A petition against the Barcelona president way surpassed the required 16,250 signatures last month to usher in a vote of no-confidence at an upcoming referendum against the Blaugrana’s most unpopular president ever in the first week of November.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, bunkered and besieged under heavy pressure, actually had the gall to suggest on Monday that “now would be the worst time” to leave his post.
Bartomeu, obdurate as usual and hiding behind his self-erected screen of denial, faces a vote of no confidence after turbulent times at the Camp Nou, not least the stand off with club legend Lionel Messi who was blocked from leaving this summer to a hopeful Manchester City and an even more eager and welcoming Premier League.
Speaking after a board meeting, Bartomeu said:
“There are lots of issues. I believe that it would be the worst time to leave Barca to an interim management board”.
A caretaker board would assume control at the helm until new elections are held should Bartomeu either voluntarily stand down with his incumbent Board or be forced out with the no-confidence referendum.
A petition against him passed the required 16,250 signatures last month.
Presidential elections would likely be held in January or February, slightly ahead of the scheduled date in March. Bartomeu is not eligible to contest the elections again having served as president for the last two terms. Most ineffectively, one might add without fear or favor.
His departure would most likely in one way or another affect the future of the club’s talisman and key icon, Messi, who explained in September how the way the club is being disgracefully run by Bartomeu and his cohorts had been a primary raison d’etre for his decision to leave.
Victor Font is one of the leading candidates to succeed Bartomeu and has linked his campaign to the arrival of Messi’s former teammate Xavi Hernandez as coach, although Font suggested this week Ronald Koeman could also continue with Xavi taking up a different role.
Joan Laporta, the president who appointed Pep Guardiola coach in 2008, is also in the running.
Bartomeu’s opponents want to stage the referendum next week, but coronavirus social distancing restrictions could mean the vote being conducted around Spain later in November.
“When we receive the official reply from the regional government (on when the referendum can take place) the board will meet again” to make a decision, the Barca president with the buckling knees but obdurate attitude added.