For years, Barcelona fans have been saying that they don’t need a movie theater when Bartomeu is available. That satire is even more reasonable.
The sudden resignation of six members of the Barcelona leadership looked like an “internal purge” by President Josep Bartomeu.
Vice Presidents Emili Rousaud and Enrique Tombas and Directors Silvio Elias, Maria Teixidor, Josep Pont and Secretary Jordi Clasamiglia left Barcelona’s office on April 9, not forgetting to leave an open letter with the intention to attack those who stay.
Bartomeu believes the departure of the six members is necessary, after the embarrassing incidents that took place in the past few months at the top of the team. Typically, a scandal called “Barcelonagate”, when Bartomeu and his colleagues were discovered to spend money to smear images of players, former coaches and former players.
Barcelona hired a company called I3 Ventures since 2017 and paid six different bills for a total cost of nearly 1 million euros. The company owns multiple accounts on social networks, whose main purpose is to post negative stories about influential figures at the Camp Nou.
The “Barcelonagate” scandal also made Jaume Masferrer, Bartomeu’s powerful assistant financially a scapegoat.
Leading the group of six board members who were “beheaded” by Bartomeu is Rousaud, who was previously the Vice President of Rousaud and is considered the candidate to succeed Bartomeu for the position of chairman next year.
In an interview on Cadena Ser on April 8, Rousaud strongly attacked Bartomeu and leaked inside Barcelona’s information. Rousaud stated: “Bartomeu called me and said he had a problem with the board members. He wanted me to resign, I said whatever I should say face to face”.
To make matters more complicated, Rousaud insists “if the auditors tell us that hiring I3 Ventures actually costs only 100,000 euros while the club has already spent 1 million euros, someone will pay the price”.
Rousaud claimed he had no evidence and could not identify who he was, but claimed that the relationship between members of the leaders were extremely “dirty”. He also said that at least three other members of the Bartomeu leadership ranks are planning to resign.
If Rousaud’s statements are true, Barcelona could be at risk of internal imprisonment for corruption.
In early January of this year, Rousaud was promoted by Bartomeu to become his right-hand man in the team. Rousaud has been a supporter of Bartomeu since 2015. He officially came to light a few months ago, with the promise of succeeding Bartomeu in the election next year.
Why did Rousaud suddenly become a traitor? Inside Barcelona increasingly exposed more suspicious details.
The opera is not over
For the first time in history, the Barcelona board has only 13 members, and Bartomeu needs to immediately appoint a new member to meet the minimum number of 14 to prevent the management from being dissolved.
Marca said if the leading members resign at 75%, the Camp Nou team will have to hold the election immediately.
A total of 12 Barcelona officials have resigned or been sacked since 2015, less than 12 months after Bartomeu officially became club president.
On April 11, Bartomeu spoke about the possibility of bringing Rousaud to court for slanderous remarks earlier. In response, Rousaud stated that he honestly didn’t want to ruin the image of the team, but “the truth is still the truth”.
Jordi Mestre, who served as Barcelona Vice President for the period of 2014-2019, added fuel to the fire with the implicit statement: “When I was in office, the leaders of the team has long been no longer eating at the same table”.
Marca revealed Mestre had left Barcelona in a previous “purge” of Bartomeu, to make way for Sports Director Eric Aibal, who clashed with Messi last month.
Gabriel Masfurroll, another former Barcelona president, called the situation at the club “extremely embarrassing”. Barcelona fans are still proud of the slogan “more than a club”, with deep community values and symbolism.
However, a few fans have now described the pet team as “more than a circus”.
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