Barca president likely to face no confidence vote

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is likely to face a vote of no confidence after a petition secured 20,731 signatures from club members on Thursday.

The Mes que una Mocio campaign was launched in July and needed to collect more than 16,521 signatures from club members to force a referendum on a vote of no confidence.

The petition was filed by Barcelona presidential pre-candidate Jordi Farre who said it was “the only possibility to save the club.”

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The Mes que una Mocio campaign heralded the 20,731 via Twitter on Thursday along with a message saying: “We could, we wanted, we’ve done it!” 20,731 signatures..”

There are now 10 days for a member of Barcelona, the Catalan Football Federation and the campaign to validate the signatures. If successful, a referendum will be held, with 66.6% of voting members required to force Bartomeu out.

On two other occasions in the club’s history, referendums were held to determine the fate of presidents — Josep Lluis Nunez in 1998 and Joan Laporta in 2008.

Both presidents survived the vote of no confidence. Laporta, who presided over Barca for a total of seven years in two separate spells, was among the members who signed the latest petition.

“I have already signed and if I could, I would sign 20,000 more times so as to throw out Bartomeu and his board,” Laporta tweeted on Wednesday.

“They have done so much harm to Barca and don’t deserve to continue a minute more.”

Bartomeu has been under fire this summer for his handling of the Lionel Messi crisis, with the club’s all-time goalscorer deciding he was leaving for a new challenge this summer shortly after Barca’s 8-2 Champions League quarterfinal defeat to Bayern Munich.

Barcelona, under Bartomeu’s guidance, informed Messi that he would have to pay his release clause set at €700 million to leave the club, forcing the striker to announce he would remain rather than take the club to court.

Some vocal club members were incensed that Bartomeu had agreed to include a clause on Messi’s contract that would allow the player to leave the club at the end of each season.

Bartomeu has also been criticised for his handling of the summer transfer window, with Barca unable to buy certain players after failing to sell some of their players, including Luis Suarez.

Bartomeu took over on an interim bases in 2014 after Sandro Rosell’s resignation before winning the 2015 presidential election.

He brought forward the upcoming Barcelona presidential elections from June 2021 to March 2020.