Barca president calls elections

2015-01-08 10:03
Barcelona logo (File)

Madrid - Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has called club elections for the end of the season in a bid to ease the tension surrounding the embattled Catalan club.

Bartomeu took over as president a year ago after Sandro Rossell resigned following the controversial signing of Brazilian striker Neymar which led to the club being accused of tax fraud.

"I have called this press conference to say that we have called elections for the end of the season to reduce the tension that surrounds the club which I think is disproportionate and doesn't correspond to the reality of the club," Bartomeu said on Wednesday.

"It is better than the mandates are completed, but it is clear that in recent weeks the level of tension hasn't been right. We will keep managing things as we had prevised and will not change our programme."

"We want to present ourselves for re-election. Things are positive, we started in 2010 and we want to continue."

Former Barca president Joan Laporta, who oversaw two Champions League triumphs in his previous spell in charge of the club between 2003 and 2010, has been strongly linked with a return to the top job at the Camp Nou but is yet to formally declare himself as a candidate.

The current board's mandate was due to run until 2016, but Bartomeu has come under fire in recent weeks after Barca's appeal against a one-year transfer ban by FIFA for irregularities in the signing of players under the age of 16 was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

On Monday, Bartomeu sacked sporing director Andoni Zubizarreta and former captain Carles Puyol resigned from his position as Zubizarreta's assistant.

Barca's turbulent start to 2015 on and off the pitch began with a shock 1-0 defeat to David Moyes's Real Sociedad on Sunday after coach Luis Enrique had left nearly 300 million euros of talent, including Lionel Messi and Neymar on the bench.

The two South American stars had only returned to Spain on Friday after being given two extra days holiday than the rest of the squad during the winter break.

Messi then sparked rumours he could leave the club he joined at the age of 13 when he missed an open training session with the club's fans on Monday, citing a stomach bug, and then followed Chelsea players Thibaut Courtois and Flilipe Luis as well as the London club's official account on the social networking site Instagram.

However, Bartomeu strongly denied claims in Barcelona sports daily Sport that a request from Enrique to discipline the Argentine for missing the training session had been rejected by the club.

"That story is completely false. Whoever sent it did so with the intention to damage the club."

Bartomeu also dismissed suggestions that Messi could leave the club having signed a new contract to keep him at the Camp Nou until 2018 in May.

"Messi had a contract until 2018. He is happy and content, so we are calm."

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.