Bartomeu out: Departing Barca president's dismal final year

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Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned as president of Barcelona, with the whole board stepping down with immediate effect ahead of a proposed vote of no confidence. 

Bartomeu announced his decision on Tuesday, a day before Barca – under the tutelage of the outgoing president's final coaching appointment in Ronald Koeman – take on Juventus in the Champions League. 

It brings to an end a six-year reign for the 57-year-old, who had insisted only on Monday that there was no reason to resign from his position. 

Barca won the treble in Bartomeu's first year in charge, yet things gradually began to unravel over the course of his tenure. 

Successive Champions League capitulations to Roma and then Liverpool signalled the beginning of the end during what was a tumultuous final 18 months for Bartomeu.

May 2019: Anfield nightmare

Barca – who had collapsed at Roma in the previous season's quarter-finals – had a 3-0 advantage as they arrived at Anfield to complete the Champions League semi-final. 

Liverpool were without forward duo Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino too, yet the Reds stormed to a 4-0 triumph, making Barca the first team since Gothenburg in 1986 to lose a semi-final having held a three-goal first-leg advantage. 

January 2020: Valverde out, Setien in

Having led Barca to successive LaLiga titles, Ernesto Valverde survived the capitulation at Anfield but a poor run of form that culminated in a defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana marked the end of his tenure. 

With then-Netherlands boss Koeman reportedly an option, Barca - who had spent big on Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann - were turned down by club legend Xavi, so Bartomeu opted instead for the experience of former Real Betis boss Quique Setien, a somewhat surprising appointment.

August 2020: Humiliation in Lisbon

Setien managed six victories from his opening eight LaLiga matches, though Barca went down 2-0 to Real Madrid. However, an 18-point haul was enough to propel them to top of the table when the coronavirus pandemic caused the suspension of football across Europe. 

Yet Barca, who had dropped out of the Copa del Rey in February, drew with Sevilla, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid upon the resumption, then lost to Osasuna at home to gift rivals Real Madrid the title. 

It meant Barca headed into their Champions League quarter-final tie with Bayern Munich in Lisbon knowing they had just one shot at silverware, though what followed was one of the most humiliating moments in the club's illustrious history. 

Bayern crushed Barca 8-2 on their way to lifting the trophy, the on-loan Philippe Coutinho scoring two of the goals in the rout of his parent club, and Setien's spell was over.

August and September 2020: Koeman takes charge, Messi wants out 

Having missed out to Setien previously, Camp Nou legend Koeman finally landed his dream job. However, the ink on the Dutchman's contract was barely dry by the time reports emerged that superstar Lionel Messi wanted to leave the club. 

Barca subsequently confirmed that Messi had asked to be released from his contract, with the 33-year-old citing a clause in his contract which would allow him to leave for free, rather than for his €700 million buyout clause. 

After much speculation, however, Messi confirmed on September 4 that he would remain with Barca for the final year of his contract, though he criticised how the club had been run and reiterated his dissatisfaction of Bartomeu's leadership. 

October 2020: Bartomeu resigns 

A 3-1 Clasico defeat to Madrid in front of an empty Camp Nou was the final game of the Bartomeu era. The rest of Barca's board also resigned too - it now remains to be seen where the club go next. 

He did not go quietly, though. Announcing his decision during a speech that did not allow any chance for questions from the media, Bartomeu revealed Barcelona had accepted an invitation to join a proposed new European Super League. 

"The European Super League will make it so the club can remain being one of the members," the outgoing president said.