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Bartomeu talks Messi, Koeman, VAR, vote of no confidence, and questionable transfers



Photo via Imago

Club President and lately an infamous figure in Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu sat down for his press conference following the board meeting today. The press conference was on BarçaTV, and here is what the Barcelona president had to say.

UPDATE: Bartomeu HAS resigned.

Bartomeu on the Vote of No Confidence

The headlining topic of conversation was the Vote of No Confidence, and the board’s failed attempt to postpone it. Josep Bartomeu addresses it first and foremost.

“Our request to halt the motion was not respected.” The Spaniard is referring to the request the board made keeping in mind the situation of the pandemic, which was denied by the Vice President of Catalonia.

Bartomeu tries to drag the government into this conversation in an attempt to build the pressure on them, especially during the pandemic.

“For the motion to continue, we need an approval from the Generalitat de Catalunya to give the green light during this difficult period.” Bartomeu then goes on to add, “We requested the Government to postpone the motion of no confidence till the 15th or 16th of November, but they refused.”

“We will not make a decision until we receive an official verdict from the Catalan government. The board will meet once they have reached a verdict.

“I don’t think the Catalan Government wants to force us out. We have never entered into political or economical matters.”

Bartomeu continues to reason with the journalists, trying to use the coronavirus as a viable excuse to not resign.

“We are in a difficult situation with the pandemic. The main priority is the safety of the members. We respect the 20,000 members who signed the motion of no confidence. We are not trying to halt or obstruct anything.

“We need at least 15 days to prepare for the referendum. The occurrence of the referendum on the 1st and 2nd of November is outrageous.

Bartomeu refused to answer the journalists’ questions about his resignation if the vote is scheduled to take hold on November 1st or 2nd.

“We will conduct a meeting with the Government to determine the date of the referendum.”

Bartomeu on stepping down

After reports of the board resigning started doing rounds, it was rather necessary of their decision and how they reached to it during today’s meeting.

“The decisions we made today were unanimous. All our decisions are made unanimously.”

When asked if he ever considered resigning: “No, not on a single occasion.”

“I cannot simply resign because we make decisions every day. The club cannot go for 3 months without a president to make decisions.

“There is no reason for me to resign. It is not an appropriate time to hand in my resignation. No one will be able to make the decisions if I decide to resign. These are extraordinary times, the most difficult period in our history.”

Bartomeu on the proposed salary cut

The questions about the proposed salary cut was raised, to which Bartomeu had only a single sentence as a reply.

“We proposed a salary cut to the players in June. We reached an agreement with some of the players, and I would like to thank them for their cooperation.”

Bartomeu on the Lionel Messi saga

Naturally, the Lionel Messi transfer saga was brought up again, and he admitted that the Argentine is one of the most important part of the club’s project, if not the most important.

“We decided to sign Koeman, who is a Barcelona legend. He has the ability to revive the team, and I would like to thank him for taking on the job at such difficult times.

“Messi is an important part of our new project, and we couldn’t let him leave. Leo is a part of Koeman’s project.”

He also talks about Messi’s decision to leave the club, and if he ever thought about resigning during that period, especially after the captain name-checked him in his interview with GOAL.

Photo by JOSEP LAGO,LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

“I understand Messi’s decision. He was disappointed and frustrated with the previous results. But he had a clause and it expired.

“During the Messi case, I never thought about resigning. I always said we had to keep Messi and implement what he said: finish his career here.

“I understood’s Messi’s decision and his choice. He wasn’t the only one who was irritated, and it was the whole team. Everybody wants to win.”

Bartomeu can only reiterate his words, with more butter than previously, explaining how he tried to deal after Messi decided to leave the club.

“When in heard Messi was angry and wanted to leave, I contacted him and his family to tell them that Leo is the best player in the world and an important part of the project. Hopefully, Messi will come out in the coming months and announce his desire to stay at Barça.”

Bartomeu on questionable transfers made by him

Bartomeu is asked about the shady transfers that Barcelona have been a part of, with the most recent example being the Arthur – Pjanic swap.

“Rumours claim that we made some transfer deals to balance the books, but they are lies.”

Bartomeu on El Clasico and VAR

As a change of pace, one of the journalists ask him about the El Clasico and the controversial penalty awarded to Madrid. This is the only time Bartomeu does not skip a beat before answering.

“The VAR cannot be used differently in different matches. I was told there is an audio clip of the assistant referee saying something during the play between Ramos and Lenglet. We will look into and uphold the interests of the club.

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

“A non-existent penalty changed the outcome of the Clasico.

Bartomeu on this season’s trophy challenge

As Barcelona stand 12th in the La Liga table after five games, he is naturally questioned about if the team can pose a challenge to the La Liga title, and other trophies.

“I’m sure we’ll finish the season with more than one title. The club has won the most trophies under my presidency. Last season was the only trophyless season with me as President.”, concluded president Bartomeu.

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