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FC Barcelona celebrated the ordinary meeting of the Senate - a statutory, honourary advisory body made up of the 1,000 longest serving club members- this Thursday at the Auditori 1899. The event was chaired by Josep Maria Bartomeu, who assessed the season for the club in football and the other professional sports, as well as looking at Barça's activities off the field of play.
Bartomeu was accompanied by: FC Barcelona first vice president Jordi Cardoner; second and third vice presidents, Jordi Mestre and Jordi Moix; board members Javier Bordas, Silvio Elías, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca, Pau Vilanova, Jordi Calsamiglia, Oriol Tomàs, Xavier Vilajoana, Josep Pont, Marta Plana and Jordi Argemí; and the secretary of the board, Maria Teixidor.
In his address, Bartomeu described the season as "very good, with the result of the Copa del Rey final still pending" and highlighted the merit of the first team's LaLiga win "with unquestionable superiority, three matchdays before the end of the campaign."
"Winning the league has extraordinary merit, whatever those who want to talk it down say. I feel great pride in our football team. We should be proud of Barça, both in terms of what we are achieving in sport and outside it."
Bartomeu also stressed the importance of the Copa del Rey final that Barça will play against Sevilla in Seville on Saturday.
"It's our sixth consecutive final, which will allow us to fight for the ninth double in our history," he said, before speaking about the club's European campaign.
"Our elimination from the Champions League at the semifinal stage came in a way that has generated a lot of disappointment for Barça -a disappointment shared by members, supporters groups, fans, coaching staff members and players."
"Since 2004 we have become accustomed to winning. We had a lot of hope placed in winning this year's Champions League. It's also disappointing because the defeat at Anfield came after an excellent result at the Camp Nou, and with the memory of AS Roma still very present," said the president.
Full confidence in Valverde
He also praised coach Ernesto Valverde, commenting that: "In a discreet way, with respect and with intelligence, is managing our team and the progressive incorporation of new values. I am referring to Ernesto Valverde, whom we trust fully."
The president reiterated that he faces the two years that remain of his mandate "with maximum strength and enthusiasm, and with the confidence that comes with us having accumulated so much experience in running this club.
"We are an exceptional case in the world of sport. It demands a lot of effort, especially to guarantee our economic sustainability. We are very proud of our model, through which members have the power to make decisions. In addition, we do things with the spirit of a family club, with the cheapest tickets in Europe, financing 30% of away trips in the Champions League, and plan projects such as Espai Barça without it affecting the funds of our members."
Finally, Bartomeu also reviewed the rest of sporting projects in place, highlighting the great seasons for the handball and roller hockey teams, and Barça Femeni, who he said "have achieved unprecedented social success, playing in the first Champions League final in our history to blaze a trail."
Bartomeu concluded his speech by hailing the work of the Barça Foundation, giving a message of enthusiasm and confidence about the Espai Barça, and highlighting the club's commitment to knowledge, innovation, research and innovation through the Barça Innovation Hub.
The event continued with a talk by first vice president Jordi Cardoner, who showed the work that the Barça Foundation carries out in Catalonia and the rest of the world to help vulnerable children. Vice President Jordi Moix gave a more detailed presentation of how the Espai Barça project is evolving, ahead of the inauguration of the Johan Cruyff stadium at the Ciutat Esportiva this summer.
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