Barcelona Football Club Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board of directors have resigned from their positions according to the official club social media accounts. Bartomeu used a press conference he was addressing yesterday Tuesday, 27 to announce the decision that he claimed was a result of critical thinking. “I am communicating my resignation from my position of president, along with my entire board of directors,” he said. As Bartomeu resigned with his whole board, an interim board will be named until a successor is voted in an election that is expected to take place within the next three months.
Bartomeu steps down after a rocky relationship with major stakeholders including and not limited to fans and senior players at the Nou Camp. This bitter relationship was escalated during the summer when club captain Lionel Messi threatened to secure a move away from the Catalans and join the English Premier League to reunite with former tactician Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium causing panic within the club. Messi is on record for stating that the lack of direction at the club under the stewardship of Bartomeu played a role in his decision. The no-nonsense president did not entertain the magical Argentine’s decision and blocked his move getting a lot of criticism for how he handled the situation.
This did not go well with the fans that started an online petition to have him resign from their club which raised about 20,000 signatures. Bartomeu, however, stepped down from his position rather than await a fans’ vote of no confidence in his future at Barcelona. Over the six years at the helm of the Spanish giants, Bartomeu oversaw a trophy-laden spell that saw the club rack up four league titles, four Copa Del Rey cups, and a UEFA Champions League trophy in 2015.
Much as Lionel Messi stayed at the club after deciding to see out the remainder of his contract to avoid taking Barca to court, the club has had a slow start to this season’s La Liga campaign registering two losses after just four games including a 3-1 drubbing in the El Classico last weekend