The poll opened on Sunday morning for a presidential election in troubled Barcelona that saw the winner face the challenge of rebuilding the club’s finances and squad.
Voting began at 9:00 a.m. local time (8:00 a.m. GMT) on an election reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic.
The three candidates are former President Joan Laporta, the favorite of the Catalan press, Toni Freixa and Victor Font.
You are replacing Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned in October and was briefly implicated in the “Barcagate” scandal on Monday after police raids at the club on allegations that Barcelona had launched a defamation campaign against current and former players critical of the club management.
“These are the most important elections in Barca history,” Laporta told the club’s website after the vote.
Barcelona are in a crisis on and off the pitch.
In October losses from announced losses of 97 million euros ($ 114 million) for the last season and debt that had more than doubled to 488 million euros were announced. Star player Lionel Messi no longer has a contract this summer. In the Champions League, Barcelona will travel to Paris on Wednesday after a humiliating home defeat in the first leg 4-1 against Paris Saint-Germain. Form in the league has improved and on Saturday Barcelona climbed to second place, two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who have two games in their hands.
In previous elections, members have cast their votes in person at the club’s Nou Camp headquarters, but due to Covid-19, members have also been able to request postal votes.
The club said that of the 110,920 members, 22,811 had requested a remote vote.
Polling stations have also been set up in Girona, Tarragona, Tortosa and Lleida in Catalonia and in Andorra. However, the club said that 78,987 members had announced that they would vote at Camp Nou as always.
Although it started raining shortly after the polls opened in Barcelona, the club reported on its website at 9:45 am that “the large influx of members into the stadium is continuing”. The club posted a photo of followers in line wearing masks and rubbing gel on their hands.
“Members should have no doubt about voting,” said Carles Tusquets, head of the Interim Management Committee that has led the club since Bartomeu’s resignation on October 27th.
The query continues until 9:00 p.m. local time and the result is expected before midnight.