Former Barcelona presidential candidate Agusti Benedito has branded incumbent Josep Maria Bartomeu’s actions “out of control”.
The 53-year-old, a candidate for the top job at Camp Nou in 2010 and 2015, confirmed in June that he intends to lodge a vote of no confidence against the Barca board, accusing them of bringing about “a serious institutional crisis” at the club.
Benedito is campaigning for the relevant number of signatures – said to be between 16,500 and 18,000 – in order to begin the legal process against Bartomeu and the Barca directors.
He now claims that Bartomeu’s running of the club during a troublesome transfer window has led senior board members to expect that he will gain the necessary level of support.
“This is the problem we have now at the club. Bartomeu has been out of control for days,” he told Efe. “In terms of sporting planning, this summer has been a mess.
“As I said, Bartomeu, the president, is out of control. Many people, due to the bad summer in terms of improving the squad and the loss of Neymar, have voiced their concern and because of that, support has been increased.
“It is true that a number of factors are impacting upon the club negatively but what is unquestionable is the bad sporting policy that is in place and has hurt the club.
“I’ve observed the board and I can see that they’re nervous and I think that they know that the no confidence vote will be passed. It will be voted for. I don’t rule out that a resignation comes before the vote of no confidence even begins.”
— Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) August 28, 2017
Barca saw Neymar leave for Paris Saint-Germain after the Ligue 1 club activated his €222million release clause and they have been frustrated in their pursuit of their own top targets.
Ousmane Dembele arrived from Borussia Dortmund for a club-record €105m initial fee, but PSG refused to listen to offers for Marco Verratti and Liverpool have been steadfast in their determination to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho.
There was also confusion around Barca’s attempts to sign Jean Michael Seri from Nice, which collapsed at the last minute, while the future of Lionel Messi remains uncertain as he has yet to sign the contract extension he agreed in July.
Bartomeu was voted back into office in July 2015 following a landslide election win off the back of Barca’s treble triumph. He claimed 25,823 member votes, ahead of Joan Laporta with 15,615, Benedito with 3,386 and Toni Freixa with 1,750.
His term is due to last until 2021.
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