28 Oct 2020
Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns after row with Messi
Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned as FC Barcelona President after intense pressure kept building on him.
Fans wanted him out and the fallout with Lionel Messi became even more catastrophic.
Bartomeu stood down on Tuesday, along with the entire board of directors.
However, Bartomeu revealed he accepted proposals for the club to join the European Super League.
Here are further details.
Resentment had grown against Bartomeu's leadership
According to the BBC, Bartomeu was due to step down in March, having served the maximum two terms as President, but was facing a vote of no confidence.
More than 20,000 club members signed a motion to have him removed.
Further, resentment had grown against his leadership over the past year due to poor financial situation, shoddy transfers, and lack of on-field success.
It's a composed and relaxed decision, says Bartomeu
Bartomeu said his decision was a composed and relaxed one. "I want to communicate my resignation along with the rest of the board," said Bartomeu in an official announcement. "It's a composed and relaxed decision agreed with all my fellow directors."
Things went downhill under Bartomeu
The club won four leagues, four cups, and the treble in 2014-15 while he was President, but since then, there were several issues on and off the field that crept up.
Barcelona spent around €400 mn on the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, with no success.
The constant change of managers too didn't help.
Bartomeu stopped Messi from leaving Barcelona
Earlier, Messi had submitted a transfer request and stated he wanted to leave after nearly two decades with the Spanish giants.
However, Bartomeu stopped Messi from leaving the club by saying that a £624m release clause would have to be met.
In an interview with Goal, Messi said Bartomeu didn't keep his word.
He also said paying £624m will be impossible for any club.
Barca endured a difficult 2019-20 campaign
Messi's announcement of the transfer request came 11 days after Barcelona's humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarters.
It was one of the worst defeats in Messi's glittering career and in the club's history.
The defeat capped a difficult season for Barcelona, who failed to win a single trophy since 2007-08.
They also saw Real Madrid win La Liga.
How things shaped up regarding Messi's situation?
Messi's contract stated he had to inform Barcelona by June 10 regarding his decision to stay or leave.
However, that was the period when La Liga resumed amid the delay caused by coronavirus.
Barca were also alive in the UCL. Messi knew he had verbal agreement on place and expressed his views once their season ended.
However, Bartomeu denied Messi leaving under his tenure.
Messi wasn't pleased with the decisions being taken
Messi wasn't pleased with the club's hierarchy in terms of decision-making.
Bartomeu was the central figure in it. Messi had lashed out against former director of football, Eric Abidal after the latter blamed him for the departure of Ernesto Valverde.
He also didn't enjoy playing under Quique Setien.
The handling of Luis Suarez didn't go well with Messi.
He expressed his displeasure on Instagram.
Bartomeu got things wrong by keeping an unhappy Messi
Bartomeu didn't get his decision right by blocking Messi's move. It's understood that the legendary footballer is unhappy at the club and is likely to depart next summer. Messi is free to talk to other clubs in January 2021.