Josep Maria Bartomeu, the current president of FC Barcelona, has been re-elected with more than 50% of the votes in his favor. He beat competition from former president, Joan Laporte, Agusti Benedito and Toni Freixa.

A total of 47,720 votes were cast for the election of the president, the third highest turnout in the history of the club, following 57,088 votes being cast in 2010 and 51,618 in 2003. The overall turnout was however only 43.12 % of all the total people eligible to vote, around 100,000 who own the club.

“We must continue to be the number one club”- Bartomeu

The 52-year-old took over from Sandro Rossel, after he resigned in the January of 2014 following investigations over the discrepancies in allocation of funds in transfer of Brazilian star Neymar, while Bartomeu himself remains a suspect in that ongoing investigations. FC Barcelona were soon after imposed with a transfer ban, following breach of rules and regulations in the signing of youth players for La Masia.

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It is also believed, that it was the healthy relationship that he shared with manager Luis Enrique, which encouraged the members to vote for him, when some of the other candidates wanted to bring in players of their own liking, which Enrique did not even want.

The candidates themselves cast their vote early in the day, with many famous personalities, including players i.e. Pique, Iniesta, Puyol and Xavi also voted alongside manager Luis Enrique. Bartomeu after casting his vote said-

“We must continue to be the number one club and these six years are very important.”

What next for FC Barcelona and Josep Maria Bartomeu?

Bartomeu had resigned last month, following which an interim board took over, to take charge of the club during the election period. The Spaniard would now look to deliver on the promises he made during his campaign, including him being the only one running for the office of the President, who supported the controversial a 50 million per season sponsorship agreement between the club and Qatar Airways, when all the other candidates had pledged to end the association.

Bartomeu would have some key decisions to make as his new term begins as president of one of the biggest club’s in the world. One of the first would be, the future of new signing Arda Turan, regarding whom Bartomeu had said, that he may loan him out, if he were to be elected president, as the Turkish captain is ineligible to play for the Catalan Giants, due to the transfer ban.

Another, of the tricky decisions would be regarding the transfer of coveted midfielder Paul Pogba, with Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta having confirmed that long negotiations have been going on with FC Barcelona. The question in this case would be, should Barcelona wait another season to sign the 22-year-old, with the risk of losing him to another big club, with him being at the top of the wishlist of almost all top European clubs.