Finally for the first time in a long time, Barcelona diehards have reason to be optimistic. The Blaugrana’s league form has improved, Lionel Messi is back to his scoring prowess, and a selection of fine young players are putting in promising performances for the first team. Although out of the Champions League, they are promisingly on course to potentially win a domestic double.
The storms seem to have abated considering everything that happened last summer, in particular the 8-2 humbling at the hands of a clearly superior Bayern Munich, axing key players for next to no money, and Messi gunning for an exit that was only prevented when it became clear he would have to take the club to court.
Another good omen, depending on one’s viewpoint, was Joan Laporta’s victory in the recent presidential elections. Following the departure of Josep Bartomeu, who had overseen a slow and steady collapse of the club, having squandered €1 billion on sub-par players, and blocking Messi’s departure last summer, Laporta’s return was welcomed with open arms. Even Messi himself voted in the elections for the first time to show a sign of his support for Laporta, the man who appointed Pep Guardiola and oversaw the most successful period in the club’s history.
Unfortunately the situation seems to have hit a snag as Laporta’s ascension to office is now in jeopardy, with Spanish newspaper El Periodico reporting that Laporta is still €70 million short of the deposit payment needed for any winner to officially assume the role of president.
The club’s statutes state that any elected president must present a guaranteed investment of 15 per cent of the club’s budget, which in this case is €124m.
Laporta must find the remaining money before Wednesday or the entire electoral process could have to start all over again.
Just when we thought everything’s finally beginning to turn over nicely for Barcelona.