Image: Josep Maria Bartomeu
Bartomeu reportedly signed on behalf of the club, a legal document accepting liability for the lawsuits on Neymar’s transfer from Santos FC back in 2013.
However, the president is said to have excluded himself and his predecessor, Sandro Rosell, much to the chagrin of Manifest Blaugrana leader Marc Duch, who expressed his anger in a chat with AS.
Duch says: “If Barca was a person I’m sure they’d already be in jail. It couldn’t be more rotten. I browsed through the document and freaked out. It’s amazing they’ve allowed the club to fall this low. This is a tremendous embarrassment for the club, for the members and for the fans.
“To be accused and convicted of fraud by the Treasury! That is particularly harmful, in addition to the sensation the club is dirty that’s transmitted to the outside.”
According to Duch, the group have limited options on what action they should take. Notwithstanding, he admits that with 300 members, they can’t afford to bring legal proceedings that could remove Bartomeu and the other members of the board who voted in favor of the measure.
“The idea [of Manifest Blaugrana] is to monitor everything that happens at the club. That bothers them a lot, to the point we don’t receive any support from the offices. It’s the opposite,” he said.
Image: Manifest Blaugrana leader Marc Duch
“We can’t do anything. Interventions are judicial in nature and obviously extremely expensive. There is talk of a bond issue and even though we’d want that, we can’t.
“The platform would be to ask for the expulsion of the directors who voted in favor of the pact with the Prosecutor [all bar Carles Villarubi, Maria Teixido and two abstentions].
“The problem is the decision is made by an internal body of the club. That’s why there are no options. If Bartomeu resigned? Jordi Cardoner would take over, and that would give us another kick to keep going.”
Josep Maria Bartomeu has been an Executive Member of the ECA Board since 2014.
The European Club Association (ECA) is the sole, independent body directly representing football clubs at European level. It is the authoritative, independent voice of European club football, the lifeblood of the European game.