Sandro Rosell resigns as FC Barcelona president
Shortly before 21:00 Barcelona time, Sandro Rosell faced a frenzied press and as has been expected all day “irrevocably” resigned as president of FC Barcelona.
Defiant till the end, Rosell once again stated: that criticism from the national courts around the Neymar deal have been “unfair” and that he “insists everything with Neymar was correct“.
Sandro, in his speech addressing the press said, Close to four years ago, during the Club’s 2010 elections, thousands of FC Barcelona members cast their ballots with the excitement of showing who they wanted to take the reins of the Club. That day was unforgettable, it was a democratic festival that reinforced the greatness of our Barça.
On that day, 61% of the votes gave the team that I led the charge to direct the destiny of the Club until 2016.
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. In the last four years we have won one Champions League, one Club World Cup, two Ligas, one Copa del Rey, one European Super Cup, three Spanish Super Cups and one Copa Cataluña. In addition, our other professional teams have triumphantly paraded our colours around the world showing the character of our multi-sports Club.
Today the Blaugrana feeling is felt worldwide, and it will continue to be felt around the world in the future.
Our global athletic leadership that began with Ronaldinho in the Paris final, and continued with Messi in Rome and London, was coupled with effective economic management, which allowed us to continue to be competitive, reduce our debt, restore and expand the Club’s estate. In addition, we are proud that the best players in the world don our colours.
To this we add the immense excitement of presenting the construction of a new stadium on the foundations of our magical and legendary Camp Nou, which the Club members must ratify via referendum in April.
But this period of success has also brought us very difficult moments. 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 Junior 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.
Rosell specifically cited that he wanted to distance himself from the club so that accusations do not poison it and that over the years “he and his family suffered attacks” from the public and now questions whether “it is worth being president if my family is under threat“. No matter what, threats of violence and death against Mr. Rosell and his family are absolutely unacceptable.
Under the laws of FC Barcelona’s statutes, a vice-president takes charge in this situation and at this evening’s board meeting it was unanimously decided that Josep Maria Bartomeu ascend to the presidency until the end of their mandate in June 2016.
Before ending the press conference, new president Bartomeu stated firmly that the club will defend itself against accusations and allegations. Strap in everyone, this is only the beginning.