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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 27, 2008

Laporta faces rivalry for Barcelona presidency

MADRID, June 27 (Reuters) - Barcelona president Joan Laporta's former right-hand man Sandro Rosell has said he will stand at the next presidential election, increasing the pressure on Laporta ahead of a confidence vote in his administration. Rosell was responsible for bringing Ronaldinho and Deco to the club when he was Laporta's vice-president for sport, before resigning in 2005 saying he was unhappy with his boss's domineering style. The announcement came ahead of the confidence vote in Laporta and his board by club members on July 6. The referendum was forced by member Oriol Giralt after he collected more than 9,000 signatures in favour of the motion. The Barcelona president has been heavily criticised for the way he has run the club in the past two seasons, with fans staging several protests calling for his resignation after the team failed to win any silverware for a second year running. 'I will vote for the motion because for the last two years there has been chaos in every area of the club,' Rosell told a news conference on Friday. 'They are trying to tell us this motion destabilises the club, when it has been destabilised for two years. If the motion succeeds it will help stabilise the club with new elections.' Laporta's opponents need the support of more than two-thirds of voters with a minimum turnout of 10 percent of members entitled to vote, if they are to force a presidential election. The club has responded to the motion by sacking coach Frank Rijkaard and appointing ex-captain and Nou Camp favourite Pep Guardiola as his replacement. In an attempt to revitalise the squad, they have signed defender Gerard Pique, Mali midfielder Seydou Keita and Uruguay centre back Martin Caceres. A deal for Sevilla's Brazil fullback Daniel Alves has been agreed in principle, according to the player, but not yet completed. Guardiola has said Ronaldinho, Deco and Samuel Eto'o do not feature in his plans.

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