Gerard Pique believes Josep Maria Bartomeu was among the worst presidents in Barcelona’s history.
Bartomeu held the post from January 2014 until his resignation in October last year, courting controversy along the way.
His exit was forced amid the threat of a no-confidence vote as Barca lurched from one setback to the next on and off the field.
Barca won the treble in Bartomeu’s first year in charge, yet things gradually began to unravel over the course of his tenure.
Lionel Messi had made clear his desire to leave before eventually sealing a move to Paris Saint-Germain, while Pique is one of several players who have taken a pay cut to ease the Camp Nou club’s perilous financial situation.
With questionable head coach appointments added into the mix, it is clear Pique does not think too highly of the job Bartomeu did.
“I can’t say if he is the worst,” Pique told comedy show La Sotana.
“From what I have experienced, he must be [up] there. We are all guilty, but it is true that the club have not gone where all the Catalans want.
“Now I am hopeful and excited. The next five or 10 years will be very good for Barcelona.”
Pique also leapt to the defence of fellow defender Samuel Umtiti, who has come under fire for his refusal to leave as part of the club’s intended cost-cutting exercise.
“He is fulfilling the contract with all obligations,” said Pique.
“People have to be empathetic. The attitude is impeccable. He has never missed a training session. Another thing is who signed the contract, a president who was voted in by the members.
“Why shall we whistle at him? Most people have been in a company for 30 years and do nothing. If I were at another club, for example [Manchester] United, I would be doing the same as Umtiti. Every situation is different. I only ask people to be empathetic.”
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