BARCELONA

Barcelona propose date for Bartomeu no-confidence vote

Barcelona have proposed that the referendum on the vote of no confidence in president Josep Bartomeu take place on 1-2 November, so as to not collide with the Clásico on 24 October.

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Barcelona propose date for Bartomeu no-confidence vote
Rodolfo Molina DIARIO AS

Barcelona has sent its proposal to the Catalunya government (Generalitat de Catalunya) for a date to hold the vote of no confidence referendum concerning under-fire president Josep Bartomeu and the current board of directors.

The club has asked that the vote be held on 1 and 2 November, after it had initially been expected to go ahead on the weekend of 24 and 25 October, which would have coincided with the Clásico against Real Madrid.

This proposal must now be approved by the Catalan government, which has to set a definitive date before 26 October.

Bartomeu faces axe ahead of scheduled 2021 elections

The motion of no confidence was brought forward in the summer by 'Mes que una Mocio', a movement established in July to remove the “board of directors that put their interests before those of the club".

The movement gained significant momentum after beloved captain Lionel Messi announced his intentions to leave Camp Nou following Barcelona’s 8-2 Champions League quarter-final humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich in August, with 'Mes que una Mocio' collecting enough signatures to bring the motion forward against Bartomeu.

Bartomeu has been the target of intense animosity from fans and other prominent figures associated with Barcelona, who blame him for overseeing one of the most disastrous moments in the club’s history, during which there have been several controversies both on and off the field.

Lionel Messi has been openly critical of Bartomeu and the board on several occasions in the past few months.

Barcelona’s dire financial situation in the spotlight

Since the situation culminated with the Bayern trouncing and Messi’s shock announcement in August, the club’s dire financial situation has been brought to the spotlight.

Earlier this week, Marc Ciria, a leading Barcelona-based economist who in 2015 was the financial manager of Joan Laporta's Camp Nou presidential candidacy, warned that club members could face losing control of the club should Bartomeu and his board approve the signing of a $800 million loan agreement with investment bank Goldman Sachs.

“The two viable solutions proposed by this current directive are the conversion of the club into a public limited sports company or the entry of an international investment fund that would leave the membership as the owner of 30 or 40 percent of Barcelona,” said Ciria.

“Goldman Sachs is not known for lending money, but for making entry operations in companies to then later get out of them by reselling the shares it has bought,” he added.

“It is an investment bank, not a money-lending bank like La Caixa or BBVA (Spanish banks). The appearance of Goldman Sachs means that Barcelona has not been able to go to national institutions to increase its debt. The reason is obvious: the club already owes them almost €500 million in short-term debt.”