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Joan Laporta i Estruch is officially president of FC Barcelona as of Wednesday 17 March when he took office in a simple ceremony but one of symbolic significance for Barça. The leader of the ‘Estimem el Barça’ campaign will govern the Club for a second time after a first spell between the years 2003 and 2010 marked by amongst many other things, great sporting success and the alliance with Unicef. Now, he faces another six-year term with great on the field, institutional, social and above all financial challenges ahead given the Club’s delicate situation within the context of the global pandemic.
Once the 124.6 million euro financial guarantee was ratified by La Liga, Joan Laporta and his candidacy, one which won the recent elections with the support of 30,184 of the 55,611 votes cast, were able to take office following the transfer of powers from the Managing Commision led by Carles Tusquets in an official ceremony which took within the main stand at Camp Nou.
At the event present were Josep María Bartomeu, Sandro Rosell, Joan Gaspart and Enric Reyna, sporting representatives from the Club led by the coaches and captains of the professional teams, Ronald Koeman, Leo Messi, Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto (football first team), Sergio Busquets was unable to attend for personal reasons; Francisco Javier García Pimienta, Àlex Collado, Oriol Busquets and Jandro Orellana and the technical secretary Jordi Roura (Barça B); Lluís Cortés, Vicky Losada, Alexia Putellas, Marta Torrejón and Sandra Paños (Barça Women); Saras Jasikevicius, Adam Hanga, Nikola Mirotic, Pierre Oriola and Nacho Rodríguez (basketball); Xavi Pascual, Raul Entrerríos, Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas, Cédric Sorhaindo and Ludovic Fàbregas (handball); Edu Castro, Aitor Egurrola, Sergi Panadero (roller hockey) and Txus Lahoz and Sergio Lozano (futsal).
Also present were members of the Club’s sporting staff such as director of Institutional Relations, Guillermo Amor, technical secretary Ramon Planes and the director of youth football, Patrick Kluivert.
Pere Aragonès and Laura Borràs present
The importance of Barça in Catalan society was reflected by the representatives present from the region’s institutions. Accompanying Joan Laporta at the ceremony were the vice president of the Catalan Regional Government Pere Aragonès, the president of Parliament, Laura Borràs; the Councillor to the President Meritxell Budó; Sport general secretary, Gerard Figueras; the Government delegate, Teresa Cunillera, the Sports councillor, David Escudé, and the mayor of Sant Joan Despí, Antoni Poveda. The only notable absentee was the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau.
Also amongst those invited to the ceremony were the presdiential election candidates Víctor Font and Antoni Freixa, the assistant director of La Liga, Carlos del Campo; representatives of the main competitions in which the Barça teams take part; the president of the Confederation of Supporters’ Clubs, Antoni Guil; the president of the Agrupació de Jugadors del FC Barcelona, Ramon Alfonseda; the members’ ombudsman, Joan M. Trayter and the Suppoters’ Club ombudsman, Ramon Termens. Also, members of the Electoral table and representatives of the Club’s main sponsors, Nike, Assistència Sanitària, Cupra, Caixabank, Beko and Damm.
The event started with an emotional rendition of the Lluís Llach song Un núvol blanc by pianist and singer Gemma Humet to pay tribute to all the members and their families who have been touched by Covid-19.
The event continued with the showing of a video on the subject of the recent presidential elections at the Club that took place on 7 March. The elections were deeply affected by the global coronavirus pandemic yet they saw the second largest turnout in the Club’s history, thanks also to the introduction for the very first time of postal voting and regional polling stations in Girona, Lleida, Tarragona, Tortosa and Andorra.
Words of thanks from Carles Tusquets
Then, the president of the Managing Commission, Carles Tusquets, addressed those present to proclaim Joan Laporta as the new FC Barcelona president, in agreement with the 54th article of the Club Statutes, once the taking of office was formalised in the meeting between the Managing Commission and the new board of directors that took place earlier in the day. Tusquets, who took over the role on 28 October after the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu and his Board of Directors, congratulated the new president and new board for “their election victory and I take the opportunity to wish them all the success in the world in their administration of the Club.” The president of the Managing Commission also thanked the other candidates, Víctor Font and Toni Freixa for their “fair play, their cooperation and the example they set for Barça fans.”
Tusquets also had words of gratitude for the Club’s executives and employees and the “professional sportsmen and women who understood the situation in which the Club found itself” and for the members for “taking part in the elections.” “We are in the same boat,” he said, “and we all have to row in the same direction. Now it is time to show that we are united and just why Barça is more than a Club.” To finish off, the president of the Managing Commission had words of thanks for the professional and amateur sportsmen and women at the Club. “I don’t know if we are really aware that we are the most important multi discipline club in the world and for that reason it is more important than ever to be united as Barça fans.”
Then, a video compiling the main events of Joan Laporta’s first spell as president between 2003 and 2010 was shown, recalling the success of two Champions League victories (Paris 2006 and Rome 2009) amongst other trophies by the team coached by Pep Guardiola, considered the best of all time.
To conclude, the new president, Joan Laporta, took to the podium to give his first speech as the Club’s leader until the summer of 2026 in which he began by recalling a phrase of Johan Cruyff’s: “Only God knows what it has taken me to get here,” evoking “many years of vicissitudes and moments relived,” calling on his spirit “that is positive to face this new stage with generosity and braveness to face up to the challenge of doing things well.”
Finally, the official photograph of Joan Laporta and his Board of Director colleagues was taken, those chosen in the recent elections plus the four added today. Finally, the Board of Directors will have 19 members: aside from the president Joan Laporta, there will be Rafael Yuste, Maria Elena Fort, Ferran Olivé, Josep Maria Albert, Xavier Barbany, Miquel Camps, Alfons Castro, Josep Cubells, Antonio Escudero, Juli Guiu, Jordi Llauradó, Josep Ignasi Macià, Aureli Mas, Xavier Puig, Àngel Riudalbàs, Eduard Romeu, Joan Solé and Joan Soler.
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