FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is on the verge of being forced out of the Spanish club as over 20,000 members of the club have passed a vote of no confidence in his 6-years leadership of the soccer club.
FC Barcelona members signed up for his removal citing the mismanagement of the club’s resources and the dwindling fortune of the club on and off the soccer pitch.
President Josep Maria Bartomeu has been actively involved in the politics of the club since the era of the former president of the club Joan Laporta (between 2003 and 2010). As at that period, the 57-year-old football administrator served on the board of the club and headed the basketball segment of the club.
After Laporta was ousted, Bartomeu ran for the post of Vice President while Sandro Rosell ran for the post of FC Barcelona‘s president. They both won the election and served together from July 2010 to January 2014.
In 2014, a tax fraud case relating to the signing of Brazilian forward Neymar led to the resignation of Sandro Rosell. When the then Barcelona‘s president resigned, the club’s members voted Josep Maria Bartomeu as the club’s president.
However, both Rosell and Bartomeu have continued to face a court trial over the tax fraud allegation which started in 2014. Recently, a court in Spain rejected their appeal which means that the trial will have to continue.
Besides the tax fraud trial hanging on the neck of Bartomeu, under his leadership, Barcelona recorded its first trophy-less season since 2008. To make matters worse, his leadership could not keep Lionel Messi happy at the club which almost led to the exit of the football star this season. His leadership also disgraced Luis Suarez out of the club after spending six productive years with Barcelona.
In the financial aspect of the soccer club, Barcelona had it so bad that the club lost €97 million in revenue and the debt of the club went as high as €488 million.
Based on all these, a petition to have Josep Maria Bartomeu removed tagged Mes que una Mocio campaign was launched in August 2020 which has gotten over 16,500 verified signatures according to ESPN. The number of verified signatories emanated from the over 20,000 members of the club who signed up for the president’s removal in September.
The commission put together by the club to oversee the process has confirmed that the verified signatories have reached the threshold needed to pass a vote of no confidence on Josep Maria Bartomeu’s leadership. This means that the club has to fix a date within the next 20 days for a referendum to be held among the club’s 154,000 members.
At least, 66.6 percent of the club’s members must vote against the club’s president before he can be removed. If the percentage is not up to that, Bartomeu will continue as FC Barcelona’s president until 2021 when his tenure will officially expire.
At that point, he would have to step down and allow the likes of Jordi Farre who has declared his interest, and possibly Victor Font and Joan Laporte to contest for the club’s presidency.