Barcelona: Camp Nou calls for Bartomeu to resign
Before kick-off in Camp against Eibar, a blanket of white handkerchiefs were on display, with chants of "Bartomeu, resign!" ringing around the stadium.
As it was feared by the Barcelona board, so it came to pass on Saturday afternoon as the Camp Nou called for the club president Josep Maria Bartomeu to step down from his post after a few weeks that have caused Can Barça no end of embarrassment on the international stage.
After a January of inaction in the transfer market despite a long-term injury to Luis Suárez, the sale of two attacking players – Carles Pérez and Abel Ruiz – a social media scandal engulfing the club that followed hot on the heels of a public spat between sporting director Éric Abidal and talisman Leo Messi, the Camp Nou brandished the weapon most feared by managers, directors and presidents in the sporting sphere in Spain; the white handkerchief.
Barça fans have been fuming for some time about the board’s bungling in the transfer market and there remains a lingering sense of injustice over the sacking of the largely popular Ernesto Valverde in favour of Quique Setién – who promptly led Barça from first to second in LaLiga and oversaw their elimination from the Copa del Rey.
Camp Nou calls for Bartomeu's resignation
As if to hammer home the point, both Pérez and Ruiz scored for Roma and Braga respectively on the same day that Martin Braithwaite was unveiled at Camp Nou after Barça perfectly legally, but equally questionably in the eyes of many, paid the release clause for the Denmark international and left Leganés without their top scorer and unable to buy a replacement.
And on Saturday the situation reached a head with a flutter of white and a huge roar of “Bartomeu, resign!” that will place further strain on the men in suits ahead of a midweek Champions League game against Napoli and next weekend’s Clásico, two games that will shape Barça’s season and the immediate future of the current Camp Nou board.