Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, who has negotiated the most lucrative sponsorship deal in the club’s history while focusing on reducing debt, plans to stand for re-election when his six-year mandate ends in 2016.
“My intention is to run for re-election and ask members to continue vesting their confidence in me so I can finish the jobs we have started,” he told a club meeting on Thursday.
“We want to continue to be the club that is a reference point for its play, its management, its values, because it is concerned about its country (Catalonia) and because it wants to help children and young people,” said Rosell who replaced Joan Laporta in 2010.
Under Rosell’s stewardship and as part of a deal with Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) worth 30 million euros ($39.25 million) per season, Barca scrapped their policy of not displaying the name of a shirt sponsor and relegated the logo of long-term collaborator Unicef to the back of their jerseys.
Players including World Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi have Qatar Foundation on the front of their shirts and from next season will display the name of Qatar Airways.
Barca were second behind Real Madrid for the fourth straight year on Deloitte’s latest Football Money League ranking of the richest clubs by income, with revenue for the 2011-12 season of 483 million euros.
“This year we are on the right track but our goal remains to reduce debt,” the 49-year-old Rosell said.
“The objective is to reach the end of the mandate (in 2016) with a debt of around 200 million euros, a sustainable level. We need to continue making certain sacrifices and have strong and solvent sponsors.
“Without doubt our deal with Qatar Sports Investments has been crucial in the improvement in the economic situation.”
Barca are one of four Spanish top-flight clubs to be owned by their members, along with Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna.