HomeSoccerBarcelona Crisis: Boardroom infighting shakes Camp Nou

Barcelona Crisis: Boardroom infighting shakes Camp Nou

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Barcelona has always been in news for controversial transfers and inside fights between the players. The football club is always questioned for the inside politics as the officials usually take the fights beyond the board table and for years, media has enjoyed content over their inner rivalries.

Despite all this, Barcelona has managed to protect its players from the controversies and let the Club President take the bait. Quite recently, the battle between Lionel Messi and Club President (Bartomeu) became a public topic of debate leading to Barcelona Crisis.

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It reminded everyone of the time when in an open investigation on Neymar’s transfer in 2013, Barcelona’s then-President Sandro Rossell was fired because of an inside deal between the club officials and Neymar.

Over the years, Barcelona has not hesitated in firing their club officials and managers to protect the image and reputation of their star players and this has led to a breakdown inside the club.

Sandro Rosell had to resign as Barcelona President in 2014 and was succeeded by Josep Maria Bartomeu.

His time as the Barcelona President was going just fine until the Social Media scandal showed up which questioned the authorities regarding the rumored signing of Neymar again as the conflict between the club legend, Lionel Messi and Barcelona President was out in the open.

The club does not believe in airing their dirty laundry in front of the whole world but recently, not only their laundry but the whole wardrobe is being washed in public.

This is not the first time that Barcelona’s inside rivalry has spiced up the fans. Johan Cruyff, the biggest name in the club’s history, protested against the officials and the big fight between the club and Cruyff was aired on every news channel and sports centre in the world.

It is not just them, though. Both the Spanish giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid lack a sense of respect for the Club legends and need to learn how to bid farewell to the players.

In 1996, when Barcelona was enjoying a rough patch under Cruyff, and without his knowledge, the boardroom agreed on a deal with Bobby Robson to become the head coach.

So when Gaspart, the then President of the club, arrived at the Camp Nou, Cruyff snapped and said, “You’re Judas”. A big brawl between the Club legend and the board members ended with Cruyff being told, “You no longer belong here.”

The Messi-Bartomeu battle over Wage Cut

The internal battle between Bartomeu and Messi has impacted Barcelona Football
The internal battle between Bartomeu and Messi has impacted Barcelona Football (Image Credits:

Now that Bartomeu is in the bad books of Lionel Messi, the fans are not sure for how long the Club President will be in power. The recent wage battle between the two has opened doors for Ex-Barcelona players and legends, Carles Puyol and Xavi on the management table.

The English Newspaper, The Sun, has termed this incident as ‘Trouble in Paradise’ and it looks like either Lionel Messi will leave the club or it will be the President again taking the butchering.

Lionel Messi and Josep Maria Bartomeu have worked closely and played an integral role in shaping the current Barcelona team. Still, they must be familiar with the fact that ‘Football in Catalonia is all about power’.

And when the two important figures at Camp Nou find themselves on the two opposite sides of control, the outcome is quite easy to predict. The narrative of this control is the recent ‘wage cut’ over the pandemic when the two lashed out on each other in public.

Earlier, it was announced that Messi and Co. have agreed to wage deduction of up to 70 per cent to limit the club’s losses. In addition, players also agreed to make contributions so that the club employees do not have to go through a wage cut.

This was a noble gesture by the players, but the most significant part of the above declaration was the reference Messi made to the news that was running around about the players not willing to take the cut.

Lionel Messi lost his calm and said, “It didn’t surprise us that inside the club there are a few powers that are painting a target on us and pressurizing us into doing something that we were always clear we would do.” This was directed towards the Club President who is unwilling to sign Neymar again because of the hefty price tag.

The relation between the two is on a downhill from the previous transfer window and there have been rumours surfacing about Messi’s possible transfer as a fallout of the Barcelona Crisis.

Neymar Jr, an igniter of Barcelona Crisis?

Neymar has always been surrounded with controversies
Neymar Jr. has always been surrounded with controversies (Image Credits:

Neymar is one of the most controversial player in the history of football due to various issues, both on and off the field.

He joined Barcelona on a deal that fired the previous President and the current scenario of his rumored transfer back to Camp Nou threatens the position of the current club President.

He has always been pampered by the Barcelona staff and players, which might be a bigger reason why the Club President is not willing to sign him back.

During his run at Barcelona, Club Legend Johan Cruyff said, “Barcelona’s problem is Neymar. He is a great player but you cannot sign a 21-year old and pay him more than players who have won it all.” Instead of signing Neymar, the club President signed French forward Griezmann in the previous transfer window.

This decision was not liked by Lionel Messi and from there started the division in the club as the players and staff were divided into two teams.

The Social Media Scandal

Barcelona management denied the rumours of hiring an agency to undermine players (Image Credits:

A few reports that came to light in February claimed that the Barcelona board had contracted an independent Social media Company to boost the public profile of the Barcelona President and the board members.

The reports also suggested that the company named I3 Ventures had been tasked with undermining a few strong links to the club, including Xavi, Guardiola, Messi and Pique.

These reports were brushed aside by Club President as he said, “First of all, Barcelona haven’t hired any service to discredit anyone. This is absolutely false. It is true that at the end of 2017, Barcelona hired a service to monitor different areas of the club, as the majority of the clubs have.”

This statement wasn’t enough to convince the reporters and they asked Messi about these reports, to which he replied, “We will have to wait to see if it is true or not. We cannot say much.” This statement sparkled the rift between Messi and the Club President.

If the possibilities are to be believed, it is most likely Barcelona Board must have used the service to undermine the rumours.

What’s your take on the Barcelona Crisis?

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