Barcelona: Where club presidential elections will be won or lost

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This coming Saturday, Barcelona's socio membership will come out in their thousands to vote on who will be the new president of their football club.

The elections have actually been called a year early. Forced upon outgoing president Josep Maria Bartomeu because of his association with the deposed and disgraced former president Sandro Rosell.

Rosell, if you recall, had denied any wrongdoing in the purchase of Neymar from Santos, only for it to transpire that the £41m transfer fee was actually somewhere in the region of £72m once certain payments were taken into account.


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Other financial and sporting misdemeanours have hit the club hard and the Blaugrana are still under a worldwide transfer ban imposed by FIFA because of the club's flagrant disregard for the rules pertaining to academy youngsters. 

This was again something that occurred under the watch of Rosell/Bartomeu so it's interesting that Bartomeu still leads the polls as we get into the business end of the campaign.

Let's take a look at three things which will decide whether Bartomeu, Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa or Agusti Benedito are victorious come Saturday night...

Electronic voting

Possibly the biggest vote winner of the lot.

In this day and age of technology, and with Barca proclaiming they are at the forefront of the same, it's interesting to note that their voting system is still rooted in the dark ages.

Unless you happen to be a Barcelona native or there on holiday at the time of the elections, then you have zero chance of being able to vote. Absolutely none.

As easy as it would be to click a button for your preferred candidate, that appears to be beyond the capabilities of this great Catalan behemoth.

What a difference those thousands of worldwide votes could make to the outcome too...

Shirt sponsorship

This is the area where front runner Bartomeu could fall down.

An insistence to continue using the Qatar Airways branding on the front of the shirt hasn't got down well with the locale.

When Rosell tried to sweeten everyone by introducing Qatar Foundation, "a charitable cause," everyone knew it wouldn't be long before the first corporate sponsor would desecrate a shirt that had remained free of the same for over 100 years.

Laporta was the first to introduce any name to the shirt but at least it was a genuine charity in Unicef, and Barca would pay them for the privilege. Unheard of in football circles beforehand, and a particularly Barca way of doing things.

Laporta wants Unicef back on the shirt as do Benedito and Freixa. So do the supporters.

New Camp Nou

There is already a project in place known as "Espai Barca" which is scheduled to begin in 2017 and finish in 2021.

Camp Nou would be modernised and upgraded to 110,000 seats, whilst the basketball arena would get a facelift and the Miniestadi (where Barca B play) demolished.

Barca's reserves will get their own ground within the Sant Joan Despi "La Masia" complex.

Or at least that is the plan under Bartomeu.

Way back in 2007 when Laporta was at the helm, Sir Norman Foster was tasked with designing a "new Camp Nou" and his variant differs greatly from the new proposals.

For anyone that has visited the ground, it's clear that Camp Nou needs a makeover. How the same is presented to the voters in terms of cost etc. will also be crucial to the final outcome.

May the best man win!

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