The Cataclysmic Downfall of Bartomeu in Barcelona

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The Recent Transfer Request from the Barcelona Club Captain has shaken the world. This decision hit the club’s President, Bartomeu and his Co by surprise as the transfer request from the ever-loyal club captain Lionel Messi was the worst thing that could have happened at FC Barcelona after the humiliating 8-2 loss against Bayern Munich in Lisbon. It is no surprise that the club is in deep crisis due to the bad management and ageing squad.

Though many vital factors have led the club to this disaster, the most important reason could be the Club President of Fc Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu. Bartomeu became President after Sandro Rosell in 2014 after the latter was charged for alleged misappropriation of funds over the signing of Brazilian forward Neymar.

Bartomeu Rosell

Although Under his presidency, Barcelona has won the most titles, but, titles don’t define a president’s term in FC Barcelona; He is currently termed as the worst president in the club’s history due to his failed recent signings and poor management of players. Be it the Barca Gate Controversy or the selling of 23 years Arthur against his will to Juventus. The fans have heavily criticized his way of managing the club. Here we look at significant points which have been influenced the downfall of Bartomeu.

Barca Gate Controversy

The major event which took the club and players by surprise was the Barca Gate Controversy in which the president was held responsible.
In mid-February of 2020, the news broke out that the Club President Bartemeo had hired I3 ventures(a marketing consultant company), who were running a social media campaign to clean the image of Club President Bartomeu and criticized the players for the club’s poor performances in the tournaments. The players felt mistreated from the management as they didn’t have any idea regarding this incident. The club captain Lionel Messi openly stated that he had no idea about this controversy in an interview.

“The truth is that I see it strange that something like this happens. But they also said there would be evidence. We will have to wait to see if it is true or not. We cannot say much and wait to see what happens with all this. I really, it seemed like a strange subject.” stated Lionel Messi

Although the final verdict came in favour of Bartomeu, it caused the president’s estrangement with the players. The players were starting to feel that they were not given enough information about the working of the board. The players often got the news about the management plan through the media, which developed a wariness between players and the board.

Failed Transfers by Bartomeu

The most apparent reason for Bartomeu’s downfall is the recent expensive Signings he made, which have been unable to perform in FC Barcelona. Since the departure of Neymar in 2016, Barcelona has spent over 350 million in only three players (Coutinho for 150 million, Dembele for 110 million, Griezmann for 120 million) to replace the Brazillian. Still, all the three signings till now failed to fill his spot. While Dembele’s stay at FC Barcelona has been halted with injuries, Griezmann and Coutinho were played out of position by the coach which shows that the management hadn’t planned the tactical nature of signings.

Bartomeu with Griezmann
Bartomeu with Griezmann

Moreover, since Bartomeu took the reigns in Barcelona, the club has spent over 1.23 billion, making them the fourth-highest net spender in Europe, which shows the lack of reliance on home-grown players. The fact that since 2011 no player from La Masia is in the playing squad at FC Barcelona shows that the president hasn’t maintained the standard of La Masia.

Last five years signings of Barcelona
Last five years signings of Barcelona

In the following picture, you see, Barcelona has purchased over 25 players spending over 1.23 billion, and many of them have been unsuccessful in the club. It clearly shows that the club is making signings without any tactical plans. After all these signings still, the board has been ineffectual in finding the replacements of Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, and Lionel Messi so, even after spending 1.3 billion, the problems have remained intact inside the team. No wonder fans and the players are unhappy with him.

The disrespect towards players

Bartomeu again came in deep trouble when he decided to fire their club manager Ernesto Valverde mid-season after the loss against Atletico Madrid in Supercopa without consulting with the players. The players believed that firing a manager mid-season would affect their preparations as the new coach would require time to deliver his ideas. Making matters worse, the newly appointed coach, Quique Setien, was also fired at the end of the season after the team’s humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern in the Champions League.

Bartomeu’s poor man management was one of the reasons for the downfall of FC Barcelona this season. There was simply no plan to replace the senior players of the team. Due to lack of options, The striker Luis Suarez (33 years old), Gerard Pique (32 years old), Jordi Alba (31 years old) had to start almost every game despite their old age, thus making them inconsistent. At times, only 13 players of the senior squad were present for selection, which clearly shows the lack of the president’s vision in his plans.

One of the reasons Bartomeu has been criticized is due to his lousy treatment towards players. Under his presidency, the club legend Dani Alves was offloaded in 2016 against his will. Similarly, this season Brazilian Arthur Melo was sold to Juventus against his will to manage club accounts.


Barcelona used to be the club which would treat their players and staff with respect, the club legends like Xavi and Iniesta were given a legendary farewell. And, nowadays, players are getting disrespected like how the current coach Ronald Koeman directly told Luis Suarez about him not included in his plans for next season on a one-minute phone call which contradicts the club’s motto Més Que un club ( more than a club).

The club’s way of handling the situation is entirely wrong. Moreover, The players are getting news about the club’s plans and their future inside the club from media reports rather than the Club management, which puts them in an unhandy situation.

Final Verdict

Due to his Bad Management and flawed presidency, Barcelona had a miserable season despite having the best player in the world in their club. Now, it seems even players and his board members have lost trust in Bartemeo. The recent statements of Lionel Messi show that he is clearly unhappy with the president, and there is no doubt all these controversies have put Bartomeu in hot water. Many leaders and presidential candidate wants Bartomeu to step down the presidency now whether Bartomeu will step down from presidency or move the elections earlier is to be seen.

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