Decisive elections in exceptional circumstances, and the Barcelona club presidency race begins with an almost certain result.
Politics and sport are hardly separated in Catalonia, so it did not seem strange that the region’s attempt to find a new president coincided with the Barcelona fans ’quest to name a captain who would lead the ship of the ancient Catalan club.
In the vicinity of “Camp Nou” – the stronghold of Barcelona – everything seems ready to start the voting process that takes place in the midst of the Corona pandemic; Spacious tents, sterile offices and checks for the press teams covering the event. The interim administration has made preparations for the elections, just a week after the arrest of former President Josep Maria Bartomeu.
In the Barcelona suburb, Basma Francesco Sopirat, president of the “Teichonera” association of Barca supporters, reveals the beginning of the relief in some fans after most polls unanimously agreed that their favorite candidate might win.
And the favorite candidate, according to the prediction of most of the Spanish media, is Juan Laporta, former president of Barcelona club, who may win more than 50% of the vote.
“All of the candidates have good programs, but I will give my vote to Juan Laporta, because he is the only candidate who can convince Messi to stay in Barcelona and overcome the crises that the team is going through,” says Francisco Soberat in his statements to Al Jazeera Net.
This fan’s arguments do not differ from the data presented by most of the Catalan club’s supporters. Valaporta, who headed the club from 2003 to 2010, succeeded in securing 12 titles for the Catalan team; Achievement of blocking the programs of the two rival candidates, despite their reliance on some symbols of that stage in their election campaign.
Victor Font, an expert in the worlds of propaganda and media, did not succeed, according to opinion polls, in winning over voters, despite having the support of Xavi Hernandez, the coach of Qatar’s Al-Sadd club and a former Barcelona player, and he proposed a management program that constitutes a break with previous administrations. Authoritarian behavior has given team management to inexperienced and savvy administrators.
These are observations that Shafi Campos, head of the sports department at Radio Catalunya Radio, confirms in his statements to Al Jazeera Net. Therefore, he expects a disobedient start for the next president, who will have – according to the same source – to solve the team’s financial problems, which in his view were the imaginary salaries of the players.
As for Messi’s stay or departure, Campos insists that this decision remains, in the end, a difficult choice for the Argentine player. How could he leave a city where he had lived for nearly 20 years? The Spanish journalist asks, hoping that the next president will persuade Messi to stay.
It is a demand that will be present in the minds of more than 79,000 voters, most of whom will vote in Barcelona, after 20% of the electorate sent their votes in the mail. Although there are Barca fans all over Catalonia, Barcelona is the first stronghold that defines the president’s identity.
Therefore, it is expected that the results will not be delayed, which most sources indicate that they will be available at one o’clock at night tomorrow, Monday, Mecca time.
Barca fans in all countries of the world hope that the announcement of the election winner will mark the beginning of the end of a sports and administrative crisis that has entrenched some chapters in the world of football, after a series of humiliating defeats in the Champions League, through Messi’s attempt to leave the team, and ending with pictures of the Catalan police storming the offices of “Camp Nou” Searching for documents proving the involvement of former President Josep Maria Bartomeu in financial corruption cases.