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Laporta Barca future in spotlight

SoccerNews in La Liga 10 Jul 2008

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Joan Laporta's future as president of Barcelona was in focus Thursday as the board of the Spanish club held an emergency meeting to analyse the results of a weekend confidence vote which he barely survived.

The meeting, which got underway at 2pm (1200 GMT), will “discuss what the vote meant and what can be drawn as a conclusion from the results as a whole,” the club said in a statement posted on its website.

Of the club's 17 board members, nine back Laporta staying on, six want him to quit while the position of the remaining two is uncertain, Catalan daily El Periodico reported Thursday.

Laporta, whose current term is set to expire in June 2010, said Tuesday that he had no intention of stepping down.

“I do not have any intention of resigning. I believe we have been legitimised to continue and that we have to be coherent and responsible. Now we have to recover the feeling of calm within the club itself,” he said.

“I believe we have an important margin for manoeuvre because we have surpassed the motion,” he added.

The 45-year-old got the backing of just 37.75 percent of the 39,389 supporters who took part in the vote while 60.60 percent voted against him staying on until his current mandate at the Spanish club ends in June 2010.

To be successful the motion against Laporta needed to have the support of over two-thirds of voters.

If the nine board members who are said to be against Laporta step down, the Barcelona president would have to appoint replacements since the board must have at least 14 members for its decisions to be valid.

According to El Periodico, Laporta will propose at the emergency meeting that his future at the helm of the club be decided at a general assembly of Barcelona members in August or September.

Laporta has headed the club since 2003 and was re-elected in 2006.

Under his management the club won back-to-back league titles in 2005 and 2006, along with the Champions League in 2006 but he has grown increasingly unpopular with supporters due to the recent drought in silverware.

Barcelona ended the season in third place, meaning they missed out on automatic qualification for the Champions League.

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