- Joan Laporta has emerged the new Barcelona president after March 7 votes
- The 58-year-old beat opponents Victor Font and Toni Freixa to the coveted position
- He has promised to ensure embattled captain Lionel Messi signs new contract at Camp Nou
After claiming more votes in Catalonia, Joan Laporta has emerged the new president of Spanish football club Barcelona, Mirror reports.
He was announced winner of Sunday, March 7 election and has pledged to begin negotiations with Argentine star Lionel Messi to remain with the Camp Nou side.
The 33-year-old is out of contract with the Catalans at the end of this season and has been linked with a move away from the club.
Laporta takes control at Camp Nou for the second time and will hope to match the success of his seven-year stint between 2003 and 2010.
The Barcelona native won a resounding 30,184 votes (57.6 per cent) from the club's members - known as 'socios.
His two rivals were Victor Font and Toni Freixa, and they received 16,467 (31.8 percent) and 4,769 (9.1 per cent) votes respectively.
The 58-year-old Laporta promised to keep Messi at the club during the campaign and has now issued a simple warning to member. He said:
"I have a great relationship with Leo [Messi] and he will consider whatever proposal I make. If I don't win, I am sure that Leo will not stay at Barcelona.
"Messi will weigh up the offer we make him. I'm convinced that if the other candidates win, Messi will not remain at Barcelona. He wasn't happy during Freixa's time on the board."
Messi was very close to dumping his boyhood club in August 2020 after their 8-2 humiliation to Bayern Munich in the Champions League but his heavy release clause stopped the process.
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Recall that Legit.ng reported that Josep Maria Bartomeu offered his resignation at Barcelona on Tuesday, October 27 before a vote of no confidence expected to boot him out.
It was also gathered that a number of directors at the club have also resigned their appointments at the Camp Nou.
It came barely three days after the Spanish giants lost 3-1 at home to rivals Real Madrid in the first El Clasico clash of this season.
Bartomeu's reputation got damaged following his poor handling of club legend Lionel Messi who earlier tendered his transfer request at the club.
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