The top leader and his board of directors resigned this Tuesday after the Catalan authorities gave the go-ahead to celebrate on November 1 and 2 the vote of no confidence that sought to remove them from their positions
Josep María Bartomeu could not bear the pressure and presented his resignation to the presidency of Barcelona at the committee meeting held this Tuesday in which the rest of the managers accompanied the decision of the top leader, as confirmed by the main Catalan media. This happens almost 24 hours after he himself, in a press conference, denied that there was the possibility of resignation.
The objective of the Spanish businessman was to get the Catalan authorities to postpone the motion of censure against him, which, under the club’s statutes, should be carried out on November 1 and 2. With a letter sent to the Generalitat, he had asked for an extension with the excuse that this way he could enable several voting centers and that way there would be no crowding in the Camp Nou offices, something that could have serious consequences in the context of the pandemic of the coronavirus.
As Sport and Mundo Deportivo anticipated, the Generalitat did not grant their request and in this way, Bartomeu, cornered by the pressure of the partners who were going to vote for his departure over the weekend, preferred to take a step aside.
This Monday, the leader had declared to the media: “ I have not thought of resigning. I think a good project is being built and I am sure that we will win more than one title ”. In addition, he added: “It would be a bad moment to leave Barça with a manager, who could not make decisions that we make every day.” As reported by the Spanish press, there will shortly be a new press conference in which Bartomeu will explain why he has decided to leave his post.
With regard to the helm of Barcelona, now a management board will take care of the situation until the elections that must be before the end of three months. Who will be at the forefront will be Carlos Tusquets, a businessman who has a doctorate in economics from the University of Barcelona who has excelled in the private sector in the hospitality business (NH hotels), energy (FERSA, today AUDAX), and real estate (Renta Corporation), among other companies today listed on the Stock Market. Until today he worked as head of the Economic Commission
Bartomeu became president of the club on January 23, 2014, when Sandro Rosell resigned due to the so-called “Neymar case” when Justice detected extra payments of 40 million euros to the player’s father. The great campaign of the 2014/15 season, “triplet” (League, Copa del Rey and Champions League), brought as an immediate consequence the triumph of Bartomeu in the elections of July 18, 2015, by 54.63 percent of the votes.
Since then, the leader was in charge of the club and began to star in conflicts of all aspects that led to his departure this Tuesday. Without a doubt, the biggest of his problems was with the captain and idol Lionel Messi.
After losing 8 to 2 to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the 2019/20 Champions League, the Argentine thought about leaving Barcelona, and that decision was communicated by a burofax that he sent to the Camp Nou offices. As he explained later, he chose this method because he did not have a dialogue with Bartomeu, who had already anticipated his discomfort but was never heard by the president.
” I thought and we were sure that I was free, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not, and now they hold on to the fact that I did not say it before June 10 when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for the League in the middle of this shitty virus and this disease that altered all dates. And this is the reason why I’m going to continue at the club… ”, he explained in the interview given to the Goal site in September, when he gave up using the clause in his contract that allowed him to leave as a free agent since the board of directors The club insisted that the deadline to use it had already expired.
After that scandal, Jordi Farré launched a process to dismiss Bartomeu and on October 7 he obtained the 16,521 signatures established by the Statute of the Catalan entity to initiate the vote of no confidence. In total, there were more than 20 thousand signatures. In this context, the end of his cycle was a matter of time, and to avoid being the first president expelled from the institution by fans, Bartomeu decided to resign.
The last conflict that Bartomeu had starred in was a few weeks ago when he asked the players to lower their salaries as a measure to collaborate with the club in the midst of the economic crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic. The campus itself did not take in the best way the ways in which the directive pointed to this cut and answered with a burofax that they would not negotiate a reduction in income.
The most curious thing was not the rejection of the measure, but also that, according to Spanish media, the players did not consider the president as the authority within the club to carry out this type of modifications. This marked that the players no longer respected the president and the commission.
In all this chaos, Barcelona must play on Wednesday against Juventus for the Champions League, a trophy they have not won since 2015. But the game seems to be the least important for the club that will now live a new stage and the great doubt will be opened about what will happen to Messi, who has a contract until June 2021 but has not yet renewed it.