Barcelona president steps down

La Liga

Sandro Rosell the president of Barcelona has dramatically resigned with immediate effect.  The announcement came after an extraordinary board meeting followed by press conference, where Vice President Josep Maria Bartomeu was announced as his successor.

Sandro Rosell, Neymar (Reuters)

The announcement comes after the Spanish national court judge Pablo Ruz announced an investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds during the £48.6m (57m euro) transfer of Neymar from Santos last June.  It is widely stipulated by Barcelona club members that the amount paid was more than what was reported.

Explaining his decision to step down, Rosell said “For some time my family and myself have suffered threats and attacks in silence. These threats and attacks have made me wonder if being president means having to jeopardise my family”.

“In recent days an unfair and reckless accusation of misappropriation has resulted in a lawsuit against me in the Audiencia Nacional. From the beginning I have said that the signing of Neymar Junior has been correct and his signing has caused despair and envy in some of our adversaries.

“The right of the club members to be informed needs to be compatible with the defence of the club and confidentiality of certain matters and facts. This confidentiality is essential in the world of football because otherwise the club could be damaged.

“The board of directors is a team. And this team leads a project that has brought the club great success. I don’t want unfair attacks to negatively affect their management or the image of the club. This is why I think my time here has come to an end.

“Now, in accordance with the club’s statutes, I have presented my irrevocable resignation of the presidency of FC Barcelona to the board of directors.

“It has been an honour to serve the Barcelonistas. It’s been a privilege to be the president of FC Barcelona.”

Rosell was Vice President of Barcelona under Joan Laporta before resigning in 2005.  He won a landslide election in 2010 succeeding Laporta.

It will be interesting to see if the off-field developments threaten Barcelona’s season, considering they are joint top of La Liga with Atletico, and only a point ahead of bitter rivals Real.  They play Malaga on Sunday evening at the Camp Nou.


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