Back in 2015 and just a couple of days before the Barcelona presidential elections of that year, this author was granted a one on one interview with Joan Laporta.
The former president – from 2003 to 2010 – was both calm and exuberant, and supremely confident that he would oust Josep Maria Bartomeu from a job he had taken unilaterally once Sandro Rosell had resigned in 2014.
Laporta didn’t feel it necessary to take part in every TV and radio debate, preferring to cite his previous time at the helm which included the signing of Ronaldinho, engaging UNICEF as shirt sponsor and more.
As it turned out, that over confidence was misplaced. Having barely heard from Laporta in the run up to the elections, save for a few barbed comments, a leaders discussion which descended into farce on live TV was, ultimately, what appeared to turn the tide against him.
No wonder he was crestfallen when Bartomeu won the elections at a canter. However, it seems that he hasn’t yet learned his lesson.
Shunning debates again, he has been economical when asked exactly what he bring bring to the role.
An air of mystery certainly isn’t going to work this time, in what is Barca’s most important presidential elections for decades. Being one of the poster boys for Barca’s great 2008/09 season won’t cut the mustard either.
Especially when the likes of Victor Font, effectively campaigning for the past two years, has shown that his tenure will be fully costed and fully workable, and has named those who will be working alongside him. Something Laporta appears reticent to do.
Don’t rule out Toni Freixa either. The outsider of the three given that he’s the continuity candidate from the Bartomeu regime, he has, nonetheless, been topping all of the polls from the local papers.
The next seven days are crucial to he future of the club, and Barca’s members must choose wisely.