Credit: Sport

Five candidates to FC Barcelona's presidency remain

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Five candidates to FC Barcelona's presidency remain

Five candidates have collected the 2,534 required socís signatures

Barça members and fans now know the official candidates for the upcoming presidential elections, after the signatures presentation this past Saturday.

Josep María Bartomeu, Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa, Agustí Benedito and Joan Batiste have collected the 2,534 required signatures from the club members and they move forward in the presidential run.

Bartomeu has presented the most members signatures with 9,124; nearly the double than Joan Laporta with 4,802. Agustí Benedito came in third place with 3,815 signatures and the surprise has been Toni Freixa with 3,289.

The fifth candidate with 2,734 signatures is Joan Batiste, who is supposed to be only a testimonial one because the purpose of “Seguiment FCB” is only to expose his ideas and claims (mainly a travel agency owned by the Club, a better tickets distribution and an animation stand), take part in the debates with the other candidates and ultimately quit the presidential race. “I’m taking it one match at a time, like Simeone. Never before a popular candidacy has achieved what we have done,” Batiste proudly said.

Jordi Farré (2,033) and Jordi Majó (1,020) declined to present the collected signatures because they failed to gather the minimum required.

Although he collected more signatures than Laporta and Benedito combined, Bartomeu said he doesn’t feel like the favorite to win the elections: “There are no favorites, we are very happy and pleased, we have won the first stage, but now the second one is coming”. He urged again the Managing Committee to approve Arda Turán’s signing because the Turkish is personal request from Luis Enrique and “he’d help to have an even more competitive team in order to try to win all the titles again.”

Laporta, on the other hand, was very critical to the Managing Committee presided by Ramón Adell: “A Managing Committee can’t make signings based on some reports. There are a lot of other factors to take into account, like the economical one or the sporting planning each candidacy has. This issue doesn’t give me confidence, I thought they were serious people.”

Freixa, who gathered more signatures than expected in some Barça circles, could announce in the coming days José Mari Bakero as his Sporting Director. “No one counted us because the media spotlight was focused on other candidacies, but the socís understood that our proposals were interesting,” said the former spokesman and board member.

With the signatures delivery, the electoral schedule enters its crucial stages: between July 6 to July 8 the verification of the signatures provided by the pre-candidate will take place, followed by the official candidates proclamation, then from July 9 from July 16 is the presidential campaign and finally on July 18 the elections will be held.

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Source: Sport, El País.