Instability Means Bartomeu’s Victory over Lionel Messi might Prove Hollow

Josep Maria Bartomeu (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Since January, Bartomeu has bore the brunt of the criticism, the Catalan businessman and a shareholder of Barcelona since he was eleven years outdated by no means removed from controversy.

  • AFP Madrid
  • Last Updated: September 6, 2020, 5:30 PM IST


An sudden winner in 2015 and Barcelona‘s dangerous man in 2020, the membership’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu may really feel some satisfaction after successful his showdown with Lionel Messi.

The final yr has been chaotic for Barca, much more so for his or her president, and never simply because they misplaced La Liga to Real Madrid earlier than being humiliated by Bayern Munich within the Champions League.

Since January, Bartomeu has bore the brunt of the criticism, the Catalan businessman and a shareholder of Barcelona since he was eleven years outdated by no means removed from controversy.

His appointment of Quique Setien as coach in January was a disappointment, with followers awaiting the return of their legendary former midfielder Xavi Hernandez to switch the clumsily dismissed Ernesto Valverde.

Then in February, the membership needed to deny it was on the root of a social media marketing campaign to criticise these sceptical of the board, together with key gamers, with a view to enhance the picture of the


An audit report from PricewaterhouseCoopers concluded “no corrupt behaviour” occurred however a judicial investigation is ongoing, with the full quantity paid allegedly six occasions increased than the market value.

And then in March, firstly of the coronavirus pandemic and with the membership in critical monetary problem, six members of the board resigned in protest on the manner the membership was being run.

They included two vice-presidents, Enrique Tombas and Emili Rousaud, the latter the one Bartomeu had in thoughts to be his successor.

There had been requires the presidential elections, initially scheduled to be held in June subsequent yr, to be introduced ahead however Bartomeu soldiered on, seemingly unperturbed.

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His regime has been excessive on blunders and low on diplomacy.

Messi claimed on Friday that Bartomeu “didn’t maintain his phrase” over an settlement to let him depart without cost on the finish of the season.

Messi mentioned in March the gamers had been “not shocked” that “individuals contained in the membership” needed to shift the stress onto them over the difficulty of pay cuts.

Managing Director of the multinational firm ADELTE, which specialises in engineering for ports and airports, Bartomeu’s first steps at Barcelona had been taken within the basketball and handball sections.

He had even performed basketball for a few of Barca’s youth groups earlier than becoming a member of metropolis rivals Espanyol and his connection to the game helped him return to Camp Nou in 2003.

Billion euros on transfers

So did his lengthy friendship with Sandro Rosell, with the pair forming a part of Joan Laporta’s profitable bid for the presidency, solely to be eliminated in 2005 as splits over the route of the membership emerged.

But in 2010, when Rosell bid for the highest job himself, he included Bartomeu as his vice-president, successful the elections with 61 per cent of the “socio” vote.

Together, they started expunging the membership of these linked to the philosophies of Laporta, Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola, as a substitute favouring a extra conservative strategy related to Josep Lluis Nunez, the president who sacked Cruyff as coach in 1996.

But in January 2014, Rosell resigned as he confronted fees of corruption over the switch of Neymar from Santos for which he would later be jailed, leaving Bartomeu to imagine the interim presidency.

After a triumphant yr in 2015 noticed Barcelona win the treble with the trident – Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez – Bartomeu rode the tide of goodwill to received the election the next summer season with 54 per cent of the vote.

Yet success has not continued. Barca has since fallen 4 occasions within the quarter-finals of the Champions League and as soon as within the semi-finals after one other collapse in opposition to Liverpool.

Almost a billion euros spent within the switch market did not revive their fortunes, as a substitute making restoration extra difficult as costly, underperforming stars turned more and more troublesome to shift.

Bartomeu tried a revolution by hiring Setien after which Ronald Koeman however Setien needed to be fired and Koeman has a blended CV as a coach.

After the 8-2 defeat by Bayern, Bartomeu was additionally compelled to deliver ahead subsequent yr’s elections till March.

But a vote of no confidence has been offered in opposition to him by the membership’s members, which means he might not final that lengthy. His victory over Messi might show a hole one.

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