Barcelona have come under an astonishing attack from a presidential candidate looking to take over the club after he claimed the LaLiga giants are heading towards ‘economic bankruptcy and moral decay’.
Victor Font is the leader of the Si al futur group seeking to take control of the Nou Camp boardroom.
Barca have gone from one crisis to another during the coronavirus pandemic and on Thursday hit a new low when six of Josep Bartomeu’s board resigned from their posts.
Two of the club’s four vice-presidents – Emili Rousaud and Enrique Tombas – as well as directors Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Jordi Calsamiglia and Maria Texidor have all walked out.
Barca have also been accused of paying money to a social media company that then planted negative stories about club figures at odds with the board, an allegation denied by the club.
But that, along with the controversial sale of Neymar in 2017, were referenced in by Font in an open letter to Barca members and the media.
‘For some time now the project Si al futur has been warning Barca members that the club was heading towards the “perfect storm” – it had to replace the best generation of footballers in history, build and finance the Espai Barca development project and compete against corporations with almost unlimited financial resources.
‘And all this had to be done while preserving the ownership of the club in the hands of the members and its competitive capacity both in football and in all sections.
‘If the risks were great, they have now become gigantic. We are in the midst of a pandemic that has brought the planet to a halt and will have effects in all walks of life, also in sport, that today we cannot yet foresee.
‘Likewise, for months we have witnessed a shameful escalation of chapters in the club’s institutional behaviour in which the latest event hides the seriousness of the previous one, a process that culminated in recent days with accusations and serious reproaches among board members, and six abrupt resignations.
‘And just as the only priority should be to get the club out of the crisis, the presidency announces a new remodelling of the board of directors in order to stay in power. What is at risk now is Barca as a whole.
‘This is not a recent problem – we have experienced the sentencing of the club in the Neymar case, the disagreements made public between employees and players with executives and managers, and the audit of the case on social networks, which seems will confirm the scandal.
‘Let’s add an erratic sports policy, the breaking up of the board of directors and the significant reduction in income due to the pandemic, and the result is the danger of economic bankruptcy and moral decay in which the club has settled. Game over.’
Barca have been in a civil war for many weeks now, with star player Lionel Messi having been in a bitter dispute with Bartomeu and his board over he and his team-mates taking a paycut.
The battle came shortly after Messi’s feud with director of football Eric Abidal over the players’ role in the sacking of former manager Ernesto Valverde in January.
Even with Messi and his team-mates taking a 70 per cent pay cut, the club has also said it will not cover non-playing staff wages and has put them on ERTE, the Spanish government’s equivalent of furloughing, despite Bartomeu saying the club would earn close to €1Billion this season.