Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed his intention to run for the role again at next year’s club elections, as well as declaring that he would like to bring coach Pep Guardiola back to Camp Nou if he is successful.
Laporta was previously Barça president between 2003 and 2010 and was the man running the club when Guardiola was handed the first-team reins in 2008.
Pep’s reign brought two Champions League titles to Camp Nou in four years, the first as part of an historic treble in 2008/09, while Barça collected six trophies in the calendar 2009 alone.
The club, while continuing to win La Liga titles, has fallen short of matching that success in recent seasons and the current hierarchy headed by incumbent president Josep Maria Bartomeu has come under increasing pressure for its running of the club.
Six Camp Nou directors, including two vice-presidents, resigned last month in protest and called for elections at the earliest opportunity.
Superstar talisman Lionel Messi has been critical of the club of late, while one of the more bizarre accusations levelled at Bartomeu surrounds an alleged use of a social media to criticise players and improve the public perception of the board. The president admitted a company had been hired to help the club’s image, but denied it was at the expense of individual players.
Spying a potential opportunity to return to his former position, Laporta has revealed this week that he is preparing himself to run in the 2021 elections.
“I’m working on my candidacy. I’ve been club president before and I’d like to take on that role again. The situation at Barça in 2021 will be dramatic and we will have to turn things around,” the ex-president is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“I would be very pleased to have Pep back, but he’s at [Manchester] City now and it’s a decision that would be down to him. He’s a reference point for everyone associated with Barcelona and I think many fans would be thrilled if he came back to coach the club again.”
Having left Barcelona for a year away from management in 2012, Guardiola spent three years at Bayern Munich until 2016, at which point he joined City. The 49-year-old has won league titles in five of the last seven seasons, but his last Champions League title was with Barça back in 2011.
Source : 90min