Six directors have made the first move in the tumultuous boardroom chess match at Barcelona, as a group led by vice president Emili Rousaud have handed in their resignations.
The top brass have been in a state of noted turmoil stretching back to February, when Spanish radio station Cadena SER claimed the club had hired a social media firm to attack current players Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique and defend president Josep Bartomeu.
The club vehemently denied the accusations, but citing that scandal, and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic which has seen the club ask all staff to take a 70% pay cut, six directors have now stepped down.
The group, including Rousaud, Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elias, Maria Teixidor, Josep Pont and Jordi Clasamiglia, released a joint statement (as per Standard) which read: “We hereby want to communicate that the directors below signatories have transferred to President Bartomeu our decision to irrevocably resign from our status as FC Barcelona executives.
“We have reached this point by not being able to reverse the criteria and forms of management of the club in the face of the important challenges of the future and, in particular, from the new post-pandemic scenario.
“We must also highlight our disillusion over the unfortunate social media episode, known as ‘Barcagate’, of which we found out through the press.”
Earlier this week, Rousaud revealed that Bartomeu wanted a ‘remodelling’ of the board, which the Standard predicted would include the removal of VPs Rousaud and Tombas as well as Elias and Pont – all of whom are among those who stepped down.
💣 Emili Rousaud, Quique Tombas, Silvio Elías, Josep Pont, Jordi Calsamiglia and Maria Teixidor all resigned [la vanguardia]
❗ Bartomeu will appoint 2 new directors to compensate for the 6 losses. There has to be a minimum of 14 directors on the board and now there are 13 [md] pic.twitter.com/t1Tkl13htx
— FCBarcelonaFl #StayHome 🏡 (@FCBarcelonaFl) April 9, 2020
“Bartomeu called me and told me he wanted a remodelling of the board and that he had distrust for some directors, including me,” he told Cadena SER. “He told me there were leaks which annoyed the players and which placed in doubt the work of the executives.”
“The manner doesn’t seem correct to me. I want to reflect, with calm. I haven’t done anything to deserve this treatment.
“It’s fair that Bartomeu wants people he can trust and who won’t argue at all, but this is not the way to go about it, in the middle of confinement.”