Barcelona were due to elect a new president next March but with the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu on Tuesday the start gun for the electoral campaign sounded early.
While Carles Tusquets heads a managing committee that will oversee the running of the club in the short-term, the runners and riders to replace Bartomeu will attempt to convince club members to vote for them.
A hard-fought campaign is expected with a number of people in the running and a number of factors conditioning how the candidates choose to campaign.
External factors like the coronavirus pandemic will play a part but internal factors will be key. The debacle against Bayern Munich in the Champions League was the detonator to usher in change.
Lionel Messi's future will perhaps be the biggest talking point. Can the new president promise that he will sign a new deal under him?
RUNNERS AND RIDERS
Let's take a look at the men vying for the top job at Camp Nou.
Here are the members who are expected to run. Some have already confirmed they will, others have announced their intention to run and others have remained quiet:
VÍCTOR FONT MANTÉ
- Granollers (Barcelona), 12/08/1972 (48 years old). Socio 72.609
- ADE-MBA in ESADE. Businessman (Co-founder and executive director of Delta (CEO) Partners Group). Founder of newspaper Ara.
- Part of Marc Ingla's campaign in 2010. Launched his campaign Si al Futur (Yes to the Future) in 2018 with Xavi Hernandez as the reference point. Confirmed he would run in January 2019. Backed the vote of no confidence to have Bartomeu removed.
- HE SAYS: “Barça need to be rescued. I can tell you with more excitement than ever that we have the ideas, the team and the drive to reconstruct the club."
JOAN LAPORTA ESTRUCH
- Barcelona, 29/06/1962 (58 years old). Socio 16.559
- Law school at UB. Lawyer (Founding partner of Laporta & Arbós) and politician.
- Spokesman and leader of the platform Elefant Blau. Part of Lluis Bassat's campaign in 2000. Elected president of Barcelona in 2003 and remained in the role until 2010. Ran again in 2015 but came second to Bartomeu. Expected to announce he will run again soon.
- HE SAYS: "It was time. Finally the path is open to re-make Barça."
XAVIER VILAJOANA EDUARDO
- Barcelona, 02/01/1973 (47 years old). Socio 35.916
- Industrial Engineer (UPC), Businessman (Founder and CEO of Grupo Euroconstruc).
- Came through La Masia as a player, playing for Barça C in 1994. Returned to the club in 1997 to play Futbol Sala until 2001. Director under Joan Laporta between 2003 and 2005. Returned in 2010 under Rosell and Bartomeu.
- HE SAYS: "We all have to do our bit and not think about anything else. Evidently, the moment will arrive."
TONI FREIXA MARTÍ
- Barcelona, 08/10/1968 (52 years old). Socio 62.778
- Law school at UB. Lawyer (Freixa Advocats) and Businessman.
- Was a director under Laporta between 2003 and 2005. Resigned but returned as spokesman and secretary of the board first under Rosell and then Bartomeu. Ran for the presidency in 2015. Announced he would run again this time on Sept. 24.
- HE SAYS: "They should say I'm the continuist option because I haven't campaigned against the current board. I understand that criticising and burning things down is not for the best for Barça, but I am not the continuist option."
JORDI FARRÉ MUÑOZ
- L’Hospitalet de LLobregat (Barcelona) 20/11/1975 (44 years old). Socio 18.046
- EngineerUPC. Businessman (Founding partner of KENNED GROUP SL)
- Ran as part of ‘Som Gent Normal’ in 2015 to little success. The main face behind the vote of no confidence which has eventually forced Bartomeu to resign. In May 2020 he announced plans to run for the presidency in the next elections under the campaign Nou Impuls Barça.
- HE SAYS: “The elections should take place as soon as possible, they're the point of inflexion this club needs."
LLUÍS FERNÀNDEZ ALÀ
- Barcelona, 12/10/1967 (53 years old). Socio 83.618
- Businessman. Director of Up Catalonia. Ran for mayor in Sant Cugat del Vallès for Demòcrates per Catalunya.
- One of the candidates who backed the vote of no confidence against Bartomeu. Announced he would run for the presidency as leader of the group ‘Passió, Seny i Planter’.
- HE SAYS: “They club has to be managed better. The level of revenue is not bad, but the outgoings are monumental. I think Barça have poorly spent a lot of money. Espai Barça has to be stopped."
JOAN ROSELL LASTORTRAS
- Barcelona, 13/01/1957 (63 years old). Socio around 8.000 (unconfirmed)
- Industrial engineer (UPC). Political Science (UCM). Businessman, presiding over numerous companies nad multinationals.
- In 1999 he founded the platform Força Blaugrana, although later became part of Joan Gaspart's campaign.
- HE SAYS: For now, he has not said anything in public.
EMILI ROUSAUD PARÉS
- Barcelona, 27/04/1966 (54 years old). Socio 31.011
- Graduate in Business Sciences and MBA from ESADE. ADE by the UPC
- Businessman (Founder & CEO of Factor Energía). Professor of Marketing at UPF between 1993 & 2010.
- Barça director since 2015 and vice president between January and April of this year before resigning along with five other board members due to the Barçagate scandal. Weighing up running for the presidency of joining one of the other campaigns.
- HE SAYS: "We're the biggest club in the world and I think I am capable of turning around the current situation."
AGUSTÍ BENEDITO BENET
- Barcelona, 22/06/1964 (56 years old). Socio 29.990
- Masters in Management of Functional Areas and Finance from ESADE. Entrepreneur (Manager and business advisor).
- Member of Barça's sporting and social commissions between 2003 and 2009. Candidate in the 2010 elections, coming second to Rosell. Also ran in 2015, coming third. Launched a vote of no confidence against Bartomeu in 2017 but didn't get the required signatures.
- HE SAYS: "Bartomeu's overseen the worst presidency in 120 years of history at Barcelona. I would even say the last 10 years, including Rosell. The worst on every level."
JORDI ROCHE PUIGDEVALL
- Girona, 16/09/1974 (46 years old). Socio number not available
- Entrepreneur. He directs the ENTI-EUSES company that is dedicated to the real estate and university world, with projects in Mexico and Spain
- Was the president of Girona between 2001 and 2005 at the age of 30 and was later the president of the Catalan Football Federation between 2005 and 2008. Considered close to Bartomeu and Rosell. Given the number of runners, he could decide against running on his own.
- He says: Nothing yet -- he's maintained his silence.