Sorry guys, I meant to post this earlier in the week. At 3 pm today Barça host an Assembly of the Members (L’Assemblea General Ordinària del Club), which will be held in the Palace of Congress of Cataluña. 4, 345 socios have been called, made up of 3,306 chosen in a lottery in April 2010, the 982 longest members, and then the board, former Presidents, and some other committee members. Laporta has caused scandal ahead of today by refusing to attend and 2 days ago sending an open letter to socios defending his board and taking a few shots at the new one. He in particular noted how his board created a football model praised everywhere, left Rosell the best team in history, and again defended the economic situation saying it was nowhere near as bad as Rosell’s people have made it seem.
The most important vote today will be on the ratification of the $ 225 million Qatar foundation shirt sponsorship deal. When the deal was first announced, I thought to myself, “Strange, why hasn’t Rosell taken this first to the members?”. He was quick to strip Cruyff of his Honorary Presidency title (Cruyff has refused to attended the Camp Nou since), citing that it has not been voted on in the democratic spirit of the club, but then did not consider the spirit when choosing to end the 111-year run without a brand on our shirt. So it looked very much Sandro was happy to follow our model when it suited him, but less so when it didn’t.
This seems like very bad business to me. Agreeing a deal and then voting on it months later is totally illogical. What if the members vote to fail the deal? (Something I have a strong feeling could happen). Does Rosell just say, “Hey sorry Qatar, deals off”? Surely binding contracts were signed, could the club not face negative financial repercussions? Not to mention it does not make us look particularly business smart cancelling a historic deal just months down the line.
The other votes are on whether to ban smoking in the Camp Nou and the approval of the “Grada d’Animació” project. This project was announced in July and aims at locating 1,400 seats on the tier 1 on the North Stand to only local socios. The idea behind it is twofold: 1, obviously its in the theme of making Barça more socio prone as this board were scared the club was losing some of that idenity, and 2, to try and pump up support in the Camp Nou. I have a feeling both these votes will pass.
I will be following the voting on Twitter and will give updates on the results.