The crisis at Barcelona continued as six members of its board of directors quit to protest the policies of president Josep Maria Bartomeu
and express concern about the club's
financial position going forward.
The move comes after a winter of discord that included a coaching change, charges that Barca management hired an outside firm to plant bad press about
players in the local media and pushback from star Lionel Messi
about the reluctance of players to accept pay-cuts.
Barcelona players agreed to take a 70 percent cut in pay to help
alleviate the financial strain at Barcelona during the current pandemic that has hit Spain very hard and make other contributions to allow Barcelona employees in non-sporting departments to keep their
The cuts covered not only Messi and the other first-team Barca players but players in the many other sports teams the Catalan club sponsors. Emili Rousaud
-- two of the club's four vice-presidents -- and Silvio Elias
, Josep Pont
, Jordi Calsamiglia
and Maria Teixidor
quit the Barca board and called for
new presidential elections.
"We have arrived at this point because we cannot reverse the way the club is managed in the face of important challenges in the future, especially in the
post-pandemic era," the six said in their letter. "We also want to show our displeasure over the unfortunate episode about the social media accounts, known as 'Barcagate', which we learned about
through the press. As our last act of service to the club, we recommend that elections are called as soon as circumstances permit so that the club can be managed in the best way possible and deal with
the important challenges of the immediate future."
In response, Barca said board changes were done at the instigation of Bartomeu, its president, and among "necessary measures to
prepare for the club's future, overcoming the consequences of the public health crisis which is currently upon us and to bring to a conclusion the management program."