Josep Maria Bartomeu’s grip on the FC Barcelona presidency may be under threat. That’s because Agusti Benedito has sent out a tweet saying he will soon have enough signatures to begin the process of bringing forth a motion of no confidence against the current president.
Benedito has been collecting “adhesions” so far, essentially, people signing his online petition on his website, found here. To submit an “adhesion”, only a first and last name, plus an e-mail address are required. It’s not clear if someone can fill out the form with junk data and be counted or not.
Benedito has announced that he has enough of these digital signatures to launch a formal vote for Bartomeu’s removal. The question now becomes whether he can get those digital signatures to be real signatures, with the proper paperwork sorted, in Barcelona.
Tenim JA adhesions suficients per iniciar el votdecensura2017.— Agustí Benedito (@agustibenedito) July 8, 2017
L'ENHORABONA A TOTS!!
Tots els detalls en rdp la setmana pròxima... SOM-HI!
Once the motion officially has enough signatures, it will be put to a vote. The motion succeeds if two-thirds of socis vote for removing Bartomeu. In his celebratory tweet, Benedito promised more details next week.
"I believe Bartomeu will resign before we make him quit, because when he goes to the press he will have to answer extremely difficult questions,” Benedito previously said. Benedito said Bartomeu’s connection to Sandro Rosell, the former president of Barcelona, will be his undoing. Bartomeu served as vice-president under Rosell, who quit amid accusations of corruption and is in legal trouble for further accusations of corruption having to do with his time as a Nike executive in Brazil. Rosell denies any wrongdoing.
Regarding the motion, Benedito previously said that he believes if he collects 16,500 signatures, the vote will be successful. "In the last vote, we got 9,000 signatures. Then, 26,000 people voted. If we get 16,500 signatures, imagine how many votes we can get. According to that trend, we'd get about 50,000 votes. For sure we would get the two-thirds that we need to send Bartomeu home.”
Benedito is a businessman, former part of the Elefant Blau group, and one of the four main candidates for FC Barcelona president in the most recent elections, which Bartomeu won. The Elefant Blau group was created by Joan Laporta, former FC Barcelona president and a candidate for president in the last elections as well, alongside Benedito and Bartomeu. In the 90s, the Elefant Blau brought forth a similar vote against then-president Josep Lluis Nunez. The vote was not successful, but it brought Nunez’s mandate into question when many socis voted in favor of his removal.