BARCELONA: Josep Maria Bartomeu has been re-elected as president if European champons Barcelona despite charges in a fraud case and a FIFA ban on signing new players.

The 52-year-old won 54.63 percent of the vote in Saturday’s ballot ahead of ex-president Joan Laporta (33.03pc), Agusti Benedito (7.16) and Toni Freixa (3.70).

Bartomeu took over the presidency in January 2014 after predecessor Sandro Rosell resigned. He will control the reigning Spanish and European champions for the next six years.

Barcelona are owned by more than 150,000 members, 43pc of whom turned out to vote for president.

Last season’s success – they won the Champions League and Spanish league and cup while returning a record €608 million profit – meant Bartomeu was always favourite to stay.

Bartomeu remains a suspect in a magistrate’s ongoing investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds to sign Brazil striker Neymar.

FIFA imposed a one-year ban on Barcelona signing new players, through 2015, after concluding they violated rules regulating the transfer of underage players at their La Masia academy.

Bartomeu, a businessman with companies involved in airport and seaport facilities, first joined Barcelona’s board under Laporta from 2003-05 as executive head of its basketball and handball teams.

He returned to the club under Rosell, taking over the supervision of its football team and overseeing the signing of players like Neymar.