Josep Maria Bartomeu on Tuesday announced his resignation as Barcelona president. He also revealed that Barcelona have accepted a proposal to join a future European Super League.
The entire board that served under Bartomeu also stepped down from their posts, a decision that comes after several months of criticism in the wake of Barcelona’s 8-2 Champions League elimination to Bayern Munich, as well as Lionel Messi’s request to leave the club shortly after.
The president had been due to officially end his tenure next year, with elections called for March, but club members had called for a vote of no confidence in an effort to get Bartomeu out immediately.
Bartomeu disclosed his resignation and the entire board during a press conference in Barcelona, Spain made available on the club’s official website.
He stated that it was a well-considered, calm, consensual and collective decision by his fellow directors who have accompanied him over recent years in a loyal and committed fashion with regards to the project and the Club, and who have made so many sacrifices thinking always of Barça.
“Today I can announce a piece of news that will extraordinarily change the club’s revenue prospects for the coming years,” he said in his parting address.
“The board of directors yesterday approved the acceptance of the requirements to participate in a future European Super League of football clubs, a project promoted by the big clubs in Europe.
“The details of these requirements will be available to the next board of directors, and the decision on participation in this competition will have to be ratified by the next Assembly of Compromising Partners.
“And I also want to announce that we have approved the acceptance of the future new format of the Club World Cup.”
Bartomeu originally joined Barcelona during Joan Laporta’s presidency and ascended to that role himself in January 2014. He replaced Sandro Rosell following his resignation, to become the 40th President of Barcelona.
During his time in charge, Barcelona won La Liga four times as well as the 2014-15 Champions League but has lately been seriously criticized by both players and club members.
“I have always accepted criticism,” he said. “They say I have a great capacity for resilience. I do not know. What I do know is that I have gained enough experience, together with my fellow board members, to know what reality to live with from the direction of the club.
“I have always said that self-criticism makes us stronger and that Barça has always come out of difficult times. However, what we have experienced in the last few months goes beyond any limit. We have been shown a lack of respect, to me and my fellow Board members; we have been insulted, threatened, even me and my family and my fellow Board members.
“Over all these years as a Board member and President I have tried to exercise my role representing the Club’s member with respect, humility and honesty. Today, however, we are obliged to resign,” he added.