Jaume Giró falls out of Joan Laporta's board before the inauguration

Crisis in Barça's elected board six days after the elections

3 min
Jaume Giró, in a press conference with Joan Laporta.

BarcelonaJaume Giró will not be economic vice-president of Barça. According to what the ARA has advanced and Estimem el Barça has confirmed, the ex-general director of the Foundation La Caixa - and one of the main claims of the candidacy of Joan Laporta for the presidency of the Barça - finally will not be part of the azulgrana board that more than 30.000 associates voted in the elections of last Sunday. The last few hours have precipitated a considerable change of plans at the beginning of the mandate of Laporta, who will now have to appoint another key figure for the numbers. In the campaign, Giró had been in favour of recovering the accounts of the entity through the precepts of classical economics, with the issuance of bonds as a short-term solution to the problems of liquidity and non-extendable debt.

Giró was actively participating in the structuring of the bond that Laporta's board needs before next Wednesday to take possession of the presidency. In fact, he was one of the directors with more personal wealth to offset the issuance of the guarantee by Banco Sabadell. Sources close to the president-elect say that the output has been agreed in friendly terms and for professional reasons and that "has nothing to do with the negotiation to close the guarantee". Others point out that the resignation has been produced in a "preventive" way after Giró has verified in the last days that his criteria may have clashed with that of other people of the leadership or close to the leadership. One of the gestures that go in this direction is the appointment of the figure of first vice president of Barça, a title that will be for Rafa Yuste, who as a strong man in the sports area and traveled a few days ago to Paris for the Champions League match against PSG. Giró would have been second vice president. Some reports say that Giró has left just for this reason, but his entourage categorically denied it and other sources point to the lack of trust.

An hour and a bit after the ARA published the news, Estimem el Barça has issued a statement confirming it and enhancing the good relationship between the executive who resigns and the president-elect. "Giró has full trust in president Laporta, with whom he has been a good friend since 2005, for the new mandate that will begin next week. As Giró himself explained today [Saturday] at the candidacy meeting, he will continue to collaborate and support the future president of Barça externally and without any contractual or economic ties", the statement reads.

Once he left La Caixa after ten years of career, Giró decided to take the leap into the azulgrana arena. He considered forming a candidacy to preside over the club, but finally decided to explore paths that had already been created. First he met three times with the also aspiring Víctor Font, with whom he did not reach an understanding. In one of the meetings with the leader of Si al Futur, and before Joan Rosell fell out of the fight to lead Barça, he proposed to join his candidacy with that of Laporta, a possibility that also failed. Finally, he came to an agreement with the current president-elect to take him on his team as an economic strongman.This was presented by Laporta at an event in mid-January at the Moritz Factory, the general quarter of Estimem el Barça until the elections on 7 March.

The endorsement is signed this Sunday

Giró was one of the most important figures in the negotiation of the guarantee for the elected board to take office. Laporta and his directors have to deposit a bond of 124.6 million euros - 15% of the club's current budget - with La Liga in order to take the reins of Barça. Banco Sabadell will be in charge of issuing the guarantee and talks are still ongoing for the counter-guarantee, i.e. the assets that the board members would have to provide in case the bond is executed. As the board of directors does not have sufficient financial arguments to be able to make the guarantee, Laporta and his team are looking for other ways to obtain it. One of these is an American investment fund that Javier Botín, owner of JB Capital Markets, has suggested to cover a large part of the amount. In the same statement used to explain the departure of Giró, Estimem el Barça has assured that the guarantee will be signed this Sunday and presented to La Liga on Monday.