President Bartomeu resigns, will Barcelona start winning now?
Barcelona's compounding problems on and off the pitch had left Barcelona president with no choice but to step down from his position amidst heavy criticism from the fans.
The pressure was tremendous over the Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and especially this year after Lionel Messi was just inches away from leaving the club, things got worse for the Barcelona president. This year saw a magnified effect of fans anguish and several players standing against the unjust way of Bartomeu’s working.
As a result of that, the Barcelona president has now resigned, a day before Barcelona lock horns with Juventus in Turin. The 57-year-old was associated with the club for six years and during his six-year reign, Barcelona was not the best in any aspect. However, the team was doing well on the pitch but after 2015, Barcelona has not managed to get back where they were.
With time, the situation has only exacerbated and the recent past has been an absolute disaster for the club. The 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League knockout stages acted as a catalyst and it seemed that the entire board will fall apart.
The interesting part about his resignation is that he had insisted on Monday itself that there were no reasons for him to part ways with the club.
Apart from the treble won in 2015, Bartomeu’s reign hasn’t helped the Catalans much and the disappointing performances against Roma, Juventus, and Liverpool in the following years in the UCL had signaled the beginning of the end.
The club has fallen apart in stages. Let’s have a look.
May 2019: Catastrophic Night at Anfield
Barcelona had collapsed against AS Roma in the previous season of the competition and the club was already under the scanner as they looked pathetic against the Old Lady in the 2017 season as well. Barcelona lay their foot at Anfield with a 3-0 score in hand and did decent in the first half.
The second half though was complete devastation for the Blaugrana as they conceded four and became the first club since Gothenburg in 1986 to lose a semi-final despite having a three-goal first-leg advantage.
January 2020: Valverde sacked, Quique Setien roped in
Valverde helped the club win two league titles and compensated for the Anfield disaster but a loss against Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana was registered as the end of his association with the club.
Ronald Koeman was an option that time as the club had recently signed Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann in big-money moves.
However, after the club legend Xavi rejected the chance of leading the team, Real Betis boss Quique Setien was introduced as a surprising arrival.
August 2020: Anguish in Lisbon
Barcelona was not at their best in the league and seemed to be struggling with consistency. They dropped out of the Copa del Rey in February and post lockdown they dropped points against Sevilla, Celta Vigo, and Atletico Madrid. What was worse that they then lost to Osasuna at home to gift the league title to arch-rivals Real Madrid.
It was the Champions League night though that ripped the club and the management apart. The Catalans lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich and the on-loan Philippe Coutinho played an instrumental role in making things bad to worse for his parent club, thereby putting Setien under immense pressure.
The club has been in shambles since then but after the ex-Netherlands boss, Ronald Koeman’s appointment and Messi’s decision to stay at the club, Bartomeu’s resignation will close the gates for every Barcelona fan who specifically targeted him for the club’s miseries.
featured image credits- skysports.com