Stage one of the Barcelona presidential elections is over, and with it comes the removal from the race of five of the candidates.
The main vote takes place on January 24, but the interim vote was for each candidate to poll at least 2,257 votes in order for them to be able to stand.
Messrs. Farre, Benedito, Vilajoana, Fernadez Ala and Riera have all fallen by the wayside having failed to reach that mark, leaving Joan Laporta, Victor Font, Emili Rousand and Toni Freixa to battle it out.
Laporta earned 10,257 by the cut off point on Monday, more than double that of nearest rival, Font.
The latter’s pitch has included ensuring Xavi will return to the club, but that hasn’t impressed the voters for some reason.
Given the state of the club at the moment, though Font’s ideas are worthwhile – allowing electronic voting in the future for example – he is an unknown quantity.
Laporta has been there, done it and bought the t-shirt, and a ‘better the devil you know’ scenario appears to apply here.
He does have Lionel Messi’s friendship as another bargaining tool, which will play a huge part in convincing the membership.
He certainly has the momentum at this stage, and it’ll be hard to look past a landslide win for the man who was ousted from his position back in 2010.
If he can restore pride and respect to a club that have often become a laughing stock, as well as leading them into a new, solvent, era, he’ll be hailed as the Messiah.