Joan Laporta is expected to win the presidential election in Barcelona.
A poll conducted by the Catalan television broadcaster TV3 showed that Laporta will triumph over Victor Font (31.3 percent) and Toni Freixa (9.3 percent) with 58.3 percent of the vote.
Laporta previously served as president during one of the club’s most successful periods, with Pep Guardiola at the helm and Lionel Messi the talisman – and keeping the Argentine star will be his biggest immediate priority.
Messi was introduced to the vote earlier in the day. The result is expected to be announced late Sunday evening.
Messi – a target for Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain – has publicly discussed his uncertainty about the club’s direction and hopes that the next Barcelona president has a clear plan to bring them back to former glory
Former President Josep Maria Bartomeu, who was among four former Barcelona officials arrested last weekend during a corruption investigation by the Catalan police, also cast his vote in the Nou camp.
Bartomeu spent the night at a Catalan police station after being arrested along with current managing director Oscar Grau, head of the legal department Gomez Ponti and presidential adviser Jaume Masferrer.
Despite the scandal, Barca wanted to make the vote a positive one in hopes that the next president can find a way back to national and European dominance; and one that will contain her talisman Messi.
By the time the personal vote began on Sunday at 9 a.m., more than 20,000 of the 110,290 members had cast their votes by postal vote. The first vote was due to take place on January 24th but has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The club set up six polling stations to manage safe social distancing measures. at the Nou Camp in Girona, Lleida, Tarragona, Tortosa and Andorra.
The current first team players, Jordi Albia, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto, as well as ex-defender Carlos Puyol and manager Carlos Unzue cast their votes.