Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned as president of Barcelona on Tuesday rather than waiting for fans to vote for his future at the club.
The rest of the board resigned with Bartomeu, and elections are scheduled to appoint a new president within the next 90 days.
“It’s a thoughtful, serene and informed decision,” Bartomeu said in a televised speech.
The interim management board will oversee the daily operations of the club until a new executive board is appointed.
After discussing with the Catalan local government whether it is safe to vote directly in the current pandemic, Bartomeu opted to withdraw instead of asking club members to vote on their future.
More than 20,000 supporters were increasingly angry with his club’s management and signed a petition to be removed from office.
This triggered a referendum on Bartomeu’s position at the club. However, voting is no longer necessary.
Victor Font, Joan Laporta, and Jordi Roche are some of the candidates expected to run for election to determine Bartomeu’s successor.
Bartomeu, 57, replaced Sandro Rosell as president in 2014. He previously served as Rosell’s vice president. He resigned after a lawsuit was filed that he hid Rosell’s actual expenses. Neymar Previous.
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After Luis Enrique’s Treble, Bartomeu was reelected for a new six-year term in 2015.
However, his popularity has declined over the past five years, and problems outside the arena have resulted in poor performance on the pitch.
Last season was Barca’s first trophy-free campaign since 2007-08, and earlier this month the club announced a loss for the 2019-20 season of €97 million, although it was the result of a financial burden associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
In particular, there was a rift between Bartomu and the player. Lionell Messi.
Bartomeu stood firm last summer when Messi wanted to leave Barca, the forward accusing him of lying and accusing Bartomeu of running the club.
“The easiest thing after the champions [League defeat to Bayern Munich] It was to resign, but a decision had to be made amid an unprecedented global crisis,” Bartomeu added, adding that after the Messi invasion later, it was not possible to let an outsider run the club.
“Who made Messi stay? Who hired a new coach?” Bartomeu, who acquired Barcelona from Sandro Rosell in 2014, said.
Gerard Pique He was also critical of Bartomeu in a recent interview. The defender said it was “cruelty” for the club to spend money on social media slander campaigns against current and former players. The scandal came to be known as Barcagate.
Bartomeu and the club said a police investigation was under way, but an external auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers said they were unaware of the post.
In April, six board members resigned for disagreement over how Bartomeu managed the club.
Despite dissatisfaction between supporters and players, Bartomeu wanted to see his mission going on until 2021. Elections were scheduled for March, but as a result of his early start, it will now go fast.
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