Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu and the rest of the club’s board RESIGN immediately with vote of no confidence looming as Lionel Messi and frustrated players get their way after nightmare spell on and off the pitch
- Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has faced a difficult year in 2020
- The Catalans chief fell out with Lionel Messi which nearly saw the latter leave
- Bartomeu was facing a vote of no confidence but still refused to quit on Monday
- Now Bartomeu has confirmed the resignation of himself and the board
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has handed in his resignation at the LaLiga club.
The director has faced several calls to step down from the Catalans hierarchy after several controversies over the summer, including the public fall-out with Lionel Messi which nearly forced the Barcelona captain to leave the Camp Nou.
On Monday, Bartomeu said there was ‘no reason for him to resign’ ahead of an imminent vote of no confidence – but an emergency meeting on Tuesday saw the 57-year-old and the other directors hand in their resignation.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has handed in his resignation
The president resigned along with other Barcelona directors in a meeting on Tuesday
Now Messi’s chances of staying at Barcelona have risen dramatically following Bartomeu’s departure.
The president was the centre of Messi’s criticisms when the Argentine announced his shock transfer request to Barcelona earlier this summer.
The Barcelona captain revealed the president did not keep his word about letting Messi leave the club if he wanted to, as the 33-year-old tried to move on a free transfer due to a clause in his contract.
Messi told Goal in September: ‘I told the president and, well, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not keep his word.’
Bartomeu fell out with Barcelona captain Lionel Messi (above) this year, who nearly left Barca
Bartomeu was also criticised over the I3 Ventures scandal, which has allegedly seen Barcelona chief Jaume Masferrer lead a social media project alongside the LaLiga club to damage the reputations of figures such as Gerard Pique, Messi and the Argentinian star’s wife.
Speaking about the scandal, Pique claimed: ‘I see that my club has spent money, money that they are now asking us to criticize. It’s no longer only external people with a historical relationship with the club, but active players too, and that is outrageous.
‘I asked him for explanations and what he (Bartomeu) told me was: “Gerard, I didn’t know.” And I believed it.
Bartomeu was also criticised over a social media scandal that criticised Barcelona’s big stars
‘Then you see that, in future actions, the person in charge of hiring these services is still working at the club.’
As the pressure mounted over the weekend, Bartomeu insisted that he would not step down, irrespective of the impending vote of no confidence from other Barcelona chiefs.
‘There is no reason for me to resign,’ he said in a press conference following the meeting. ‘It’s not an appropriate time to hand in my resignation. No one will be able to make the decisions if I decide to resign.
‘The idea of stepping down has never crossed my mind. Never.’
Barcelona are currently lying in 12th place in the LaLiga table after back-to-back defeats in Spain’s top-flight, a run further compounded by an El Clasico loss to Real Madrid on Saturday.