Wednesday, May 12

Barcelona Board Receives Vote Of No Confidence From Benedito

Former Barcelona presidential candidate Agusti Benedito has lodged a vote of no confidence against the club’s current board.

Benedito appeared in a news conference on Thursday to make the announcement, citing continued mismanagement at the top level by president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell.

“The serious institutional crisis at our club requires that the club’s members assess whether the current board still has our confidence,” he said.

“If you are a club member and believe that to restore the club we love the board should resign, join up with the will of many other fans by signing the vote of no confidence.”

To take the vote of no confidence to the next stage, Benedito needs the support of 15 percent of the club’s members within 14 days, which he estimates is around 16,500 people.

The Barca board have come under increasing criticism in recent weeks, with Bartomeu stating that he is not considering resigning on more than one occasion.

Benedito also slammed the decision to strike a deal with the courts over the Neymar signing as “shameful” and said it was only done to save Bartomeu and Rosell.

Rosell had previously stepped down over the Neymar transfer and last month was arrested as part of a money laundering investigation, although there are not any links between his arrest and Barcelona.

Other candidates from the 2015 presidential election Joan Laporta and Toni Freixa support Benedito’s movement, with the former particularly vocal in his disdain for the current board.

Earlier this week he suggested the club had not been transparent with the amount of money they made from the sponsorship deal with Qatar, implying something underhand had taken place.

However, Barcelona responded on Wednesday by publishing the figures from the agreement and threatening legal action.

The Catalan club said in a statement that they wanted to make clear that “the contract called for the club to receive a total of €171 million over six seasons” and that they have in their possession the corresponding receipts for the deposits made to that amount.

They added that the contract did not entail any costs for intermediation and that said contract — as well as the rest of the club’s finances — has been duly audited for the last six seasons by external company Deloitte.

And in a bid to prove their transparency, the statement concluded: “Upon the express desire of the board, the club delivered at midday Wednesday a copy of the contract, along with the corresponding receipts for the deposits made, to the Judiciary Police of Barcelona, as a demonstration of maximum cooperation and transparency.

“Having made these clarifications, Barcelona call for responsibility and reserve the right to take legal action in the face of defamatory statements and false accusations against the honourableness of the club’s management.”

Supporters group Manifest Blaugrana, meanwhile, have called a protest against the current board ahead of Barca B’s playoff game against Cartagena at the Mini Estadi on Saturday.

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