Barcelona boss steps down amid fallout with Leo Messi

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BYE-BYE BARTOMEU Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned at last  picture: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images
BYE-BYE BARTOMEU Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned at last picture: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

SPORT


Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned under increasing pressure, but said he had accepted proposals for the club to join a European Super League.

Fans had been trying to remove Bartomeu, who became president in 2014 and had fallen out with Lionel Messi.

He stood down on Tuesday, along with the entire board of directors.

In an exit speech, Bartomeu said Barca had begun proceedings to join a super league to help its financial future.

Read: Messi equals another record in Barça win

Last week BBC Sport reported that talks had taken place over the creation of a new £4.6 billion European Premier League involving the top sides from across the continent, although discussions are at an early stage.

La Liga president Javier Tebas responded to Bartomeu’s claims by saying it “confirms his ignorance about the football industry”.

Tebas called it a “weak and imaginary competition which would be their ruin”.

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 remove him.

Resentment had grown against his leadership over the past year because of worsening finances and Barca’s decline on the pitch and their failure to win a trophy last season.

Read: ‘Messi not bigger than LaLiga’ says league boss Tebas as Spanish league’s 90th season kicks off

Bartomeu also fell out with star player Messi in the summer after the Argentina forward handed in a transfer request.

Messi failed to force a move and decided to stay, but said he felt deceived by Bartomeu, adding: “There has been no project or anything for a long time”.

Barcelona are owned by their supporters, who vote to elect a president to run the club. – BBC Sport


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