“The campaign should have lasted seven days and now it will last 45. It’s not the same”, they observe from the candidacy of Toni Freixa, and this is corroborated by the campaign teams of Joan Laporta and Víctor Font. The postponement of the elections has overturned all the planning done between November and December, designed to seduce members in view of an election that was to be on January 24 and will finally be on March 7. Now a new scenario is opening up that has the same goal: to gather the maximum sympathy of those who have a Barça card. But it’s time to play with the calendar and get present in the imagination of voters without getting heavy or even less worn.
According to Barça’s statutes, the election campaign should last only seven days, but nowhere was the postponement planned – no one imagined a pandemic – and the electoral board “has not given any indication”, says Freixa. Thus, the presidential candidates have a free bar to act and continue to ask for the vote. Basically, they were already doing so, even before the election campaign formally began. The aim will be to keep the media pulse with the partners without losing votes. A very delicate balance.
Investment in advertising
Days before the meeting between the club and Procicat, all the campaign teams already imagined that the elections would end up being postponed for a few weeks. Anyway, the aspirants kept up the advertising pace. Now is the time to re-do numbers, analyze audiences and schedule a campaign that, at least on a media level, will seek to keep candidates visible for a month and a half. Spots on television, radio, print and digital media, as well as presence in various parts of the city, such as buses, canopies, streetlights or subway stations. “We will continue to campaign, but it is clear that we will not throw the crap out,” added from the side of Joan Laporta, one of those who had invested more, so far, in advertising.
The elections, postponed until 10 days before the scheduled date of the elections, had as a big favorite -at least in the polls published during this January- the candidacy of the former president of Barça between 2003 and 2010. This extension, although his team is trying to dodge the question, it has fallen like a bucket of cold water because they were already seeing the Camp Nou box being trampled again. Initially, Laporta had done his best to prevent the electoral board from requesting this postponement. But, once produced, it is accepted with fair play, to avoid going against the flow considering the devastating effects of the pandemic, immersed in the third wave. However, at the headquarters of the Ronda de Sant Antoni they do not hide that they are angry because the management committee, instead of calling the elections immediately, stretched the deadlines so much that it has now been seen with water on its neck, forced to beg the members to wait until March 7 to go and vote for the new Barça president.
Three aspirants waiting for a date
Víctor Font was one of the presidential candidates who rowed hardest to force an electoral advance: he called for the resignation of former president Josep Maria Bartomeu in the summer, took an active part in the motion of censure – his team collected more than 3,000 signatures – and demanded speed to Carles Tusquets -chairman of the management commission- to put the ballot boxes. However, in the candidacy of Sí al Futur, as in that of Fidels in Barça by Toni Freixa, they do not hide that luck has smiled on them. In the end, those who lagged behind in the polls will have more time to present their respective projects.
“It’s time to tweak the budget and make a new injection of money,” said Font’s candidacy, established at the Hotel Olivia Balmes. In his case, and once the collection of signatures has passed, he will keep his campaign headquarters, although reducing part of the space he used to occupy. “It’s less, but you have to pay. And the money does not rain from the sky, but comes out of the pocket of the members of the council “, they add from the team of this telecommunications businessman. All will continue to work from their campaign headquarters, where they will continue to make press appearances and presentations: Laporta in the Moritz factory and Freixa in Pérez Galdós street in Collblanc, next to the Camp Nou.
A week that had to be key
This week had to be frantic. And that the candidates, in an election marked by the pandemic, spent a lot of cartridges during the collection of signatures, offering attractive proposals to ensure they can pass the cut. But some aces were kept for the days before the polls. Some of these letters will keep them covered until the final elections are approaching. But that doesn’t mean they disappear from the map. Freixa hopes to hold “a couple of weekly events” to continue approaching voters and save the most important issues for the decisive week. Font, who hopes to have “the more debates the better” among the aspirants, will hold regular meetings with partners through social media. While Laporta will make in the coming weeks the presentations that he had left pending of the Espai Barça and the politics of sections.
So far, three debates between the presidential candidates have been canceled, waiting for March 7 to approach. The first was to take place last Friday on Catalunya Ràdio, this week the World Supporters Clubs Confederation had organized one, and on Friday the final one was to take place on TV3. On the other hand, some media have also opted to postpone the interviews they wanted to do to the aspirants. The game will be much longer than expected. And also more uncertain.
Source: Ara.cat – Portada by www.ara.cat.
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