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Presidential elections are taking place at the Barcelona Fight Club

MADRID (AP) – Three presidential candidates struggling to recover from a recent crisis of recent memories of Barcelona voted on Sunday, with the winner set to succeed at a club on and off the pitch.

Former president Anne Laporta, businessman Victor Font և longtime board member Tony Freixa are among more than 110,000 eligible voters in the run-up to the club’s last president-elect, Josep Maria Bartomeu, as Catalan police investigate possible irregularities during

Lionel Messi և The other players had already voted. The club published a photo of Messi voting on Sunday morning.

The winner, who will earn five years, will be announced late Sunday night, during which the club made headlines around the world after a police raid on the team headquarters for arrests and further embarrassment, which he had long been proud of. itself as “more than a club.”

The police investigation was connected with the so-called “Barsagate”, which alleged that the former executive board hired an Internet service provider to spread negative messages on social networks about its own players, opponents, to raise the image of the club’s top officials.

The presidential election was originally scheduled for late January, but was postponed due to the epidemic. Members can vote at the team’s Camp Nou stadium, in northeastern Catalonia, and at other polling stations in neighboring Andorra. Under certain circumstances, voting by mail was also allowed.

The election came after Bartomeu և’s board resigned in October following a no-confidence referendum by members of the club angry over the team’s 2019-2020 Cupless Cup, the first since 2007-08. The season ended 8-2 in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, losing to Bayern Munich.

The club has qualified for the Copa del Rey final and is second in the Spanish league this season. Won 2 at Osasuna on Saturday. With a score of 0.

The new president faces terrible problems, including the possible removal of Messi at the end of the season – a debt of more than 1 billion euros ($ 1.2 billion), which largely leads to the coronavirus, but he is one of the highest salaries. in football.

Messi’s future was a major issue during the campaign. The Argentine’s biggest upset with Bartomeu after he refused his request to leave the club at the end of last season. At the end of this summer, Messi can leave for free, և all the candidates have stated that they will try to persuade the all-time leading striker of the club to stay.

Laporta, who presided over Messi’s crucial seasons from 2003-2010, says he is in the best position to persuade the player to stay.

Freixa, 52, is the only one of the three candidates who has guaranteed that coach Ronald Koeman will stay in place to find out his contract after the end of next season. On the contrary, the 48-year-old Font promised to return the excellent midfielder Xavi Hernandez as sporting director or coach.

Fonts are the only candidate who has no experience in the club administration. He calls for an extension at the club.

Freika was a member of the Barcelona Board from 2010-15. He rejects the idea of ​​it as a club on the verge of collapse, saying that he can win as a lower dog.

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