No one person or business group "owns" FC Barcelona.
The club has over 155,000 "socis" ("socios" or "members") who each pay up to €140 annually for the privilege.
The socis govern the club by electing a president of the board of directors every four years.
Randomly selected members are appointed to serve as delegates to the general assembly, which approves the annual budget.
Most Spanish clubs, including Real Madrid, are run in the same manner.
Among the many advantages Barcelona members receive include...
-- up to 20% discount on tickets for most matches.
-- 5-10% off merchendise from FCBotiga, the club's store.
-- free stadium and museum tours.
-- free access to open training sessions held at the Mini-Estadi.
and many other perks.
The current elected president of FC Barcelona is Joan Laporta.
Although his term ends in the summer of 2010, club statutes allow members to unseat the president through a censure motion vote if they feel he isn't performing his duties in the best interest of the club.
Immediately after the close of last season (Barcelona's second straight trophyless season) two club members - Oriol Giralt Gili and Christian Castellvi Clement - gathered the necessary 5% signatures mandated for a censure motion to take place.
On July 6, 60% of the members voted to oust Laporta.
The club's doctrine requires 66% (or two-thirds) needed to unseat the preseident.
With a majority of those who voted wanting him out, Laporta could've resigned but he decided to stay on.
As a result, eight dissenting members of the club's board - including First Vice-president Albert Vicens and key figures Marc Ingla and Ferran Soriano - resigned in protest.
Soriano is expected to run against Laporta for the presidency in the 2010 elections, as is former Laporta ally and now bitter rival Sandro Rosell. Rosell is the early favorite to win.