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FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board of directors have resigned this Tuesday, and are leaving the Barça football club, but they walk away casting themselves as victims and without acknowledging their mistakes. The now-former president Bartomeu ended his term at the head of Barça with a press appearance at Camp Nou, without allowing questions - and launching indiscriminate attacks on the Catalan government. 

Bartomeu, far from bowing his head in his last speech as president, accused the Catalan authorities of being “irresponsible” and of having played a part in forcing the board to to resign. The crunch issue was that the Catalan government, after being consulted, said it saw no problem - from public health or legal perspectives - in Barça holding the planned vote among members on a motion of no-confidence in Bartomeu and his board, after a campaign to oust the current board had begun in the summer. 

Josep Maria Bartomeu mascareta Palau EFE

Ex-president Bartomeu / EFE

Bartomeu, perplexed; the government, "irresponsible"

"The Catalan government have chosen to wash their hands of a situation that makes them uncomfortable," Bartomeu said as he began the most aggressive speech he's made against the Catalan authorities. "In my appearance yesterday I spoke of being perplexed at some decisions. Today I say that apart from being contradictory, the government is also irresponsible," he added.

"It has been insinuated that we had hidden interests, things to hide and that we wanted to avoid accepting the signatures calling for a vote. False accusations, by people with political and electoral interests," said Bartomeu. And he defended that "this board did not want to perpetuate itself in the club government, as I have been hearing for months."

Bartomeu FC Barcelona

Bartomeu during a press appearance / FC Barcelona

The no confidence vote, the final nightmare

And he defended himself in his argument to postpone the vote on the no-confidence motion in order to have all possible logistical and health guarantees before calling members to the polls. But also, he pointed his finger at the Catalan government.

"Stricter coronavirus measures are now being hinted at, such as weekend confinement. Those experts are asking to lock down the entire population," he recalled. And he pointed out that these same experts "have ignored our requests that we need to get the logistics prepared with the minimum necessary safety measures". It is a reason that he has used to criticise political leaders and the Catalan government in general, which today had no choice but to reply, asserting that there was no problem with holding the vote according to protocols that have been established in previous meetings.

Bartomeu left making an aggressive and forceful speech, something he hadn't been used to doing until now, and gave his farewell saying that "it has been an honour to have served the club".

What's the next step?

Barça now enters a new scenario and the next step for the club will be to form an interim Management Commission whose main objective will be to call an election at which members will vote for a new president. The election cannot be held any later than January 2021.