Barcelona president Bartomeu facing vote of no confidence
'Mes que una moció' has gathered over 20,000 signatures, well above the threshold required to force a vote of no confidence against Barça's president.
Josep Maria Bartomeu faces a vote of no confidence from Barcelona members after a campaign group seeking to oust the LaLiga club's president gathered the necessary number of signatures on Thursday to force the vote.
'Mes que una moció' gets over 20,000 signatures
‘Mes que una moció’ (More than a motion), a group of members supported by candidates for next year’s presidential election, said they had gathered 20,731 votes by Thursday's deadline, comfortably clearing the required 16,520 to trigger the vote.
The signatures must now be examined and counted over the next 10 days by a three-person panel comprising of a representative from the club, the Catalan soccer federation and the campaign group proposing the vote of no confidence.
If signatures validated, Bartomeu vote to be held within three months
Provided at least 16,520 votes are valid, the club's statutes state it must hold a referendum within three months, with 66.5% of the club's 150,000 members needing to vote against Bartomeu and his board to force their removal.
Should the motion of censure go ahead, Bartomeu will be the third president to face a vote of no confidence after Josep Lluís Núñez in 1998 and Joan Laporta in 2008, with the vote failing to pass on both occasions.
Barcelona president cannot stand in next elections
Bartomeu's time as club president is coming to a close regardless of whether the vote goes ahead, as he will be unable to contest the elections that will be held in March after serving two terms.
The motion of censure was filed by presidential candidate Jordi Farré on 26 August, the day after captain Lionel Messi had declared his intention to leave the club.
Messi, Barça's all-time top scorer, later announced he is staying at the club for this season as he did not want to face a legal battle with the club.
Bartomeu unpopularity grows amid financial, on-field woes
Resentment against Bartomeu has been growing in the last year due to the club's worsening finances and the team's decline on the pitch, which came to a head with their 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals in August.
Bartomeu, who became president in 2014 when then incumbent Sandro Rosell resigned, also faced criticism for the 'Barça-gate' scandal after the club hired a social media monitoring firm which was accused of seeking to undermine other presidential candidates as well as former and current players.
Club member Agustí Benedito tried to trigger a vote of no confidence against Bartomeu in September 2017 but only managed to gather 12,504 votes, 4,000 less than required.