Speculation stemming from Spain today suggests that Barcelona have put the vast majority of the club’s playing squad up for sale, ahead of the opening of the summer transfer market.
Trouble at Barca
The last month has proven a somewhat-chaotic one at the Camp Nou.
Though football has of course been halted in Spain for the last 6 weeks, drama has continued at an alarming rate behind the scenes at Barcelona.
In an absolute bolt from the blue, it was announced 3 weeks ago that 6 members of the Catalan giants’ board had come to the decision to step down.
Vice presidents Emili Rousand and Enrique Tombas were the key names, with directors Silvio Elias, Maria Teixidor, Josep Pont and Jordi Clasamiglia having followed suit.
A statement explaining the reasoning behind the walkout was subsequently forthcoming, with Tombas and co. having cited major concern regarding the leadership of controversial Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the direction of the club moving forward:
‘We have reached this point by not being able to reverse the criteria and forms of management of the club in the face of the important challenges of the future and, especially, from the new post-pandemic scenario. We must also highlight our disenchantment with the unfortunate episode on social networks, known as ‘Barcagate’, which we learned about through the press.’
The drama did not stop there, though.
Incredibly, just hours after news of his resignation was made official, now-former vice-president Emili Rousand suggested in no uncertain terms that an unidentified member of staff at the Camp Nou had been making personal use of the club’s treasury.
During an interview with RAC1, Rousand was asked whether he felt as though someone has had their hand in the Blaugrana’s funds, to which the Barcelona-born businessman replied:
‘Sincerely, I think so. Who was it? I don’t think it was someone from the board. I don’t know who it was, but I can speculate.’
‘When you pay a million euros for something worth 100,000 euros, that could bring benefit to someone inside or outside the club. I don’t think it’s someone on the board but if there’s a discrepancy then it means someone is benefiting in an illicit way.’
Barcelona then quickly hit back with a statement of their own, in which the La Liga champions ‘categorically denied’ any form of corrupt activity, before hinting at imminent legal action against their former chief:
‘In the light of the serious and unfounded accusations made this morning by Mr. Emili Rousaud, ex institutional vice president at the Club, in different interviews with the media, FC Barcelona categorically denies any activity that can be described as corruption, therefore, reserves the right to any legal action that may correspond.’
📋 FC Barcelona statement https://t.co/70Vcg4Lyrs
— FC Barcelona (from 🏠) (@FCBarcelona) April 10, 2020
Barca squad clearout?
The weeks since have seen the situation at the Camp Nou simmer down to at least some degree, with it currently unclear whether the Blaugrana and Rousand are in fact set for a legal battle.
If the latest speculation emerging from the Spanish media this evening is to be believed, though, then tensions could soon be on the rise in Catalunya once more.
This time, though, it looks set to stem from the club’s first-team squad.
Gerard Romero of RAC1, generally reliable when it comes to Barcelona-related news, has revealed that the Spanish giants’ board have put almost Quique Setien’s entire squad on the market.
This comes with Barca majorly struggling from a financial standpoint, a situation which has only worsened on the back of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The trouble for the Blaugrana, however, is that, according to Romero, there are very few of the club’s stars who would actually be in favour of moving on.
As such, a tense, potentially volatile summer could well be in store at the Camp Nou, as the failings of those in a position of power at Barcelona continue to mount.
El Barça con casi toda la plantilla en el mercado.
Los jugadores, una gran parte, no quieren salir
El club con necesidad de ingresar
Europa con poco dinero
Lo que viene es bonito… #ElBarçaDelFuturo
— Gerard Romero (@gerardromero) April 27, 2020