A new era is on the horizon at Camp Nou, as FC Barcelona’s election day for a new club president got underway on Sunday morning.
La Blaugrana are looking for a fresh start after the controversial and tumultuous end to Josep Maria Bartomeu’s time at the helm, which culminated in him being arrested as part of the ‘Barçagate’ scandal, where the club allegedly hired a company to besmirch the reputation of its stars.
That new dawn is near, after Barça announced on Twitter that the polling stations are now open at Camp Nou for people to vote for their next president, while they’ve already received more than 20,000 mail-in votes.
Votes will be accepted from 9am to 9pm on Sunday across six polling stations in Barcelona, Girona, Tarragona, Tortosa, Lleida and Andorra la Vella. This was also the first time in Barça’s history that postal voting was allowed, due to the mitigating circumstances of the coronavirus outbreak.
The winner of the electoral vote will be announced on Sunday 7 March, making for an exciting and important day in the club’s recent history.
Former president Joan Laporta is the leading candidate to regain control of Barça, having helped to mould one of the greatest teams in football history during his seven year spell from 2003 to 2010.
He curried favour with Barcelona fans by securing the marquee signing of Ronaldinho upon his arrival, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to pull off such a coup in these financially unstable times.
Challenging Laporta for the role as Barça leader is Victor Font, and he is willing to use club legend Xavi as bait for the supporters to vote for him. Font wants to end Koeman’s reign as Blaugrana coach and would move to hire Xavi as the next manager, bringing back that winning DNA from the glorious 2009 Champions League winning side.
Finally, we have an underdog in the election campaign. Toni Freixa is the third man in the running, and he’s hoping for better luck after losing out in the 2015 vote.
The first job on the hands of whomever is voted in as the new president is to resolve the issues surrounding talisman Lionel Messi and his expiring contract, while order must be restored at a club in free fall off the field.