 2003 till 2010 and won the sextuple in 2009.
Barcelona had an amazing second half of the season, as they overcame a stuttering start when arch rivals Real Madrid were setting the pace.
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