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Barcelona elects new chairman

BARCELONA, June 14 – Barcelona's former vice chairman Sandro Rosell was Sunday elected to replace Joan Laporta as the boss of the Spanish champions, the club announced.Rosell, a former Nike executive who was behind Brazilian Ronaldinho’s move to Barcelona in 2003, won 61.35 percent of the vote by club members, beating three other candidates to become chairman of the Catalan giants.

Laporta was ineligible to stand for election again after holding the post since 2003.

Rosell, 46, was on the club’s board between 2003 and 2005 during Laporta’s first term.

He quit as vice chairman in 2005 because he was disillusioned with the way the club was being run, accusing it of lacking "independence, transparency and democracy".

"The problem is Laporta, he has a problem with himself. The project of this group of youths has gotten lost in recent years," he said at the time.

Rosell will have urgent issues to attend to such as getting coach Pep Guardiola to agree to a contract extension and fulfilling the desire of fans to bring midfielder Cesc Fabregas back from Arsenal.

Under Laporta’s guidance Barcelona won the Champions League twice – in 2006 and 2009 – and the Spanish league four times – in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 – making it the most successful period in the club’s history.

Laporta said in January that he was considering creating a political party to seek independence for Spain’s Catalonia region.

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Barcelona’s outgoing vice-president Jaume Ferrer was the only one of the four candidates in the race who had the backing of Laporta.

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