La Junta directiva en el Ateneu de Barcelona

A who's who of the Barcelona board

OPINION

@jvehils

The majority of the Barcelona directors I have met during my years as a journalist have always said to me that their work is not valued, that they put in a lot of money from their pocket, that they dedicate many hours to the club and that no-one learns what they're doing. It mat be true. But when I tell them they can leave, that no-one is forcing them to be there, none of them heed the advice... 

That's one of the things with power, it has these things. They're insulted, criticised, they don't have much time to see their children... but they continue. Some do it for the social repercussions the job comes with, others for the love of Barça -- and the majority do it for both reasons. However, it's not the same as being in the spotlight all the time, like Josep Maria Bartomeu or the vice presidents. It's also not the same thing being a director when the team are winning compared to when things go wrong, like in Turin. 

THE NEWEsT

Rousaud, Tombas, Tomás, Vilajoana and Maria Teixidor, the only woman, belong to the group of directors signed by Bartomeu how are recognised more for their professional merits than their work with Barça. Xavier Vilajoana is the CEO of Euroconstruc and, in addition, was previously a player with Barça's academy and then the captain of their futbol sala side. Emili Rousaud founded and is the director of Factor Energía and Enrique Tombas is the CEO of Suma Capital. 

Then come the more experienced ones -- some with more success than others -- those that always carry out tasks for the president. Bladé, Vidal-Abarca, Elías and Pont fit this profile and are people that anyone would have on their board. They work hard, are loyal, know their role is secondary and don't get involved in any controversy.  

THE INTERMEDIATEs

In the same category but with bigger roles are Bordas, Moix, Lee and Vilanova. Javier Bordas, the biggest football fan of them all, has gained the confidence of the players and that is important considering the players often think of directors as a race that needs to be extinguished. That's nothing new or worrying, though. It's always been the case. 

Jordi Moix is perhaps the biggest expert. His role has been relevant in recent years as he's in charge for the Espai Barça and the remodel of Camp Nou. He explains himself well and that's another quality to have in mind. However, since the arrival of Oscar Grau as CEO he's been much less visible.

The third member of this group is Didac Lee. He's not seen as often in the VIP box at Camp Nou, an influential business man and a specialist in social media. With respect to Pau Vilanova, it's said that he works really hard with the supporters' groups. He's discrete and silent during board meetings, but his work is very good. 

THE vice-presidents

Now we're entering the most influential and at the same time most delicate part of the board. I am referring to the vice-presidents Cardoner, Vilarrubí, Arroyo and Mestre. The four are the only ones who know what happens at the club, although there are some that say that only Cardoner, aside from the president, has access to all the information. 

Jordi Mestre occupies the role filled by Bartomeu when Rosell was president. He is the sporting vice-president but the difference is that Rosell allowed Bartomeu to take control and now Mestre works in accordance with Alber Soler, Bordas, Robert Fernandez and Ariedo Braida. It's a diluted role in that sense and he is not especially visible. 

Manel Arroyo, the vice-president in the are of marketing and communication, is tired but always does his work. He will go down in history for having replaced Qatar with Rakuten and that's no small feat. He's the current director general and a shareholder of DORNA and he will be missed if he goes one day...

Meanwhile, Carles Vilarrubi is the vice-president dedicated to institutional and international relations. He promoted Barça and the Catalan culture around the workd and does not get involved with the day-to-day at the club. 

Finally, there's Jordi Cardoner, the first vice-president and, unofficially, the next candidate to be president. His main focus is Barça and that, if his family and the economy allow it, should be good for the club. He's a Cule to the bone, a socio since two days after his birth and grandson of Nicolau Casaus. He works like nobody else among the supporters' groups and has over 27,000 followes on Twitter. A good speaker, although we hear him too much, he went to school with Bartomeu and they can be seen together at Barcelona games away from home. He has all the requirements to be the 'successor'. 

Against him, some of his colleague, the biggest ‘Bartomeuistas’, feel he's began his campaign too soon. They think he's done too much too soon and, privately, suggest he's taking on too bigger role. Only time and, above all, results will decide if he can fulfill his dream. They say he likes to ready all the press very first thing in the morning, but that he struggles to take any criticism...

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