Laporta voted in for two more years at Barca helm

August 24, 2008

BARCELONA, August 24 (Primera Liga) - Barcelona president Joan Laporta will continue at the helm of the Primera Liga giants for the next two years after being given the green light to do so by the general assembly on Sunday.

Laporta scraped through with a 55.83% share of the 942 votes cast, with 39.9% voting against him and 4.24% abstaining.

The Barca chief put his future in the assembly's hands after a motion of censure failed to oust him in July, and the result means Laporta will see out the remaining two years of his mandate at the Nou Camp.

'We have a Barca that is economically and socially strong,' Laporta said shortly before the vote.

'We have succeeded in making it into the club with the most members in the world and during our mandate it has also converted into the most charitable club in the world.

'We have made mistakes but we have always wanted to correct them and react accordingly.'

Laporta lost a vote of confidence in July, but was not forced out as only 60.6% - short of the required two-thirds - voted against him.

Eight board members resigned and a significant part of the Barca support called for him to follow suit.

Laporta remained, however, and he maintains his decision to do so was the right one.

'I thought it wasn't the time to resign, just when we were reinforcing the squads,' he continued.

'And it wasn't convenient for Barca to be without a president at the beginning of the season and start a spiral of electoral processes. A weak and unstable club only benefits our rivals.'

He added: 'The best is yet to come.'

Laporta has been president since 2003 and was re-elected three years later following back-to-back Primera Liga titles and a Champions League victory.

But disgruntled fans have blamed him for the club's poor form after two trophy-less seasons.

The 45-year-old has gone some way to placating the Nou Camp faithful, splashing out over 100million euros on six new signings and replacing coach Frank Rijkaard with Barca hero Pep Guardiola.

However, although 526 votes were in favour of Laporta it is a small proportion of the delegates with over three-quarters of the 4,171-strong group absent from the assembly.