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J. Soler, the mysterious president of Barça

Since the creation of FC Barcelona in 1899, the entity has known numerous presidents. Most elected by the partners, but not always. The club has gone through times of transition with management boards (some very interventionist, others simple depositaries of the day to day), it has been in the hands of employee committees, it has even suffered a period of six months of closure due to governmental sanction. Various studies, such as those carried out by Fernando Arrechea and Ángel Iturriaga, have revealed specific details of the founders. But one unknown remains, a faceless president. No one has located a photograph of J. Soler, president of unknown biography between the months of October 1905 and 1906. These are some of the most significant presidents, regardless of their sporting successes.

Enric Llaudet, Agustí Montal jr. i Narcís de Carreras
Llaudet, Montal and Carreras


The first

The first president of Barça was not Gamper, but his compatriot Walter Wild. For a compelling reason: the founder was not of legal age. Wild, on the other hand, born on October 13, 1872, was already 27 years old, came from Zurich and was a merchant. His house on Calle Princesa was the club's headquarters and his Swiss origin is fully documented, although in numerous publications about the club he has often been presented as British. Wild thus assumed the first presidency and held it until April 1901, when professional obligations made him leave Barcelona.


The brief

The club's exporter Vicenç Reig Viñals (1) was president for only 22 days, in the shortest term in history. He acceded to the position on November 11, 1908, despite the fact that from the first moment he already objected that his “many occupations” prevented him from taking over the presidency. On December 2, he resigned and called an extraordinary assembly, plunged the entity into a dramatic situation, with just 38 partners.


The Savior

And in that life-and-death assembly, Gamper's saving voice emerged for the first time, ready to prevent the disappearance of the entity that he had founded and promoted only nine years earlier. It was not an easy time for

football, even Espanyol had disappeared since 1906 and was looking for a way to re-emerge. Gamper, just turned 31, set out to recover the members who had left and to strengthen the team. His first term ended on October 14, 1909, but later he regained the presidency on four other occasions, the last between June 1, 1924 and December 17, 1925, when he was forced to leave the city due to the scandal. of the whistles to the Spanish anthem in Les Corts and the suspension for six months of the entity.


The imposed

At the end of the civil war in Barcelona, ​​on January 26, 1939, the club was without a president - Josep Suñol had been shot by Franco's troops - and without the majority of the staff, who had not returned from their tour of America. The new authorities took more than a year to decide what to do with Barça and to appoint Enrique Piñeyro, Marquis de la Mesa de Asta, to the position, who took office on March 13, 1940. He was not the first aristocrat who presided over the club, but the first president who was not a member of the entity, although he signed up immediately. It was not until 1946, with the arrival of Agustí Montal Galobart as the club manager, that Barcelona did not recover a president emerged from the social mass, with exceptional cases such as the brief of Albert Muntadas, president during the summer of 1943, who was a member of Espanyol. .


The voted

In 1953, and exceptionally since it would not be repeated until 1978, Barcelona was able to summon all its associates (men) to a presidential election by direct suffrage. The presidency was vacant due to the resignation of Martí Carreto's team, as a result of the scandalous Di Stéfano case, and the textile businessman Francesc Miró-Sans clashed at the polls, with the campaign of the imperious construction of the future Camp Nou, and the businessman of the automotive industry and with a more conservative Barça profile Amado Casajuana. Face-to-face voting was not compulsory and the packets of cards circulated profusely. The result at the polls is still the tightest in history today because Miró-Sans outperformed his rival by just 301 votes, with the support of 50.8% of voters against the 49.1% who bet on Casajuana.


The Catalanist

Although he only managed the club for two years (1968-1969), De Carreras had already been president in the shadows with Martí Carreto. In his official presidential term, he recovered the Catalanist commitment of the entity with his famous inauguration speech, on January 17, 1968: “Barcelona is more than a football club, Barcelona is more than a place of recreation where on Sundays we go to see the team play; More than all things, it is a spirit that we carry deeply rooted within, they are colors that we want above all else ... "


The Invencible

Twenty-two years of presidency, from July 1, 1978 until his early resignation on July 23, 2000, Núñez came to office in the first fully democratic elections, although also by a very tight margin: 39.7% of votes for the 36.6% of Ferran Ariño. The presence of a third candidate, Nicolau Casaus, who took the remaining 23.8, was decisive. Núñez chained terms and re-elections, sometimes with rivals who he beat easily, sometimes without even having to go through the endorsement of the polls. His presidency is the longest in the history of the entity.

Publicat a La Vanguardia el 19 de juliol de 2015

Published to La Vanguardia on July 19, 2015

(1): an investigation by David Salinas will discover l'any 2016 that in reality is from Vicente Reig Falomir

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