Four indicators that show Josep Maria Bartomeu left Barcelona on the brink of chaos
Ligalive has unearthed five indicators that show Josep Maria Bartomeu left Barcelona on the brink of chaos.
18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Begambleaware.org
The 57-year-old entrepreneur, who has a net worth of over $100m, served as FC Barcelona’s president between January 2014 and October 2020.
Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed a few weeks after his resignation that the club he was leaving behind remains one of the most ‘admired institutions in the world’, apparently mocking the intelligence of those who understand the workings of football outfits.
Institutions that attract others' admiration don’t have to force those on their payroll to choose between wage cuts and financial calamity. They aren’t known in the media for one of their higher-ups running social media campaigns against their most high-profile employees.Neither do such institutions squander money pocketed from the departure of one of their biggest stars on new arrivals who fail to fulfill the gap behind left by their predecessor. Nor are they amenable to the idea of one of their brightest up-and-coming players sign for their rivals.
Yet that is precisely what FC Barcelona did in the six years under the stewardship of the man who has left them on the brink of chaos – both on and off the pitch. Ligalive sifts facts from fiction to highlight four indicators that show why Barcelona’s presidency has become a poisoned chalice.According to a report by Daily Mail, the Catalan giants must take an axe to their ballooned wage bill or risk financial chaos next January.
The Camp Nou outfit has a staggering wage bill that has almost brought the club to its knees in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Barca reportedly pays its first-team squad a staggering £235m a year in wages, with Lionel Messi alone taking home £65m per annum in yearly salary.
Messi’s astronomical wages could be justified given the honors he has helped Barca win during his two-decade-long stay at the club. The same cannot be said about the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Miralem Pjanic, the 2nd and 3rd highest earners at the club, respectively.
#2: Jordi Roche unwilling to consider running for election
Once touted as one of the front-runners to replace Bartomeu, Roche is now unwilling to even consider running for the spot left behind by the Spaniard’s resignation.
His unwillingness to even make an effort for the job considered as the 2nd best in Catalonia, behind the presidency of the autonomous community, is a telling indicator that the things aren’t remotely as good at Barca as their former president might want you to believe.
It also shows that Bartomeu wasn’t only responsible for the downward trajectory of the club in his own tenure; the 57-year-old may also have bequeathed a poisoned chalice to the administration that would ultimately replace him and his board of directors at Barca.The 29-year-old French World Cup winner joined the Camp Nou outfit on a six-year deal which includes an €800m exit clause in 2019.
His arrival at the club for a hefty transfer-fee of €120m raised no eyebrows given the expectation of the Barca faithful that the former Atletico Madrid star would help plug the gap left behind by Neymar on his €222m move to PSG in 2017.
What they might not have known, however, is that Bartomeu structured the deal in such a way that the transfer fee’s due only after the next presidential election. That means that while he got the credit for landing the Frenchman, the task of footing the bill would fall on his successor’s shoulders.
#4: Lack of unequivocal successful signings
Although Barca fans were furious at the departure of Neymar to PSG, they might have thought that the club would use his €222m transfer fee to good effect.
That hasn’t happened till date. Ousmane Dembele, who was signed in the winter that came after the Brazilian’s summer saga, has proved to be a disappointment. The Frenchman has spent more time on the treatment table than he has helping his teammates achieve something on the pitch.
Philippe Coutinho, another marquee signing, has failed to justify the astronomical fee Barca paid Liverpool to secure his services in January 2018. Similar is the case with Griezmann who looks out of his depth in a system that cannot afford to play him in his favorite position.
Clearly, then, Bartomeu has left Barcelona on the brink of chaos.