Thursday, September 3, 2009

Who will be the next president of FC Barcelona?

this article was originally published at

In May or June next year, Barcelona's club members will appoint a new president. After two terms, current president Joan Laporta cannot run again. Who are the candidates to succeed him?

1. The continuity candidate
The current Barcelona board wants to put forward one candidate who should continue the current project. In recent weeks and months, this seemed to have become a struggle between marketing vice-president Jaume Ferrer and recently appointed board member Xavier Sala i Martín.

While Sala, a professor of economics at Columbia University in New York, would have the support of president Laporta, Ferrer would be backed by the majority of the board members. First vice-president Alfons Godall, who first had said that he would not run, has put himself back on the map in two interviews earlier this week and could become the consensus candidate. A decision is expected to be made in December or January.

2. Sandro Rosell (former sports vice-president, board member 2003-2005) (picture)
Rosell is until this moment the only one who has publicly announced - in the summer of 2008 - that he will run for president. He has started to prepare for the elections shortly after he resigned as vice-president in 2005.

Rosell has long been seen as the favourite to become the next president although this could have changed because of last season's sporting succeses of the team. Rosell is seen as the architect of the team around Brazilian player Ronaldinho that won two league titles and one Champions League under coach Frank Rijkaard.

3. Ferran Soriano (former economic vice-president, board member 2003-2008)
Until he stepped down together with several other board members last summer, Soriano was considered to be the most likely "board candidate" for the elections. Soriano is seen as the architect of the current healthier financial situation of the club, compared to the situation when Laporta took office back in 2003. Because of his new job as chairman of airline company Spanair it has become uncertain if Soriano will run.

4. The Others
Several other names of people from the "entorn", the club's entourage, are rumoured to try to set up a candidature. Former presidental candidates like Jordi Majó, Josep Maria Minguella or Jaume Llauradó could again make an attempt, although none of them are expected to have a serious chance and they might try to link up with one of the main candidates trying to get a place in the board.

(vaguely based on an article in Catalan sports paper Sport)