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Joan Laporta finds funds needed to become Barca president

todayMarch 17, 2021 3

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Joan Laporta has secured the €125m bank guarantee he requires to be sworn in as Barcelona’s new president, and will officially take office on Wednesday.

Laporta won the election by a landslide earlier this month, beating off competition from Victor Font and Toni Freixa. He was previously Barça president between 2003 and 2010, one of the most successful periods in the club’s history.

Laporta will replace acting president Carles Tusquets
Laporta ran an bold campaign | OSCAR DEL POZO/Getty Images

However, his second reign has got off to a rocky start. Any incoming president must produce a guarantee worth 15% of their proposed budget before taking office. Laporta had seemed set to achieve this until one of his key backers, Jaume Giro, withdrew their funding.

Officially, he claimed this was due to work commitment, but it has been widely reported that the pair had a falling out with Giro demanding more power than Laporta was willing to give him.

A wild scramble for funding followed and according to ESPN, the incoming president has now managed to find the cash in time for Wednesday’s deadline. It is understood that Eduard Romeu, a Barcelona member and vice president of Audax Renovables, a renewable energy company, has stepped in to replace Giro and help finance the guarantee.

With everything now in place, Laporta will be sworn in as Barcelona’s 42nd president on Wednesday. He inherits quite the mess from his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu. Under Bartomeu, the club lurched from one crisis to the next and racked up massive debts.

Laporta will also have to manage the uncertain future of the club’s best ever player, Lionel Messi.

Messi tried to force a move away from Catalonia in the summer, only for the deal to fall through. Manchester City and a select few other clubs remain interested in him with his deal set to expire in the summer. During his campaign, Laporta insisted that he would convince him to stay at the club.

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