Sandro Rosell (6th March 1964) assumed the role of president of the club on July 1, 2010, after enjoying an overwhelming victory in the elections on June 13, where he secured 61.35 per cent of a record turn-out of 57,088 voters
Sandro Rosell is the son of Jaume Rosell, who was general manager of Barça during the presidency of Agustí Montal. Having been a club member since October 4, 1970, Rosell has always been linked with Barça and with football and was a ballboy in Camp Nou, like Pep Guardiola, when young. The new president played regularly for Penya Barcelonista de Collblanc and appeared for l'Hospitalet in the Spanish third tier, la Segunda B.
Rosell worked at Barça after being a member of Laporta's board of directors that won the election in 2003 under the slogan 'Primer el Barça' (Barça First) and was instrumental in bringing Ronaldinho to the club. He was also key in the social and sporting turnaround that the club enjoyed in his role as sporting vice president. On June 2, 2005 Rosell stepped down from his role after a difference of opinion with the board.
In the 2010/11 season, now as president, Rosell put his project in motion. His administration had four main objectives: maintain the Club’s athletic excellence; invest in youth football; implement austerity measures due to the Club’s delicate economic situation, and encourage social participation.
Under his administration, FC Barcelona’s performance on the pitch and the court was spectacular. The Club won a total of 60 titles, 53 of which were won by professional teams (10 football titles, 10 basketball titles, 13 handball titles, 7 roller hockey titles and 13 futsal titles) and 7 titles won by the woman’s football team. Of these titles we must highlight the Club’s fourth Champions League title (2010/11) and the second Club World Cup title (2011/12). When it comes to the Club’s other professional teams, Barça won the handball European Cup (2010/11) and the UEFA Futsal Cup (2011/12).
In the 2011/12 season FC Barcelona conquered 17 titles in all sports, an all-time Club record. In addition, the football first team overcame the illnesses that afflicted Abidal and Tito Vilanova.
The youth system also benefited from Rosell’s administration. On October 20 2011, the new Masia, Centro de Formació Oriol Tort, opened its doors on the grounds of the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The Club invested a total of 24.5 million euros per season (starting in 2010) in the youth system, and in the 2013/14 season of the 25 first team footballers, 17 hail from the youth system.
The Club’s economic situation improved dramatically under Rosell’s administration. Austerity measures were implemented in addition to economic policies that guarantee the sustainability of the Club and prioritise athletic excellence.The Club’s debt was reduced from 430 million euros (June 30 2010) to 331 million in 2013. In addition, the 2011/12 season saw the Club end the fiscal year with a record profit of 49 million euros, and in the 2012/13 season the Club finished the fiscal year with a profit of 32 million euros.
During Rosell’s term, the idea of Club members being the owners of the Club was reinforced thanks to the Statutes reforms which give members more power, encourage participation, and establish mechanisms that guarantee economic control of the Club. In addition, the season ticket waiting list has been streamlined, for the first time in nine years 361 new season tickets were issued to members, 14 of whom have disabilities.
In addition, the Club conducted a census of both Club members and supporters clubs. The Club also reorganised the supporters clubs movement thanks to the XXI Century Project, which is designed to brgin the Club closer to the supporters clubs.
Since 2010, over 35 million euros have been put toward improving the Club’s facilities and installations. In addition, the land sold to the Ciutat Esportiva was recovered at a cost of 21.6 million euros and the sale of the Miniestadi was blocked. In terms of future projects, Rosell’s administration have submitted a proposal to remodel the Camp Nou which will be put to referendum in April 2014.
FC Barcelona have become the leading athletic club worldwide on the internet (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Tencent Weibo, Instagram, Line). The biggest growth has been on Facebook: three years ago the Club only had 2.4 million followers; now there are more than 52 million.
During Rosell’s tenure as president, FC Barcelona showed itself to be an independent, socially inclusive and transversal Club, which allowed Barça to both reach out to fans internationally and strengthen its Catalan identity. On September 19th, 2012, an agreement with the Ramon Llull Institute was signed to promote Catalan culture internationally. A few months later, on December 5th, the Club issued an official statement in defense of the Catalan language and language immersion model, which was threatened by educational reform driven by the Spanish government. In addition, in the 2013/14 season, Barça’s away uniform was modeled on the Catalan flag. FC Barcelona’s policy has always been clear, and perhaps it’s best summarised in the words of Sandro Rosell: "When Catalonia, as a people, as a majority, decide what is best for its future, the Club will be on your side, on the side of the majority."