Six leaders of FC Barcelona, castigating the presidency of Josep Maria Bartomeu, presented their resignation Thursday and demanded the holding of elections at the end of the exceptional situation linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have reached this point (to resign) because we do not see ourselves capable of changing the criteria and the forms of club management in the face of the important challenges of the future and, in particular, concerning the new post-pandemic scenario”, indicated the resigners in a letter addressed to the socios of the blaugrana club.
Among the signatories are the now ex-treasurer of Barça, Enric Tombas, as well as Emili Rousaud, vice-president considered hitherto as a possible successor to Bartomeu in the next elections, scheduled for 2021. All pointed to the affair called “Barçagate”.
“We must emphasize our disappointment at the unfortunate episode on social networks, known as “Barçagate”, which we learned about in the press,” they said.
“Barçagate”, or the supposed recourse by the management of Barça to the company I3Ventures to discredit opponents of the board of directors, including players, on social networks.
“To the question: Have we sponsored an operation aimed at discrediting people or institutions through social networks, the answer is no,” Bartomeu had defended himself in February, when the affair broke out, simply indicating that the he company was responsible for conducting surveillance work on the internet.
The president then announced an internal audit to uncover any potential irregularities.
Media reported that the club paid a million euros for the audit.
“If the listeners tell us that the cost of these services is 100,000 euros and that we have paid one million euros, it means that someone has drawn from the cash register,” said Emili Rousaud.
“We ask that once the results of the PWC audit are presented, the responsibilities are clarified,” said the resigners, while demanding “the possible return of the corresponding assets”, if necessary.
“As a last service to our club, we recommend that, as soon as circumstances permit, new elections be called to allow the best possible management of the club in the face of the important challenges of the immediate future,” they concluded.