Josep Maria Bartomeu has been re-elected as Barcelona president after claiming 54.63% of the vote in Saturday’s election, with nearest challenger Joan Laporta getting 33.03%.
Bartomeu, who resigned last month as an interim board took charge during the election period, will return to office and begin to implement some of the promises made in his campaign after fighting off the competition.
The 52-year-old, who took over in 2014 following Sandro Rosell’s resignation, had placed a lot of importance on keeping the current sponsorship agreement with Qatar Airways in place, despite being seen as controversial by many.
Bartomeu was the only one of the final four candidates to make such a pledge, with the others all in favour of bringing the deal to a close, despite the €50 million it generates for the club per season.
Despite overseeing one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history during the 2014-15 campaign, with Luis Enrique’s men winning the treble, Bartomeu has been a figure of controversy at Camp Nou.
The entrepreneur previously worked alongside Rosell during a turbulent time for the club, as they were accused of various indiscretions involving the Neymar transfer, before Barca were also hit with a transfer ban due to breaking regulations regarding signing youth players.
However, it has been his closeness and working relationship with Luis Enrique that supposedly encouraged many fans to vote for Bartomeu, with the likes of Laporta reportedly looking to sign players that the coach may not have wanted in the first place.
Barca confirmed that 47,270 votes were cast in total, with Agusti Benedito and Toni Freixa getting 7.16% and 3.70% of that respectively.