7 Other Nasty Surprises Josep Maria Bartomeu Could Leave Barcelona Before Exit


Josep Maria Bartomeu
Bartomeu has finally stepped down from Barcelona – but has left a few landmines in his wake | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Like Charlie Kelly cutting the breaks and leaping out the back door, leaving the rest of the gang hurtling helplessly down the street in a runaway van, Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned from Barcelona.

The former president’s big ‘wildcard, bitch!’ revelation was that the club have in fact signed up to join the hideously elitist European Premier League, where all the super-clubs are to face each other in a closed-shop parody of the Champions League. No fan – anywhere – actually wants to see that, and for Bartomeu, that was kind of the point.

It was a petty way to announce his departure from the club he has served for six years, but it could yet get worse. Here, 90min runs through more parting shots he could inflict on Barcelona before officially handing in the keys.

FC Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund: Group F - UEFA Champions League
Camp Nou is a wonder to behold | David Ramos/Getty Images

Nothing encaptures Barcelona’s identity quite like their iconic stadium does. Their mesmerising 100,000-capacity home has seen some of the iconic moments in football history since it opened more than 60 years ago. It is one of the wonders of the footballing world, and it’s their pride and joy.

It really would be a shame, then, if they had to ground-share with Espanyol for a few years, because Bartomeu punted Camp Nou under the table to a Spanish housing company.

FC Barcelona feature
Barca’s esteemed academy looks a bit barren these days, doesn’t it? | Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images

Barcelona’s academy, since its revamp in the 1990s, has been the best in football history. It may have dried up in recent years in terms of the talent it produces, but the list of players who have come through the doors there over the years is ridiculous.

Seriously. Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Busquets, Piqué, Puyol, Alba. And those are just the more recent ones.

Restaurante La Masia, coming to a scenic Catalan estate near you.

One of the more hilarious aspects of Bartomeu’s sudden flight is the fact that he almost immediately deleted his Twitter, nimbly avoiding the wrath of 10,000,000,000 baying Barcelona fans in the process.

You’ve got to assume the former club president has the login for the official club channels, so perhaps he could do the same with those.

Or, alternatively, he could just change the name to something humorous and embarrassing. ‘Sergio Ramos Barcelona Supporters’ Club’, or whatever the Spanish term for ‘jobby’ is.

Carles Alena, Kevin-Prince Boateng
It should be this exact pose | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Bartomeu’s tenure has overseen many questionable, unpopular signings. None quite as questionable or unpopular, of course, as Kevin-Prince Boateng.

The Ghanaian, now not playing in Serie B with Monza, proved to be every bit as pointless as his short-term signing seemed, managing just four appearances in the second half of 2018/19 before every record of his signing was obliterated out of shame and embarrassment.

So yeah, it does only make sense that one of Bartomeu’s last acts will be to get a statue of him erected front and centre. Right in front of the door to main reception, where everyone can see it.

Lionel Messi
Could Messi in Madrid become a more common sight? Probably not | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

With all ties to the Catalan region cut along with their stadium and academy, perhaps a change of scenery could be good for Barcelona. The Catalan people famously love mainland Spain, after all, specifically Madrid, where their historic rivals play their football.

Would it look better in white? | LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Or why not go one step further? Rebrand as the ‘Barcelona Blancos’, sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, and fully commit to the gimmick?

It still wouldn’t be the least popular move he has made since taking the presidency.

Messi and Bartomeu: not friends | MANU FERNANDEZ/Getty Images

When all is said and done, the main thing that will be remembered about Bartomeu’s presidency won’t be the four league titles, nor will it be the collapse of La Masia as a prolific youth set-up, or the various disastrous signings that have come to the fore.

It will be that time he nearly let Lionel Messi slip through his fingers.

Just before he goes, then, it might be time to finish the job. As Sam Allardyce once said (probably), if you’re going to take the red card, you may as well make it count.

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