Josep Maria Bartomeu i Floreta (2014-2020)

Josep Maria Bartomeu i Floreta (2014-2020)

Josep Maria Bartomeu i Floreta became president of FC Barcelona on 23 January 2014 after the resignation of Sandro Rosell and in 2015 he won the presidential elections with a comfortable majority

Josep Maria Bartomeu i Floreta was born in Barcelona on ​​February 6th, 1963 and became a Club member on April 20th, 1974. Bartomeu, who at the time was the Vice President of FC Barcelona, became President on January 23rd, 2014, after the resignation of then-President Sandro Rosell. Bartomeu’s mandate was then revalidated on July 18th, 2015 when he received 25,823 votes (54.63% of those cast) ahead of Joan Laporta, 15,615 votes (33.03%); Agustí Benedito, 3,386 votes (7.17%); and Toni Freixa, 1,750 votes (3.70%).

Before becoming President, Bartomeu had held several high-level positions at FC Barcelona. Between 2003 and 2005 he led the handball and basketball sections. Then, following the 2010 election, he returned to the Club as the Vice President of Sports, a position which he held until 2014. It was during this stage that FC Barcelona won the fourth Champions League title in Club history, its second Club World Cup, two La Liga titles, a European Super Cup and a Copa del Rey, among others.

During his presidency the football first team won 16 trophies, including the second treble in Club history when the 2014/15 squad conquered La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League. Barça followed up that effort by winning four more titles in the 2015/16 season, taking home the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup, and a domestic double of La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Another league and Copa del Rey double followed with Ernesto Valverde as coach.

Under his presidency Tata Martino, Luis Enrique, Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setién and Ronald Koeman coached the first team with Andoni Zubizarreta, Robert Fernández, Pep Segura, Éric Abidal and Ramon Planes fulfilling the role of technical secretary. During his mandate there were very difficult moments with the death of Tito Vilanova. 

During his team the professional sports sections won 115 trophies (16 in football, 9 in basketball, 39 in handball, 24 in roller hockey, 14 in futsal and 13 in Women's football), an achievement unparalleled in FC Barcelona history. 

FC Barcelona promoted an ambitious Strategic Plan for the period that runs from 2015 through 2021, with the objective of making Barça the most admired, beloved, and global sports institution. Among the most important elements of the Strategic Plan are the Barcelona Innovation Hub project, which aims to make the Club a global center for knowledge and sports innovation, and the Masia 360 project, which aims to provide education to all the Club’s athletes. As part of the Strategic Plan, the Club also aspired to reach 1,000 million euros in income before the end of the mandate in 2021, a challenge that would have been reached in the 2019/20 season according to the budget approved by the Assembly but it was not achieved due to the Covid-19 crisis which provoked an all round fall in income across the world of sport. The financial results from the season 2017/18 (914 million euros in income) made FC Barcelona a 'one billion dollar' club and the first in the world of sport to break that iconic barrier. 

Another challenge faced by President Bartomeu was the construction of Espai Barça, a project approved by the Club’s members in a referendum held on April 5th, 2014, with 27,616 votes for and 9,589 votes against. The Espai Barça plan calls for the renovation of Camp Nou, the construction of a new Palau Blaugrana, the radical transformation of the Stadium’s surroundings, the demolition of the old Minestadi and the building of the Estadi Johan Cruyff at the Club’s training facility in Sant Joan Despí, the last two projects now completed. 

Consistent with the Club’s goal of expanding globally, an objective that is included in the Strategic Plan, FC Barcelona opened an office in New York City on September 6th, 2016. The move has reinforced Barça’s globalization efforts and is a fundamental business link for securing new revenues. With the addition of the New York office to the one the Club opened in Hong Kong in October of 2013, FC Barcelona bolstered its global presence with ongoing operations 24 hours a day. 

During those years FC Barcelona also sought new avenues of business as a digital strategy brought project such as the OTT service, Barça TV+, the development of content with Barça Studios, the e-commerce platform for sales online, the development of e-sports and search for knowledge and income via the Barça Innovation Hub. 

Elsewhere, under the Bartomeu presidency, the Club took on a commitment to promoting women's role in society, with the professionalisation of the FC Barcelona women's football team in 2015 leading the way, a team now considered one of the top sides in Europe. With the Grup Edelmira Calvetó, the role of women at the Club throughout its history and in the world of sport in general has been highlighted. 

On a social level, FC Barcelona became a Club fully committed to the world surrounding it, above all, the most vulnerable children thanks to the work of the Foundation, a model in the field and a fundamental humanitarian player in the current pandemic in which we are engulfed. 

Over the year social programmes such as 'T'Acompanyem', Partit Solidari, Barça Desplaçaments, Espai d’Animació and Espai Jove have been strengthened with attention also paid to the waiting list for season tickets and the battle against fraud. 

With regards to the Barça Supporters' Clubs, in 2015 the World Supporters' Club Confederation brought together the movement so that it is now stronger and more global than ever. 

From an institutional point of view, within a time marked by the Catalan political situation, during the presidency of Josep Maria Bartomeu, FC Barcelona defended the right to free expression, the right to decide as two non-negotiable principles. The Club maintained its position of political independence, integration and collaboration, always in agreement with the defence of Catalonia and its inalienable rights. 

Coinciding with the events of 1 October 2017, on the day of the self-determination referendum in Catalonia, president Bartomeu decided that the game against Las Palmas to be played at Camp Nou was behind closed doors, an unprecedented decision in the Club's history to publicise the events of that day. 

On a social level, FC Barceloan remains the club with most fans and followers on social media. On a sporting level, in the last few months of his mandate, a new era began under Barça legend and coach Ronald Koeman for the first team. 

On October 27, 2020, Josep Maria Bartomeu announced his resignation and that of the FC Barcelona board. After six years as president, he took the decision due to the impossibility of postponing the Censorship Vote launched against the Board beyond November 1 and 2, the deadline according to the club’s statutes. The rejection from the Generalitat to the request of the board to delay it until November 15 and 16 (due to the coronavirus health crisis) accelerated the resignation of Bartomeu and his fellow Board members, who had previously called presidential elections for March 2021.

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