Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu faces being booted out of the club by its members after 20,687 backed a vote of no confidence against him with fans furious over his handling of the Lionel Messi saga
- President Josep Bartomeu may soon find himself being forced out of Barcelona
- A platform that raised a vote of no confidence has reached the amount needed
- The ballots cast will need to be validated first to ensure that the vote can be held
- Bartomeu came under pressure to resign after the Lionel Messi transfer saga
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu faces a vote of censure after club members on Thursday gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on his future.
The vote will be held after the signatures are validated, which could take a few weeks. Bartomeu and the board of directors would have to step down if two thirds of the votes are against them, and new elections would have to be scheduled.
Barcelona said 20,687 signatures were submitted calling for the vote of censure. A minimum of 16,520 signatures, the equivalent to 15 per cent of all members, were needed. The signatures were presented within the period of 14 working days since the ballots were provided by the club.
A vote of no confidence is now looming over under-fire Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu
Mass protests from fans have led to club members raising enough signatures for the vote
Barcelona said the board has the right to ‘invalidate any ballot papers that are not sufficiently accredited and may make whatever inquiries are necessary in order to ascertain their authenticity.’
The opposition members had announced their intention to remove Bartomeu from the presidency after Lionel Messi told the club last month he wanted to leave amid one of its worst crises ever.
Messi criticized Barcelona club directors last season and said he did not like the direction the club was headed. He later personally accused Bartomeu of not keeping his promise to let him leave for free at the end of the season.
Pressure on Bartomeu increased after the team’s embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, one of the worst in the club’s history.
Over 16,250 signatures against Bartomeu were needed and that number has been surpassed
The defeat prompted Bartomeu to announce big changes at the club and call for new presidential elections for next March.
Also on Thursday, former coach Quique Setien, who was replaced by Ronald Koeman after the loss to Bayern, released a statement saying he planned to take legal action against the club because of how he was let go.
He said it wasn’t until Wednesday that he was officially told that he was fired.
The handling of Lionel Messi’s transfer saga has seen Bartomeu come under growing pressure