Barcelona president-elect Joan Laporta has less than 24 hours to secure a bank guarantee worth €125 million or the club will be forced to call a new election process.
Laporta, who was previously Barca president between 2003 and 2010, was voted back into power last weekend ahead of rival candidates Victor Font and Toni Freixa.
However to take office, Laporta and his executive board must first present a bank guarantee worth 15% of Barca’s budget within 10 days of being elected.
Wednesday marks the deadline for Laporta to come up with the guarantee, which must also be ratified by La Liga.
Barca’s club statutes demand that the executive board are “liable for their actions” while in charge and the bank guarantee is a way of protecting the club against being run irresponsibly.
The statutes add that the members of the board should be “equally liable for [the total amount] unless individual or internal agreements are made between the members of the board for a different distribution of liabilities.”
Laporta’s hopes of securing the guarantee were hit over the weekend when it was announced that one of his vice presidents, Jaume Giro, would no longer form part of his team.
Giro was set to oversee the club’s finances. Officially, he stepped away due to “professional commitments that will oblige him to spend a lot of time in London” but sources told ESPN there were discrepancies with Laporta.
Given Giro was set to be liable for a large part of the guarantee, he had hoped to be given more power within the club, but Laporta wasn’t willing to give him as much as he wanted.
Eduard Romeu, a Barca member and the vice president of Audax Renovables, has been earmarked as Giro’s replacement but an agreement has not yet been finalised over his incorporation.
Talks remain ongoing over how much of the guarantee Romeu and Audax would be liable for and how much control they would have at the club.
Meanwhile, Laporta and his board are also in negotiations with banks, possible new board members and other third-party companies and sources told ESPN they’re confident of getting the bank guarantee signed before the deadline.