Three remain in 'dirty war' for Barcelona presidency after Rousaud withdraws

By Sports Desk January 14, 2021

Three candidates are in the running to became Barcelona president after Emili Rousaud withdrew from the electoral process.

Rousaud announced on Thursday that he is no longer in the frame to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu, who stepped down from the role in October.

Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa are the trio of candidates who are in the race to be named president.

Laporta, the favourite to return for a second term, had 9,625 signatures validated, while there were 4,431 and 2,634 for Font and Freixa respectively in the validation process for an election that will take place on Sunday January 24.

Rousaud had stated he no longer wants to be involved in a "dirty war" for the right to succeed Bartomeu.

Marca quoted him as saying: "It was a day of impressive dignity because, to my surprise, the majority decision was not to agree to join another candidacy, because we cannot tolerate the dirty war and we prefer to stay out.

"Our sporting and economic proposals were the best."

Related items

  • Bartomeu arrest reports after Barcelona office raid Bartomeu arrest reports after Barcelona office raid

    Catalan police have raided Barcelona's offices amid reports former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been arrested.

    In a statement tweeted on Monday, Los Mossos d'Esquadra confirmed "several searches are being carried out" at Barca's club premises by its unit dedicated to the investigation of economic crimes.

    According to the EFE news agency, Bartomeu has been taken into custody as part of the probe, along with the club's current CEO Oscar Grau.

    Barca's head of legal services Roman Gomez Ponti and former director Jaume Masferrer were also arrested, EFE said.

    The investigation is thought to centre around the "Barcagate" scandal, when Barcelona allegedly paid social media company 13 Ventures to smear celebrated club names such as Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola, Xavi, Gerard Pique and ex-president Joan Laporta during Bartomeu's leadership.

    Los Mossos searched Barca's offices in July 2020 in relation to the claims, although the club hired Price Waterhouse Coopers to investigate the matter and the global auditing firm found in their favour.

    Nevertheless, board members Emili Rousaud, Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Maria Teixidor, Noelia Ronero and Jordi Calsamiglia resigned amid the damaging fallout.

    Last October, Bartomeu stepped down as Barcelona president following a close season when Messi tried to leave the club and ahead of a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

    Laporta is favourite to return for a second stint as president, with elections taking place this Sunday – the race now staged against the backdrop of yet another turbulent episode for the LaLiga giants.

  • Rumour Has It: Liverpool, Chelsea and PSG chasing Madrid target Alaba, Barca want Arteta Rumour Has It: Liverpool, Chelsea and PSG chasing Madrid target Alaba, Barca want Arteta

    David Alaba has appeared set to swap Bayern Munich for Real Madrid.

    Alaba is keen for a new challenge following a successful partnership with Bundesliga and Champions League holders Bayern.

    But three of Europe's elite are still reportedly eyeing Alaba.

     

    TOP STORY – TRIO NOT GIVING UP ON ALABA

    Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are still trying to sign wantaway Bayern Munich star David Alaba, according to Fabrizio Romano's Benchwarmers column.

    Alaba will leave Bundesliga champions Bayern on a free transfer at the end of the season and he has been tipped to join LaLiga holders Real Madrid.

    However, Liverpool, Chelsea and PSG are still pursuing the Austria international.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - RAC1 suggests Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is one of Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta's targets if Ronald Koeman does not remain at Camp Nou beyond 2020-21.

    Madrid are interested in Manchester United target and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, reports the Daily Star. Sancho was wanted by United at the start of the season but a big-money move did not materialise.

    - Mundo Deportivo claims Atletico Madrid are tracking Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, who is valued at around €25million.

    Manchester United and Premier League rivals Leeds United are eyeing Torino defender Nicolas Nkoulou, according to Tuttosport. The 30-year-old is set to become a free agent at season's end.

    - L'Equipe says Mauro Icardi is free to leave PSG if a suitable offer arrives amid links to Juventus. Icardi is contracted to the Ligue 1 champions until 2024, but PSG are focused on re-signing Kylian Mbappe and making Moise Kean's loan deal from Everton permanent. If Mbappe departs for Madrid, PSG will look to raise funds by selling Icardi as they dream of Tottenham's Harry Kane and Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

  • I love rebellious players – Atletico boss Simeone responds to Joao Felix's angry goal celebration I love rebellious players – Atletico boss Simeone responds to Joao Felix's angry goal celebration

    Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone insisted he loves "rebellious" players after praising Joao Felix's angry goal celebration.

    Joao Felix – a club-record €126million signing in 2019 – came off the bench in the second half to seal a 2-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday as Atletico put their LaLiga title charge back on track.

    The Portugal international looked unimpressed after scoring in the 69th minute – Joao Felix gesturing and shouting towards the Atletico bench – following Alfonso Pedraza's own goal.

    Asked about the celebration, Simeone told reporters post-match:  "You'll have to ask him.

    "He scored a great goal. He came on and did well in the second half... I love it when players rebel, when they look to be strong. We need him to be, he's an important player for us."

    Simeone added: "I'll ask him in the next training session, and then I'll see if I tell you.

    "I love it when players show pride. How long had it been since Joao scored? If players are rebellious, give them to me!"

    Simeone, meanwhile, earned a place in Atletico's history books with Sunday's win over Villarreal.

    The Argentine coach enjoyed his 308th victory in charge of the Spanish club – matching Luis Aragones as the Atletico head coach with the highest number of victories in all competitions.

    Simeone's latest win came in his 512th match at the helm. Aragones, the only man to take charge of more games, reached 308 victories in 612 matches at a rate of 50.3 per cent.

    "You know what this game is like," Simeone said when asked about the feat. "From tomorrow [Monday] we will start to live off what we do in the derby [against Real Madrid]. 

    "It is an important victory, one does not stop to think about passing or not passing Luis, who is surely very happy about this moment of Atletico.

    "We have a lot of things to improve and hopefully this week we can present a better version."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.