Otto Gmelin

FC Barcelona's German President 1909-10

Otto Gmelin became FC Barcelona president on October 14th and his presidency, which lasted a little less than a year, was sandwiched between Joan Gamper's first two terms of office.

Known as "The Great Otto", due to his portly physique, German-born Gmelin continued the good work of Gamper's first presidency with the club winning its first Campeonato de España.

The side also won the Campionat de Catalunya without ceding a point as well as the Pyrenees Cup against French and Basque teams.

It is also worth mentioning the first visit of a professional British club, Cardiff Corinthians, who FC Barcelona beat 4-1.

Gmelin's presidency also saw the decline of amateurism and an increase the number of so-called passive members, who didn't join the club as players but just as spectators.

Gmelin stood down as president on November 17th 1910, after 344 days, and Gamper led the club for a second term of office.

Gmelin went on to form part of the very first referees association in Spain and continued as a board member of FC Barcelona.


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