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Barcelona’s Boardroom Politics Threaten To Derail Another Season – Forbes

Barcelona Bartomeu

Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, is struggling to keep control of his board, who are split down the middle on various issues, some of which have already caused resignations. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan),

ASSOCIATED PRESS

It never rains but it pours at the Camp Nou.

Once upon a time the club were revered for the way in which they conducted their business and invested in their La Masia academy, but just lately they’ve often become a laughing stock.

Now that they are continuing to sign some of the world’s best players, the politics and wrangling behind the scenes concerning the finances involved, amongst other issues, threatens to overwhelm what’s happening on the pitch.

Pre-season training has already begun, and more players will be signed before La Liga begins again in earnest, so the unilateral resignation of the sports vice president, Jordi Mestre, on July 3, wasn’t the greatest timing.

Perhaps the continuing furore surrounding the pursuit of Neymar, a player that Mestre initially said would not leave Barcelona, and then, when he did, said he would never be welcomed back, has forced the VP’s hand.

Issues with general manager, Pep Segura, are also causing problems for president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, too.

Silvio Elias, Javier Bordas and Xavier Vilajoana are three directors that are known to dislike Segura and will surely be jostling for position higher up the food chain as soon as any role might become available.

At a time when all of the focus should be on what’s happening with the first-team as they prepare for their pre-season fixtures, including against Chelsea and Arsenal, it’s an unnecessary distraction.

It’s not just a difference of opinion on Neymar either. Many of the board are still split on Antoine Griezmann’s hire, particularly in light of the way in which he treated the club via his ‘La Decision’ video.

Such is Barcelona’s desire to win the Champions League, it appears to some board members that judgments are being made haphazardly and without careful due diligence being conducted.

The fear is that the club are again putting themselves in the position of being taken advantage of because their intentions are already known, before any negotiations have taken place.

As a bare minimum, €120m for Griezmann and €200m for Neymar is an astronomical amount to spend in one window, not the mention the €75m they’ve already forked out for Frenkie De Jong plus the wages involved.

Against that backdrop, it’s entirely understandable why there would be resignations and raised voices in the corridors of power, but at this point, everyone needs to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

If not, there’s every chance that the bad atmosphere being created will filter its way to the dressing room, and the last thing the club needs are players taking different sides in an argument that doesn’t concern them.

The quicker Bartomeu can put everything to bed, the more chance Barca have of hitting the ground running and changing the narrative around the club into something more positive.

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