Sandro Rosell Quits as FC Barcelona President, Successor Named

By Community | January 24, 2014

FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell has resigned from his role with immediate effect.

Rosell made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday night after an extraordinary board meeting.

Rosell named vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu as his successor who will be president until 2016. The decision comes after a Spanish national court judge, Pablo Ruz, this week accepted a lawsuit that alleges Rosell misappropriated funds from the £49m signing of the striker Neymar from Santos last June. A Barcelona club member, Jordi Cases, has alleged that the amount paid was more than the €57m (£48.6m) fee reported at the time.

Explaining his decision to step down, Rosell said: “For some time my family and myself have suffered threats and attacks in silence. These threats and attacks have made me wonder if being president means having to jeopardise my family.

“In recent days an unfair and reckless accusation of misappropriation has resulted in a lawsuit against me in the Audiencia Nacional. From the beginning I have said that the signing of Neymar Jr has been correct and his signing has caused despair and envy in some of our adversaries.

“The right of the club members to be informed needs to be compatible with the defence of the club and confidentiality of certain matters and facts. This confidentiality is essential in the world of football because otherwise the club could be damaged.

“The board of directors is a team. And this team leads a project that has brought the club great success. I don’t want unfair attacks to negatively affect their management or the image of the club. This is why I think my time here has come to an end.

“Now, in accordance with the club’s statutes, I have presented my irrevocable resignation of the presidency of FC Barcelona to the board of directors.”

The 49-year-old took over as Barça president in the summer of 2010 after winning a landslide vote to succeed Joan Laporta. During Rosell’s presidency, Barça have won two Primera División titles, the Champions League, the Copa del Rey, the Fifa Club World Cup, the Uefa Super Cup and three Spanish Supercopas.

Rosell added: “In these four years we have enjoyed and suffered because we are Barcelonistas, just as many generations of Blaugranas have enjoyed and suffered for more than a century.

“In all of these years we have seen that our successes are the result of our victories on the pitch and overcoming innumerable obstacles off the pitch: political, external and, what’s worse, at times the pressure has come from our own environment.

“It has been an honour to serve the Barcelonistas. It’s been a privilege to be the president of FC Barcelona.”

Bartomeu, who was sitting alongside Rosell, said: “My first desire is to announce the continuation of the board’s project until 2016. I ask the club members for their support. I encourage them to continue to have confidence in this project.”

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