Barcelona have confirmed the final three candidates that will contest the hugely significant upcoming presidential election on 24 January.
Joan Laporta, who is fighting for a second spell in office after previously leading the club between 2003 and 2010, Victor Font and Toni Freixa will be the choices on the ballot. Emili Rousaud has withdrawn his candidacy during the validation process.
Where Laporta has a strong past record to show for himself and Font has been particularly pragmatic about the problems facing Barcelona, Rousaud had made unrealistic transfer promises during his campaigning about signing Neymar and another un-named superstar.
At one stage, Font had said any candidate making such pledges was not putting forward a ‘credible proposal’ because of the ‘critical’ situation with the club’s finances.
Laporta and Font are the two favourites in this presidential election, with Freixa the outsider.
Laporta oversaw the transformation of Barca in the 2000s, with the club winning six trophies in 2009. He has a strong relationship with Lionel Messi, whose future at Camp Nou is the subject of immense uncertainty and has promised a makeover of La Masia.
Aside from his realistic approach, Font has focused his campaign on his relationship with Barca legend Xavi and bringing him back to the club in a key capacity – one chart detailing his plans revealed Xavi being installed as ‘General Manager’.
Freixa is a lower key candidate. He comes with a wealth of experience, having served on the Barcelona board under a number of different presidents and isn’t one to become embroiled in politics or unrealistic promises. He also finished last in the 2015 election.
Messi has refused to become involved in the election process and has not endorsed or even directly spoken to any of the candidates beforehand. He said during his landmark La Sexta interview in December that he isn’t sure if he will even cast a vote.
Read about the candidates in more detail here and what Rousaud was offering until pulling out.