After fighting for months, the final three gladiators emerge for the grand prize of becoming President of Spanish La Liga Giants, Barcelona Football Cub.
Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa are the three finalists who will battle each other in Barcelona’s upcoming elections.
Barca have been run by a management committee with minimal powers since Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned as president following allegations the club found him guilty of.
“The electoral board met this Thursday at the Auditori 1899 at the Camp Nou to announce the definitive candidates for the Barcelona presidential elections scheduled for Sunday, January 24,” a club statement said.
The three are the only three to have provided the required number of signatures and guarantees.
“Following validation of the signatures presented, members Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa have been declared official candidates for the Barcelona presidency, pursuant to article 48.5 of the club statutes.”
Laporta presented 10,272 signatures and had 9,625 validated, while the respective numbers for Font were 4,713 and 4,431 and for Freixa were 2,822 and 2,634.
Other candidates vying for the post were Agusti Benedito, Xavi Vilajoana, Jordi Farre, Lluis Fernandez Ala, Pere Riera and Emili Rousaud, but they couldn’t make the requirements and are now out of the running.
The final three contenders will meet Carles Tusquets, the leader of the interim board, on Friday to decide their fate at 19:00 CET.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s still unclear exactly how and if the elections will be held on January 24.
But Barcelona’s leading presidential candidate Joan Laporta has said the club’s January elections should go ahead as planned, despite Covid-19 restrictions.
Catalan authorities will decide later this week whether to extend current restrictions, which prevent people leaving their municipality except for work, education or medical reasons, beyond January 17.
Email and online voting is not permitted and extending the restrictions would jeopardise the election, which is on January 24.
Laporta, suggested the restrictions should contain an exemption for club members so they can vote.
“If you can make exceptions to go to work, you can make them to vote,” Laporta told reporters outside Camp Nou on Tuesday.
Font, the candidate with the most signatures after Laporta with 4,713, has long campaigned for the club to allow members to vote online and said the election should only be held if all members are able to participate.
“The figures from the pandemic are very serious, and if the club does not come up with a solution then the election cannot take place,” he said.
“There are many members who are scared and don’t want to leave their houses.”
Laporta said the election should be held to ensure the club can sign players before the January transfer window shuts and fix its dire financial problems, which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Barca cannot wait any longer, we are missing out on golden opportunities. We have to do everything possible for the elections to take place,” he added.
All look forward to the 24th of this month to see which of them will emerge as the ultimate man.