Bartomeu forced 6 members of the administration to resign
The boardroom civil war at Camp Nou continues, with President Josep Maria Bartomeu pushing 6 board members – including two vice presidents – out of the club. Six FC Barcelona board members have resigned and slammed President Josep Maria Bartomeu as the civil war at Camp Nou continues to be played out in public.
Vice presidents Emili Rousand and Enrique Tombas will both depart, alongside directors Silvio Elias, Maria Teixidor, Josep Pont and Jordi Clasamiglia. The numerous resignations follow a turbulent period for the Catalan giants. Barcelona’s civil war has got even worse amid the coronavirus crisis with six members of president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board resigning on Thursday night.
Bartomeu has been in charge of the Blaugrana since 2015, but is far from popular.
The resignations follow information earlier in the week that Bartomeu wanted Rousaud, Tombas, Elias and Pont to resign. Rousand hit back in an interview with Marca saying he felt “betrayed” by Bartomeu.
He added that Bartomeu had told him he wanted him out because he had leaked information or criticised players to journalists and had also criticised employees.
He has come under increasing pressure after a number of difficulties in recent months – not least involving Lionel Messi.
Those recent controversies, including the sacking of Ernesto Valverde, the public criticism of stars over coronavirus pay cuts and the hiring of a PR firm, dubbed ‘Barcagate’ to reportedly to ‘protect’ Bartomeu’s reputation and take shots at his enemies – all of which have seen Messi publicly call out the board – have led to break downs in relationships at the top of the club.
Lionel Messi is at loggerheads with Bartomeu over him and his team-mates’ pay cut while the virus has put action on hold, only a few weeks after his fury at director Eric Abidal for publicly calling out the team, while Bartomeu was forced to deny orchestrating a social media campaign against Messi and other top names.
Barcelona have been feeling the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis in Spain with Messi and the rest of the Barcelona squad having taken massive pay cuts. He club has also said it will not cover non-playing staff wages and have put them on furlough despite Bartomeu saying the club would earn £878million this season.
Meanwhile, Bartomeu, 57, called on a number of directors he viewed as ‘disloyal’ to quit; due to the club’s statutes he couldn’t fire them, but could demote them into much lower positions with no say in club affairs.
Now he has got his wish, but the sextet has released a strongly-worded letter which has been sent to Bartomeu, calling for the club’s leadership to be reviewed.
«We hereby want to communicate that the undersigned managers have transferred to President Bartomeu our decision to irrevocably resign from our position as managers of FC Barcelona,» the group’s letter read via La Vanguardia.
«We have reached this point by not being able to reverse the criteria and forms of management of the club in the face of the important challenges of the future and, especially, from the new post-pandemic scenario.
«We must also highlight our disenchantment with the unfortunate episode on social networks, known as ‘Barcagate’, which we learned about through the press.
«We ask here that once the results of the audit entrusted to PWC are presented, that responsibilities be cleared as well as the eventual corresponding compensation.
«As the last service to our club, we recommend that as soon as circumstances allow it to convene new elections that allow, with all the ‘authority’, to manage the club in the best possible way in the face of the important challenges of the immediate future.
«Last but not least, we want to have a very special recognition and thanks to our colleagues on the Board of Directors who have dedicated and dedicate their best energy and efforts for the good of our beloved Barcelona Football Club.
«Also to thank the executives and employees of the Club for their support and excellent work during this time in which we have had the honour of serving our beloved Barca.
However, the now axed Rousard said on Wednesday: «The payments were divided into smaller parts to avoid the club’s internal economic checks. «That’s a fact.»