6 FC Barcelona board members resign amid front office turmoil, social media scandal

FC Barcelona’s front office troubles just got worse.

Six board members, including two vice presidents, resigned together on Thursday over issues about how team president Josep Maria Bartomeu is running the club, according to ESPN. Vice presidents Emili Rousaund and Enrique Tombas, along with directors Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Jordi Calsamiglia and Maria Texidor were the six who resigned. 

The group also cited “Barcagate” — or the scandal in which the club allegedly hired a public relations firm to slam its own players, including Lionel Messi, on social media — as another big reason for their resignations.

“We have reached this point and see no way to reverse the ways business is managed at the club ahead of important challenges in the future and especially post-pandemic,” their resignation letter read, via AS.com. “We want to stress our disappointment over the unfortunate incident with social media accounts, known as ‘Barçagate’ in the press.”

The group also called for the club to hold elections “as soon as circumstances allow so that important challenges in the immediate future can be managed in the best possible manner,” according to ESPN. Elections are currently scheduled for next summer.

The mass resignations mark just the latest scandal the club has been involved with in recent months. 

Reports surfaced earlier this year that the team had hired a public relations firm to bash some of its current players on social media, including Messi. The club and the firm both denied those allegations. 

ESPN reported on Wednesday that Bartomeu wanted to remove four members of the board himself, too, and that he “only wants to be surrounded by people that he can completely trust” in the final year of his presidency. 

One source compared the situation to a “Game of Thrones” episode.

“Bartomeu told me he wanted to remodel the board and that there was distrust with a number of directors, including me,” Rousaud told Cadena Ser Catalunya this week, via ESPN. “There were leaks to the press that annoyed the players and he felt I had criticized the work of other executives.

“I understand the president's looking for another profile of director, but he could have waited three of four weeks to do it. I don't like how he's done it.”

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