Chaos, scandal and anger: Barcelona 'commits public suicide'

The impending election — to be hung on Sunday, simply days after 4 senior officers have been arrested — is arguably a very powerful within the membership’s historical past and springs at a time of disaster that seems to be deepening via the day.
Historical money owed, reported via Spanish newspaper El Mundo to be multiple billion bucks, pressured Barcelona into a hearth sale of probably the most maximum essential figures in its taking part in squad all through the summer season switch window.

The rebuilding of its decimated squad, confirmed as soon as once more within the contemporary Four-1 hammering in opposition to Paris Saint-Germain to be neatly beneath the usual of its Eu opponents, is one among simply many complications going through the incoming president.

Most sensible of the checklist, on the other hand, is the way forward for membership talisman Lionel Messi. The Argentine made public his need to go away Barcelona remaining summer season and it appears to be like increasingly more not likely he’s going to signal a brand new contract, that means the best participant within the membership’s historical past can stroll away free of charge on the finish of the present season.

“Many, many, many hundreds of thousands of debt for Barcelona, the worst monetary scenario in historical past,” Catalunya Radio journalist Ernest Macià tells CNN.

“At the pitch, we will be able to speak about it, however it sort of feels obtrusive that after the Champions League arrives, Barcelona once more commits a public suicide in entrance of hundreds of thousands of folks, receiving such a lot of targets and making it so tricky even for avid gamers like Messi who love the membership and almost definitely wish to keep at Barcelona in numerous cases.

“At this level it is not simple to look Messi right here subsequent 12 months, even if there are lots of, many alternative variables intervening on this equation. So we will be able to see what occurs finally as a result of elections will happen this weekend and that is some other variable on this equation, who turns into president.”

READ: ‘Greater than a Membership?’ How FC Barcelona ‘misplaced its soul’
Lionel Messi trudges off after Barcelona's recent hammering at the hands of PSG.Lionel Messi trudges off after Barcelona's recent hammering at the hands of PSG.
Again in February, Barcelona issued a commentary to mention it “categorically” denied duty for the newsletter of Messi’s $672 million contract in El Mundo.

The contract would make Messi the very best paid athlete in sports activities historical past and the membership mentioned it might take criminal motion in opposition to the newspaper “for any injury that can be brought about because of this newsletter.”

The leak most effective served to extend tensions between Messi and the Barcelona hierarchy, which had already been stretched to verge of collapse after the Argentine aimed a thinly veiled dig on the board in an emotional farewell to former teammate Luis Suarez.

Barcelona’s monetary issues had been exacerbated via the membership’s transfer clear of selling avid gamers from its famed L. a. Masia academy — which has evolved the likes of Messi, Pep Guardiola, Andres Iniesta and Xavi — to the primary crew, as an alternative opting for to spend huge switch charges and wages on already established stars.

Barcelona has reportedly spent greater than $1 billion on switch charges for the reason that 2013/14 season and lots of imagine this variation is philosophy has eroded the membership’s ‘Greater than a Membership’ mantra, which continues to be painted into the seats of its historical Camp Nou stadium.

Historical elections

Even with Messi, Barcelona’s long term appears to be like bleak; with out him, on the other hand, issues begin to glance dire.

It’s on precisely that premise that one of the crucial presidential applicants is striking his hat. Joan Laporta, one among 3 males status, is the present favourite to win the election and was once in the past president from 2003 till 2010, presiding over one of the crucial a hit generation within the membership’s historical past.

All over his earlier reign, Barcelona gained 13 primary trophies, together with 4 L. a. Liga titles and two Champions Leagues and he’s going to be hoping that nostalgia and banked goodwill is the most important to securing some other time period.

“Joan Laporta is, shall we embrace, nearer to Leo Messi and the avid gamers as a result of they lived in combination the most productive moments of their tales and their lives,” Macià says.

“In keeping with the polls now, Joan Laporta is first. There were debates and anything else can occur as a result of a large number of folks have voted by means of mail and it is still observed what affect those votes, for the primary time in historical past, could have.”

Joan Laporta (R) hired Pep Guardiola to be Barcelona new head coach in 2008.Joan Laporta (R) hired Pep Guardiola to be Barcelona new head coach in 2008.

The opposite applicants are Victor Font and Toni Freixa, who would possibly “break up the votes,” Macia says, one thing that will in the long run receive advantages Laporta.

Crucially, Font has gained the backing of former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol and has predicated a few of his presidential marketing campaign at the thought of membership legend Xavi returning to grow to be the brand new head trainer.

Freixa, conversely, has given his backing to present head trainer Ronald Koeman to proceed the process he was once given most effective remaining summer season, however has additionally defined a long-term plan that will see Xavi to begin with take over the Barcelona B crew.

The election will likely be determined via votes from greater than 111,000 membership individuals — or ‘socis’ in Catalan — maximum of who’re lovers of Barcelona. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, 22,811 individuals have requested to vote by means of mail, whilst the rest 87,479 will vote in individual at one among six stations situated within the towns of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, Tarragona, Tortosa and Andorra.

Macia believes this Sunday’s effects are essentially the most consequential within the membership’s historical past. It is definitely tricky to assume another way.

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