FC Barcelona

Barcelona AGM overruns with key votes not taken

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Just another day of madness in Barcelona
Just another day of madness in Barcelona / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Barcelona's crucial AGM overran on Sunday with just two of the five important votes taking place before the members attended their side's 3-1 victory over Valencia.

The meeting had been described as vital for the Blaugrana's future and another one will now need to be scheduled within 15 days.

As reported by The Athletic, the two votes that were conducted related to budgetary matters - and both passed easily. The first was a validation of the 2020/21 accounts, which had been criticised by previous president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Despite this, of the 729 members present, 637 backed the incumbent Joan Laporta's version of the figures in a big boost to the current regime. Only 39 voted against while 42 abstained.

The second vote related to this season's budget - which also passed by a huge majority of 94%. Barcelona are currently projecting income of €765m over the next few months.

Although these two motions were carried, there was no time to vote on the main issue of the AGM: the Espai Barça stadium development. In order for the work to go ahead, the socios must approve a €1.5 billion loan, while the board are keen to sell 49% of Barça studios to raise further revenue.

Camp Nou is in a dire state as board member Victor Font explained at the AGM.

"The restaurant cannot have an oven because there is no capacity. In addition, the light panels are watched during the meetings by operators so that the leads do not jump," he said.

Also yet to be voted on is a change in the statutes which could prevent presidential elections having to take place next season. Under current rules any regime who records a financial loss two years in a row must be put up for election. Due to the club's current plight, it seems likely that this will happen - putting the president's position at serious risk.

Laporta gave a keynote speech at the conference, admitting that the club were at a potentially-decisive moment in their history.

He described the AGM as: "one of the most important [assemblies] of our history. We want more and have to demand more titles, we are Barça and we want to be a reference point for the world. But I want to be clear, the economic and financial situation of the club is extremely delicate.

"We have to take important decisions today for the direction of the club, decide how we want the Barça of this century to be. We will get into questions on the future and we have the responsibility that affects us and also future generations of Barça fans."

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