Josep Maria Bartomeu and the board of directors, who had been president of Spain’s Barcelona club since 2014, resigned.
Bartomeu, who was criticized by some footballers in the team, especially Lionel Messi, presented his resignation due to the developments after the signatures of the club members to lower the board of directors.
“I am here to present the resignation of myself and the other members of the board. This is our common decision,” Bartomeu said at his press conference.
Stating that it is not possible to hold a referendum in Barcelona within 15 days for the proposal of more than 20 thousand club members for the removal of the board of directors under the current Covid-19 outbreak conditions, Bartomeu said that the club selection committee decided to resign after “pressures to initiate legal action against the board of directors”.
Bartomeu said, “The will of the board has never been to maintain its place in the club. It was easy to resign after being eliminated in the Champions League (8-2 against Bayern Munich), but we had to guarantee the future of the club in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis. Who could sign the coach or the players? Who could keep Messi going or set salaries? As a board, we had to do that. ” found in the description.
Stating that Barcelona will hold the presidential election as soon as possible according to the director, Bartomeu stated that if there were no legal developments regarding the referendum, they had no reason to resign before the elections announced in March and leave the club management vacant.
Noting that all the allegations made by the opposing members of the club about himself and the other members of the board who were exposed to insults and threats were “fake”, Bartomeu said that he was proud to serve Barcelona, which has won a total of 149 cups in all sports branches since 2010. He said he would remain a member of the club.
Referring to the pro-independence initiatives in Catalonia, Bartomeu said, “In one of the most traumatic periods of the club and Catalonia, we were destined to manage Barcelona. Institutionally, we supported freedom of expression and the right to decide our own future.” said.
In the presidential election to be held in Barcelona after Bartomeu, the strongest candidates are Victor Font, Agusti Benedito, Lluis Fernandez and Jordi Farre.
The interim administration to be appointed will determine the date of the election in Barcelona.
Lionel Messi, who wanted to leave the team at the beginning of the season but stayed in Barcelona due to the management that stipulated a one-sided release fee of 700 million euros, had criticized Bartomeu for not keeping his promise in his statements to the press.
He made statements criticizing Luis Suarez, who transferred to Atletico Madrid, and Gerard Pique de Bartomeu, one of Barcelona’s important footballers.