FC Barcelona president expected to resign

The election is expected to be Sept. 10, and Laporta's resignation is a formality. Although five rival candidates are reportedly interested, none has announced intentions to contest the election.

Laporta, who is seeking a second term, led Barcelona to the Champions League title in May and has also seen the club win two straight Spanish league titles. Many expect him to win unopposed.

A Barcelona judge last week ruled that Laporta had to step down at the end of last month, a case brought by three club members. Laporta has served just over three years and had argued his term should be four years.

Barcelona will be controlled in the interim by a committee headed by economist Xavier Sala i Martin.

Barcelona's success on the field under the 44-year-old lawyer has been matched by its improving financial situation.

Vice president Ferran Soriano said Tuesday that Barcelona's income had increased to US$326 million in 2005-06, a 24.6 percent rise over the previous season to make it one of the sport's top earners, according to the AP.

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