Josep Soler

The FC Barcelona President Without a Face

There is a mystery surrounding Josep Soler, who was FC Barcelona's fifth president taking over from Arthur Witty in 1905, because no photograph of him exists and consequently, no one knows what he looked like.

In fact, he has become known as "el presidente sin rostro" - "the president without a face" and in 2011, the club launched a campaign amongst fans and members to try and track down a photograph to no avail.

This is a serious blow for historians of the club because, after three Swiss presidents and an Englishman, Soler was the first Catalan president in the history of FC Barcelona.

According to the article in Mundo Deportivo outlining the campaign, Josep Soler took over the club at a difficult time.

There was a serious drop in club popularity with the number of members falling to only 198 and during his presidency the team suffered the legendary 1-0 defeat at the hands of Athletic Club de Bilbao.

Furthermore, FC Barcelona suffered unfair treatment from the Associació de Clubs and in 1906 was dispossessed of the Copa Salut title, despite having won all the games

One of their victims, a team known as X, who they beat 3-1, claimed that two FC Barcelona players hadn't been wearing regulation kit during the match.

The Associació de Clubs ruled that the match should be repeated and when FC Barcelona refused, the title was taken away from them and proclaimed FC Català champion.

Apart from this very little is known about Josep Soler, who was president for exactly a year from October 6th 1905 to October 6th 1906.

Apparently, there were two players with the surname Soler on the team at the time and it is assumed that the mystery president was one of them.


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