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Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

Resignations force Laporta into new Barca vote

MADRID, July 10 (Reuters) - Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he will leave it up to the general assembly of club delegates to decide on his future in the post, after the resignation of eight of his 17 board directors on Thursday.

Laporta has been under pressure from his own board and local media to step down after losing a confidence vote among club members on Sunday, when those critical of his management won 60.6 percent of the almost 40,000 votes cast.

The motion just failed to achieve the two thirds necessary to force a new election and afterwards Laporta said he would continue and complete his mandate which runs until 2010.

'I consider it necessary to continue at such a crucial moment of the season to maintain the stability needed to construct the teams for next year,' Laporta told a news conference.

'But I recognise that although we overcame the motion against us on Sunday, we did not get a favourable vote.

'I have decided, with the board, to put my position at the disposal of the general assembly who are the supreme governing body of the club.'

The approximately 3,000 club delegates, who represent the members, are expected to meet in September, Spanish media reported.

The resignation of eight directors at the first official board meeting since Sunday came as another blow to Laporta's administration.

It was particularly damaging as they included first vice-president Albert Vicens, vice-president for sport Marc Ingla and vice-president for finance Ferran Soriano.

Vicens told an earlier news conference: 'The reason for our decision lies in the differences in opinion on how to react to the result of the confidence vote, when the majority expressed their unhappiness with the board.'

Laporta presided over the club when it won back-to-back league titles in 2005 and 2006, along with the Champions League in 2006.

But he has been heavily criticised by fans and local media for his running of the club over the past two years when they have failed to win any major trophies.


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