The three candidates for the Barça elections in 1978, Nicolau Casaus, José Luis Núñez and Ferrán Ariño.
The passion that has surrounded these elections for Barça evokes those of 1978, with which there are parallels. The Agustín Montal era was ending, Cruyff had announced his departure for the end of the season and the club was burdened by a debt similar to its annual budget. And there was an atmosphere of political effervescence. The Constitution was recent (December 1977) and Catalonia demanded a Statute of Autonomy. For the first time, not a limited number of delegates voted, but rather all partners over 21 years of age with four years of seniority. A census of 53,688 voters. They were the first elections so a football club was holding in Spain
Despite the difficulty of the task, up to seven names were handled, including Miró Sans, a Falangist, who had been the president who built the Camp Nou and that he lived the golden age of Helenio Herrera. He soon resigned, understanding that it was not his time. How others would resign, due to lack of support
Bican, the scorer lost after the smoke of the war Levante vindicates the Copa España Libre A 9-1 against the
bolt It was a clear favorite Víctor Sagi, owner of a very powerful advertising agency that He worked with Barça and was present in the claims of cinemas throughout Spain. He was the son of Sagi Barba, glory of the club in the twenties, in turn the son of a famous baritone and brother of a zarzuela singer. He mounted a great candidacy, full of names of weight and influence. He had everything going for him, but he unexpectedly resigned for reasons never clarified. Everything was reduced to three:
Nicolau Casaus, 65, partner 7,202, textile industrialist, president of the influential Peña Solera. Condemned to death after the war for his militancy in the Republican Esquerra, he was saved by his uncle, Modrego Casaus, bishop. He spent three years in jail.
José Luis Núñez, 46, partner 21,597, born in Bilbao, but raised in Barcelona. Owner of the important construction company Núñez y Navarro , they called him the king of chamfers because he bought all the chamfered plots for sale. The posters of his construction company flooded the city.
Ferrán Ariño, 48 years old, partner 27,037. He was in the candidacy of Víctor Sagi and took the step to the front when leaving this. Pharmaceutical businessman, very involved in the Catalan activity of the time as promoter of the Great Catalan Encyclopedia and advisor to Avui . With Montal he had been president of Barcelona Atlético, where he incorporated Laureano Fernández, whom many still consider the origin of the successes of the culé quarry. Ariño's years at the head of the subsidiary fed the first team a lot: Tente Sánchez, Calderé, Corominas, Martínez, Estella, Manolo, Albaladejo, Rojo, Clos, Lobito Carrasco…
Two of the candidates represented the nationalist aspirations of the moment. Núñez, on the contrary, flagged the need to keep Barça out of the political struggle, while presenting himself as a breakthrough with the vices typical of football management in the past, which he proposed to change to modern business techniques.
Núñez had in his favor, apart from his prestige as a businessman and his air of a new man, uncontaminated by the mistakes of the past (the others could not say the same, and he hit hard there), the division of the nationalist vote between two candidates , one of a young man involved in the movements of his time and another of a prestigious veteran, who was pulling the oldest partner. There were movements to unite Ariño and Casaus, but they did not work.
The campaign divided the press and the streets. It was very harsh, you can say that even unpleasant. The elections were on May 6, the eve of a Barça-Valencia. 54 ballot boxes were placed at the Camp Nou, open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. 41% of the census voted, which was considered good participation, given the lack of habit. The recount gave a very close victory for Núñez, with 10,532 votes, compared to 9,537 for Ariño and 6,020 for Casaus. It was clear that the division of the nationalist vote benefited Núñez, whose victory created great irritation among Ariño's supporters, who when the winner arrived at the Camp Nou, they welcomed him with arms raised, singing Cara al Sol .
When shortly after Nicolau Casaus accepted Núñez's offer to join his board as vice president, many added two plus two and were outraged. And the rumors that Sagi would have retired after receiving an anonymous threat with the threat of making public a dossier of personal content gained strength if he did not withdraw. This would be a recurring rumor in successive elections in which a candidate, or aspiring to be one, retired on the fly.
Núñez stayed 22 years at Barça. He arrived when Bernabéu was still alive and left when Florentino entered. His long tenure, unparalleled in the club's history, still creates controversy.