Laporta voted in as Barcelona president

Joan Laporta (c) has been returned as president of Spanish football giants Barcelona.
Joan Laporta (c) has been returned as president of Spanish football giants Barcelona.

Joan Laporta has been elected Barcelona president for a second time as club members voted him in to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Laporta, 58, beat Victor Font and Toni Freixa, as member turn to the man who oversaw one of their most successful periods to lead them out of an institutional and financial crisis.

He was previously in charge between 2003-2010.

Laporta won a resounding 57.6 per cent of the vote with more than 99 per cent votes counted, with Font second with 31.8 per cent and Freixa third with 9.1 per cent.

"Let's go to Paris and see if we can turn it around," said Laporta as he celebrated his victory at Camp Nou, referring to Barcelona's Champions League last 16-second leg clash with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Bartomeu stepped down from the role in October 2020 as he faced a vote of no confidence from club members, with elections called for January but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Laporta inherits the club with gross debt in the region of 1.2 billion euros ($A1.8 billion dollars) and a with Lionel Messi's contract expiring in the summer, meaning the star player can walk away for free.

Messi, 33, voted in the election, along with teammates including Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Riqui Puig, while former president Bartomeu also voted to choose his successor.

Barca said 51,765 out of 109,531 eligible members had voted in the election, which was postponed from January due to coronavirus restrictions in Catalonia.

Bartomeu was detained by police earlier this week as part of an investigation into the "Barcagate" social media scandal, relating to a company hired to monitor the club's online presence.

Australian Associated Press