Enrique Piñeyro Queralt

FC Barcelona President 1940-43

Born in Barcelona in 1883, Enrique Piñeyro Queralt, the Marquis of the Mesa de Asta, was an aristocrat, who became FC Barcelona President on March 13th 1940 by imposition of the Francoist government, replacing the Management Committee presided by Joan Soler i Julià.

A close friend of José Moscardó e Ituarte, who was head of Franco's personal military staf,, Piñeyro had fought on the nationalist side during the Spanish Civil War and had previously had had no connection with the club.

He wasn't even a member of the club and apparently had never attended a football match so his nomination as president was definitely a political decision.

His first acts were to delete articles from the club statute that he considered contrary to the regime, change the name of the club to the Spanish Club de Fútbol Barcelona and also to remove the Catalan Senyera flag from the now CF rather than FC Barcelona club crest.

He also made sure that the board included other committed Francoists, such as the lawyer and army captain Javier de Mendoza Arias-Carvajal i Juan Agustí Peypoch.

In the club's favour, though, he was able to persuade the government to lift the six-year ban on exiled players, which meant that players of the calibre of Domènec Balmanya and Josep Escolà could return to FC Barcelona.

These players were crucial to coach Juan José Nogués' side and were crucial to winning the Copa del Generalísimo by beating Athletic Club de Bilbao 4-3 in 1942.

However, in La Liga, the side started particularly badly and by the end of the season had to beat Real Murcia 5-1 in the play-offs in order to avoid relegation.

On August 13th 1942, after two years and four months in the job, Piñeyro resigned because he considered that he had fulfilled his objectives.

His resignation was accepted by the Federación Catalana and his job was briefly taken by interim president, José Vidal-Ribas.

However, the regime refused to accept his resignation and Piñeyro was back after less than a month.

He remained as CF Barcelona president until August 20th 1943, when he resigned once again over the notorious Copa del Generalísimo return leg against Real Madrid on June 13th 1943.

FC Barcelona had beaten Real Madrid 3-0 in the Camp de Les Corts but apparently before the match, the team was threatened by the armed head of security and went on to lose the game 11-1.

As a result, Enrique Piñeyro Queralt resigned once again and this time the decision was definitive.

Piñeyro was temporarily replaced by José Antonio de Albert before José Vendrell took over the FC Barcelona presidency.



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