Head of Barcelona board Josep Maria Bartomeu and other board members have resigned effective immediately.
Bartomeu took control of Barcelona as the club president in 2014, taking the place of a very successful Sandro Rossel. His first line of action was to ensure that his star man Lionel Messi would not be leaving as this seemed to be the case going into the 2014/15 season, in which Manchester City was reportedly very close to signing the Argentine. The year prior to his arrival, Barcelona had failed to compete both in the Champions League and in La Liga.
This pressure did not seem to faze Bartemou, as he managed to keep Messi and also land both Neymar and Luis Suarez, a trio known as MSN, one that will go down as the most dangerous in history. Along with this, Bartemou brought back the Barcelona spirit of play by hiring former captain Luis Enrique and head coach.
Bartomeu's first season as President saw his team win everything there was to win in Spain and Europe, as they clinched the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The following few seasons saw domestic dominance with Barcelona winning the La Liga title three years in a row although failing to regain European dominance.
The beginning of the end, however, came in the 2017/18 season. Brazilian star Neymar, who was considered to be Messi’s successor at the time started to have growing problems with Bartomeu and the board, which later saw the Brazilian star leave to Paris Saint-German in a record-breaking fee of 222 million euros. Although it would be the money spent under his leadership which would prove to be his undoing.
From 2015 to 2020, the Barcelona board have spent approximately 954 million euros on 27 players, all of which have failed to live up to the standards of the club and have as a result seen their values drop incredibly.
The 19/20 season underlined the tense relationship between the players and the board. The start of the season saw Barcelona once again fail to make signings that were needed by the squad and have instead opted to for a big name. The signing of Antoine Griezmann for 112 million Euros raised a lot of eyebrows. Later on the year, it had been reported that Bartomeu pushed out news to criticize star players such as Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba over their performances.
Prior to the start of the 2020/21 season, tensions between Messi and Bartomeu reached an all-time high. Bartomeu became the first Barcelona president to have to deal with Lionel Messi publicly announcing that he wishes to leave Barcelona.
The management of this situation by Bartomeu was even worse than anticipated, as he virtually blocked Messi from leaving by demanding that club interested in the leading goalscorer of the club pays the €700 million release clause in full.
Now the situation has come to a conclusion with Bartomeu and the board resigning. Presidential elections will begin in earnest, and questions will now start on the ideal candidate on who will be able to overturn the fortunes of the La Liga giants.