Developing: Sandro Rosell to resign today (Thursday)

nou board

This picture will look quite a bit different, potentially, by the end of day today.

Reports began to leak yesterday, that president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, was set to resign today. Mundo Deportivo, the club mouthpiece, said that he was considering the move to save the club a protracted and expensive legal battle. Over what, exactly, is uncertain, particularly as the Neymar contract is, by everyone’s representations, “legal and impeccable.”

Bartomeu and Faus have already been added to the original court action, that was accepted by the judge. No word on whether the action will continue after Rosell steps down, but there is as of right now, no reason not to presume that it would.

There will be a special board meeting today, to discuss the “future of the president.” It is expected that Rosell will resign, and that Bartomeu will take over as acting president until June, when elections will be held.

As noted yesterday, practice was canceled today. Coming shortly after the rumors about the resignation, it only lent credence to the speculation.

Obviously, this is a fluid situation, and as of now the plan is to update this post as things develop, so visit as you hear of things happening. There is, at this time, also speculation from some that Faus and Bartomeu might also step down. Again, everything is rumor and speculation. We don’t even definitively know that Rosell is stepping down, only that the extraordinary board meeting has been called for today.

More to follow, and thanks. These are crazy times, culers.

By Kxevin

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Thanks Kevin, worried about the team.
    They cancelled the practice today because of this? I am really really hoping, this will not affect our on field performance.

  2. C’mon man… Why did it have to go this way? Why couldn’t that disgruntled Cule wait till the end of the season to start a court case against Rosell? Why now in the middle of the season???!!!

    But Rosell shouldn’t quit if he knows that he is innocent. He is innocent till proven guilty as Jay-Z and R. Kells used to say.

    With him backing down, it looks even more that he is guilty.

    Btw, if Rosell and the club is found guilty of any wrong doing with the Neymar transfer, will we the club be punished as a whole or just Rosell if the money indeed went into his pocket or whatsoever? And what will happen to Neymar? Will he be taken off the club? I don’t even understand why it’s such a big issue to begin with.

    1. Precisely because it will cause the resigning of Rosell and possibly(hopefully) the resignation of the whole board and elections in June. A disgruntled cule like you or me doesn’t have the resources to pay for press conferences and lengthy fees to lawyers.

      The club cannot be harmed, because the trial is against Rosell personally.

      They couldn’t take him down with a motion of censure, so they did it the other way. Laporta surfaced yesterday for the first time in a long while. And no, it ain’t a coincidence.

    2. Note also that he ducked the censure motion by invoking Spanish law all of a sudden, to change the required percentage from 5 to 15%. So his detractors chose a Plan B. And make no mistake, if there wasn’t something scurrilous there, or hiding behind there, Rosell wouldn’t be resigning.

    3. We shall see Kxevin. It wasn’t Spanish Law, it was Catalan Law, voted when Laporta was in power.

      The presumption of guilt that you put on Rosell is not correct. Everyone has the benefit of being innocent until proven guilty. Oh well, apparently everybody who isn’t Rosell. He was sentenced in absentia.

      For now, Good day and good luck.

    4. Why wait until the end of the season? That might disrupt the transfer season and the beginning of next.

      If Rosell is resigning, blame him for his shady deals. Not the socis who are looking for transparency that was promised to them.

    5. Agree completely. There is no point in blaming other. There is no doubt that his opponents will use this to target him. But tha should not be used to discredit one seeking transparency.

    6. I don’t think a changing of guard during the summer will disrupt the transfer season and even if it does, I’ll rather the transfer season being disrupted instead or the season being wasted because of off the field issues.

      Yeah Rosell might be guilty in this case and made many wrong decisions but I don’t think it should’ve been done now. There is a time and place for that which is during the off season. Best was to do it right after the transfer was concluded.

    7. If Rosell hadn’t stepped down, the Central Lechera would bombard us every day with new allegations of corruption, doping, terrorism, match-fixing, corruption and involvement with under-age prostitutes. Every single page of the documents would be leaked, plastered all over the front pages, scrutinized and the club’s players would be besieged by hordes of reporters asking them what is their salary and do they think it’s fair that Neymar gets more money.

      Not to mention the mental exhaustion of a man whose family asked him to step down last autumn.

    8. There is never a bad time to be rid of a vile, corrupt man. The team will be fine. It wasn’t just Neymar.

      Closing membership
      Trying to let the Boixos back in
      neglect of the futbol base
      Eusebio and the B team travails
      lack of focus on the sporting project
      selling the shirt
      functionally selling the stadium naming rights as part of the shirt deal

      Neymar was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    9. Nope. The team won’t care, and will perform as usual. Maybe even better, knowing they might be getting a president who will have their best interests at heart, instead of creating monuments to himself.

    10. You forgot Valdes, Tito, Keita, Fontas, Cuenca, Bojan, Villa and Thiago. Because it was his evilness and corruption that sent them away.

    11. Wasn’t it the technical staff and manager who decided that Abidal wasn’t good enough? The president doesn’t decide who to buy or sell.

    12. That’s blasphemy. Everybody here knows it was Rosell’s fault. Or should I say everybody writing articles here.

    13. Cheap shot, Peter. No need to impugn the entire BFB team. Uncalled for.

      Abidal was a salary dump, to my view. Others have written on the matter, but let’s deal with me. Salary dump. Did the club have medical data that demonstrated that Abidal wasn’t going to be able to play at a level commensurate with being at Barça? Good question.

      He definitely had a renewal due that would have been expensive. So never mind that the player was promised he would be renewed when he was healthy, right? The board reneged on that promise, called a presser and jettisoned him, saying he could have a different, no doubt much lower-paying job with the club whenever he wanted.

      THAT is what happened. Rosell and Vilanova claimed that it was a joint decision (implication being player, technical staff and board) that he wouldn’t continue. It was clear from the press conference that it wasn’t the player’s decision.

      As for the technical staff, good question. If you watch his appearances with the club late last season after he returned to the lineup, ask yourself if the quality of those performances equate to a player who couldn’t cut it.

      So. Was it Rosell’s fault? Not completely. That would be naive to assert. Did he have a significant role in the events that led to the necessity for salary dumping last summer? You bet. He and his board. Between the Neymar transfer and scraping together Euros for the stadium project, absolutely.

      The president is in the chair, so he takes the heat. You can’t say “Our actions did this good thing and that good thing,” then expect to be absolved of some culpability when the bad stuff happens. Doesn’t work like that.

      Finally, you read this piece, which I wrote when Abidal left, and tell me where it says that Rosell has full fault for the player’s departure:

      I’m sure none of us will get it, but I think the BFB team deserves an apology.

    14. Kxevin, I apologize for saying that everybody writing articles here knows it’s Rosell’s fault for getting Abidal out. I meant mostly you. And I meant it because you put “Abidal” as one of the vile corrupt deeds of the vile corrupt president.

      It’s a good question whether Abidal could play in the CB role that at the time of his departure was almost too much for Mascherano and Pique. Could he function against the best strikers of Europe and play every three to four days instead of playing every week at most, against the teams in Ligue 1, which as of today have exactly two teams in European competitions(La Liga has seven out of eight)? Was he healthy enough to get the fourth spot and have Bartra either confined to the benches, or shown the door? Good question.

      I hated the decision myself, even if I do understand the logic behind it. Maybe it’s the fact that the club stood by him while he was away for almost two years. But I do understand the fear. Tito came back looking like a ghost. Then he relapsed. What would’ve happened if this warrior collapsed on the field or relapsed off it? What would the team spirit be like? What about the culers’ reaction? Would they applaud the club for giving him a chance, or would the pitchforks and knives be brought out against the bastards who sucked his life out of him, who should’ve known better than let him be abused by the likes of BL, Ibra, Bale, Diego Costa, Ribery, Robben, Lewandowski and Di Maria? Can you tell me what your reaction would’ve been? Honestly.

      The club let him recuperate and then let him leave as a free agent. He got a club where he’s not tested to the limit on any given weekend, he has time to recover, and is being paid good money, including a signing bonus. He will even get his swan song in the World Cup after what would be deemed in Barcelona as something slightly above an year-long pre-season.

      P.S. I said in no place that you state Rosell has the full fault.

      My question is still not answered at the moment of writing this, why did you forget about Thiago and Valdes, why aren’t they in the list of vile and corrupt things this president has done? Can you state with certainty that the next president, whoever he is, would scrap the deal with the shirt sponsor and leave UNICEF in the front? If not, then why? And furthermore, what good popular decisions were there for the president whose intent was to lower the debt? Selling Masia jewels? Selling Mini Estadi? Buying more players?

      Yes, there has to be someone to make the hard decisions. And the unpopular decisions. And the outright bad decisions. And you know what? All he manages to do, it will be forgotten. The five trophies, when Barcelona won it all but the Copa del Ramos, this will be put on the altars of Laporta and Guardiola. The 100-point Liga, it will be Messi, the team that Guardiola and Laporta built. The money for the Blaugrana complex, it will be the club, not the president. And that my man, is unfair.

    15. I am sorry but all of these reasons have nothing to do with reality as I see it. Someone found legal basis and took it to court against Rosell. That’s it. Every president does thing that we are not happy with and every president has a strong opposition against him at all times. Same thing with Rosell although at this time someone filed a case against him for a particular transfer for misallocation of funds that lead to jail time.
      This is not about perception of what direction the club is moving in, about selling the shirt(which i hope we revert after him stepping down), him treating players coaches and so on in some manner or selling favourite players. It is about breaking the law and facing jail time. Let’s not wrap it around everything someone had against him since forever because it does not work like that.

    1. Because I am sure the players are talking among themselves, and would be distracted anyhow. Plus I can assure that there is already a crazy media frenzy around the club. Distracted players become injured players. Missing a day of practice won’t hurt them.

    1. Just read that. Bummer indeed. Along with Belgium, I was really looking forward to seeing what Columbia could do at this year’s WC.

  3. I am worried about the consequences for our club if the Neymar contract is ruled illegal. I Have no idea what actions could/would be taken against us. Anyone?

    1. A lot would have to happen for that contract to be declared illegal. The largest concern is that it contravenes Spanish tax law. The FIFA stuff seems to be above board, though the whole putting a player on layaway might raise some eyebrows. If anything, the club might see a penalty, either fiscal or some sort of points deduction in the future.

    2. My little brother just told that as a consequence of that, we’ll get 20 points deducted and be kicked out from CL. Sounds very harsh to me. Anyways he read that somewhere on Facebook. I usually take things from Facebook with a grain of salt.

    3. That’s a Merengue wet dream. The UCL bans in two cases: match-fixing and for not following FFP rules.

    4. Read somewhere that there is a provision to take away our points. If that happens, the blame is definitely on the board, not on the guy who went to court, because he didnt get an answer from his board.

    5. Any points taken off means bye-bye La Liga title this seasons. One point is separating the three teams at the moments and it’s been 20 games. That’s more than half of the season.

  4. Last thing we need is instability at the club like in 2003.

    The whole thing seems more like a personal vendetta against Rosell. If it was from the outside, I would understand but from the inside? Makes me wonder if that cule has the club’s best interests at heart of he’s going for personal glory.

    1. Oh, don’t worry, Elefant Blau 2.0 is coming back, and this time there will be enough money for two terms.

      People begin to realize that the quest for truth of the socio is not exactly as pristine as the freshly fallen snow, but it’s too late now.

    2. There isn’t instability at the club. There is a corrupt man deciding to resign. I don’t see this affecting the team, nor the coaching staff. Players are good at focusing on the task at hand. I do imagine that Jordi Alba won’t be giving the player presser. If they are smart, they will change it to an elder statesman, Xavi or Puyol.

      Jordi Cases is part of the GoBarça group. That group has wanted Rosell out of office, just as a great many socis do. Yes, they set about that task. But if his ducks were in a row, they wouldn’t have been successful. As Mr. Cases himself said, if the club had even deigned to reply to him in anything approaching a reasonable fashion when he put the question to the board, he wouldn’t have gone to court.

      They didn’t. They circled the wagons, and threatened Cases with censure up to expulsion. So he took it to court, and this is all the result.

      It wasn’t a “quest for truth.” It was a question that was asked. Cases claims even if the board had said “Look, Neymar wouldn’t have come had we not paid that 40m,” that would have satisfied him. Maybe, maybe not.

    3. Yes, that statement by Cases, that all what he wanted was a reply from the board, is really important. The board who talks about transparency and all , dont they have any responsibility or accountability to the socios.

      I am hoping we could all be more enlightened by CuleToon. Where are you friend? Long time no see.

    4. .
      Thanks for your words, fotobirajesh! I come to BFB almost daily, reading all posts and comments. But, as I’ve said before, I’ve got nothing to contribute… specially today, since I’m as surprised as anyone (including almost all Barcelona sports journalists… go figure!) by Rosell’s hurried resignation.

      All I can say is that I smell something strange here. Let’s see what course all this takes…

    5. If you believe that, then I have some bottom land to sell you.

      That same guy was the figurehead in charge of the failed motion of censure. The main point of the motion wasn’t the irregularity with Neymar’s contract, it was the indignation due to the Qatar shirt sponsor, from one side, and the Texeira rumors on the other, and the resulting “lack of trust”. You can read the interview TotalBarca’s Maria Ines conducted.

      Furthermore, who decides whether the response had been in reasonable fashion? Yes, the same Mr. Cases. That’s not asking, Kxevin, any way you want to sugarcoat it. That’s threatening: “Either you tell me what I want to know, or I’ll sue you”.

      BTW, It’s very easy to go “Oopsie daisy, sorry ’bout that. Had no clue it would escalate.”

    6. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

      I agree that the reason this is happening is because there is a movement to get Rosell out of the presidency.

      This is not about the Neymar transfer it is about much more than that. Which is why I belive that once he resigns if he resigns the suit will be dropped. But the reason that there is this movement in the first place is because of the things that were mentioned before. It is preposterous to say that this is being done JUST because they don’t like him so they blame him for everything that goes wrong and give him no credit for everything that goes right.

      It’s because he went back on the promises he made when he ran (not unheard of). And he did other things that pissed people off (I need not list them all again). I understand you don’t agree. But it does not matter now.

    7. My point is that the claim that Mr. Cases wouldn’t have gone to court if he had been responded to in a reasonable fashion is ridiculous. GoBarca and whoever is behind them wouldn’t have stopped there.

      They would’ve gone on another route. It doesn’t really matter what way. Going to court with the vaguest of claims worked. And yeah, it’s vague, because under this article the judge has to decline to admit it only if there are absolutely no doubts whatsoever that there is the slightest hint of “distraction”.

  5. There is a lot we don’t know so I would not rush to judgement about the future of the club etc. What we do know, completely separate from the Neymar transfer, is that Rosell is a snake, untrustworthy, a liar, a conniving businessman-politician. Of course Rosell could be innocent and he’s innocent until proven guilty etc, but his track record is not encouraging and it would be stupid to pretend he doesn’t have the rap sheet that he does.

    I’m not worried about the team maintaining focus or whatever. They’re been through worse…A LOT worse.

    I hope someone here more familiar with the internal politics of the club will fill us in on how this is going to proceed, whether Bartomeu will chart his own course, what’s the favored outcome in the elections etc.

    1. We aren’t even certain that in fact Bartomeu will take over. If he is also named in the proceedings, as latest rumor has it, club statute would prohibit his assuming the presidency. So it would fall to someone such as Villarubi (strong power base within the board) or another board member. Everything still very fluid.

      Whoever takes over would be doing so with the full understanding that they would be a caretaker until June, rather than a president elected by the socis, the fact that he is coming from the board that was the result of the last election notwithstanding.


    we all know what it means: he’s guilty of wrongdoing in the Neymar transfer in a way that will quickly see the light once legal proceedings take off in earnest.

    the looming question is: who is set to take his place? as Kxevin says, the situation is no doubt fluid in the boardroom, but whichever caretaker will need to have a steady hand. the big decisions like the stadium revamp will now have to wait for the next election; will Laporta run again with his big rival in the dust?

    1. I think the board will somehow convince him to stay and delegate his responsibilities.

      That would be a bummer.

    2. “I think the board will somehow convince him to stay”

      I think there is a 50% chance that that was (is) the plan all along…

    3. PR move?

      “I care so much for the club that I’m willing to step down” but the club needs me so I’ll stay”

  7. Somebody asked this above, but what effect, if any, will “the Neymar case” have on Neymar being at Barcelona? Rossell resigning ahead of the case almost certainly indicates that there was kind of corruption or wrongdoing. If this is proven in court, what happens to the player?

  8. Before anyone starts complaining about how I am a Rosell hater I just need to clarify that I only hate one thing about him, HIS FACE. The rest I’m cool with.

  9. I have to say that I don’t find the least reason to celebrate when the Central Lechera and the storm troopers are popping Champagne all around that Rosell is going down.

    The bastards were scared. Scared that they were beaten to a world-class signing for the first time. Scared not finding a way to beat Barcelona, not even after spending 180 million Euro in new signings. Scared of Barcelona being first for 59 consecutive weeks and counting, despite the help from Arbitration and refs. Scared that Barcelona could usurp their first place in financial aspects, the most sacred of EE laws.

    And you gave them reasons to cheer.

    Remember this day, for it will be yours for all time.

    1. This is not coming from the Central Lechera this is coming from inside the club. Accept it.

    2. I have no doubt about it. But the Central lechera and Tito floren went behind it and started pushing for all they are worth.

      And Cases and GoBarca knew exactly what they were doing and why they were doing it. The question is, do you? Not that it matters now.

    3. Do I? I think stated why already did I not?

      The CL and Flo Flo will rejoice anytime our club is in turmoil or a mess. Just like when we do when its their club.

      Will Barca be better off without Rosell? I think they will be.

      Only time will tell.

    4. I think many people see it in a quite a different light.

      We have been so successful not due to anything this current president and board have done but due to the foundation laid prior to that. And we got Neymar because of that too – I am sure he did not get less money than he would have at that other club but I am also sure the chance to play with Messi and the others figured prominently in his decision too.

      The current board has done a lot to undermine all that – converting the club into a purely business-driven enterprise, refusing to strengthen the squad at key positions, neglecting young players, etc.

    5. Laporta built the team – and passed the bill to Rosell. There was a moment when the players hadn’t received their salaries and the club was going to ask for a 150 million loan in order to manage to pay its bills.

      If something even remotely approaching this state happened now, culers would storm Rosell’s house and crucify him at Gol Nord.

    6. Swiss ramble would serve?

      “Indeed, Barcelona were forced to take out syndicated loans of €155 million in 2010 from a group of banks led by La Caixa and Banco Santander, though club president Sandro Rosell has defended Barca’s debt level, arguing that it is eminently serviceable via its huge revenues, “The club is not bankrupt, because it generates income. The banks know that we have a business plan that will allow them to recover the money.”

      From August 2010:

      “However, July was not so kind to the Catalan club – at least from the financial perspective. Early in the month came the surprising news that the club had been forced to seek a sizeable bank loan of €150 million in order to overcome short-term problems with their cash flow. Incoming president Sandro Rosell was quick to explain that the credit request had initially been made by the previous Barcelona board under Joan Laporta’s presidency, “knowing that there were insufficient resources.”

      Rosell blamed the former regime for this sad state of affairs, “We have taken over a club in debt and with liquidity problems, but we are resolving them.” Worse still, he claimed that the money was needed “to pay the important commitments such as the salaries of the players, coaching staff and employees.” Failing to pay the players is serious stuff, which was highlighted when the club sold defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy back to Shakhtar Donetsk for €15 million, which was €10 million less than they had paid for him only a year earlier, with Rosell confirming that the sale was motivated by financial requirements as well as sporting considerations.”

    7. SwissRambles anaylisis are spot. However in this article he is not making an analysis of the clubs debt and liquidity with the quote you made instead he is reporting what club officials have said. And who were the club officials that reported this? Exactly,

      Instead take this from the same article which IS Swiss Rambles analysis:

      “The major concern is obviously the debt, which Javier Faus said was “the biggest in the club’s history.” We’ve not been given the full details yet, but the adjusted figure released by the club was gross debt of €552 million (net debt €442 million). However, we do know that this represents total liabilities and is thus misleadingly high, as it includes trade creditors, accruals and even provisions. In fact, Rosell and his cohorts should be ashamed of this needless scaremongering, which is not consistent with standard accounting practice – or, indeed, UEFA’s definition, which explicitly states, “net debt does not include trade or other payables.”

      As an example of how absurd the total liabilities definition is, just look at how high other clubs’ gross debt would be using this measure: Real Madrid €683 million, Liverpool €578 million and Manchester United €1.1 billion. Even Arsenal, which is regarded as the template for financial sustainability, would have “debt” of €767 million (though it’s come down a lot since the last annual accounts). This places Barcelona’s €552 million firmly into context. To use an old adage, you have to compare apples with apples.

      Under UK accounting practice, net debt includes bank overdrafts and loans, owner and/or related party loans and finance leases less cash and cash equivalents. Under this definition, Barcelona’s net debt in last year’s accounts was actually only €20 million, compared to Rosell’s total liabilities of €489 million.

      The truth is that Barcelona’s real debt lies somewhere between the narrow UK accounting definition and the new board’s widest possible measure.”

    8. In case you did not read the whole thing I will highlight this part:

      “In fact, Rosell and his cohorts should be ashamed of this needless scaremongering, which is not consistent with standard accounting practice.”

      Your Move.

    9. So Rosell and co. were scaremongering, but in July 2010, just days after him getting in the seat, the club took a syndicated loan from a group of banks. You realise, I hope, that you don’t just call the CEO of La Caixa, introduce yourself and ask for the money, right? Such deals take lots of time and negotiating, because both sides have to agree on terms of repayment and on what will be the guarantee. So if Barcelona’s net debt was so low(under the definition of Swiss Ramble it was 20m), then why did the club ask for the loan before Rosell stepped into office? Loan, I might add, is still being paid. You don’t actually reject the fact that the loan was taken, you just don’t trust Rosell when he says it’s in order to meet payments. So what is it for then?

      As for asking for my move, the money still needs to be paid. Whether it counts under someone’s definition to debt or not is not exactly relevant.

      The difference with the English clubs is that the majority of their debt is in bonds. Barcelona’s debt isn’t, it’s short-term debt that has to be returned in as little time as possible, because it has interest that increases if it’s not paid. The absolutely worst thing to do with bonds is to repay them in as little time as possible, because that means you need to repay the value of the bond as well as all the interest that you promised to pay until the date on which you have to repay the bond(2021 for the first bonds of Arsenal IIRC). It’s still money that needs to be paid. No, it’s not included in the debt. But it should.

    10. You are missing the point Peter.

      How do we KNOW what the real reason for the loan was?

      All we know is what Faus said about it. Obviously he has a horse in the race. And according to the article YOU cited Rosell and Co. were exagerating (at best)or scaremongering(at worst). So forgive for not taking them at their word.

      Let me ask you? Why do you take them at their word and not Laporta?

      Laporta claimed a profit of circa 3M that year.

      Also it is not uncommon nor poor practice for businesse to seek additional loans or available lines of credit for a rainy day (to have cash flow for day to day and shot term debt). How do we know that is not what Laporta and Co applied for.

    11. Because Laporta’s books for that year included won legal battles for double digit millions, a real estate “sold” to MCM for 20 million+VAT(actually it was supposed to be paid at some point until 2013 I believe, the only payment made was the up-front of 1.5 million), said real estate being evaluated and found to be worth at most half the stated price, the “income” from MCM for the building of La Masia(midnight decision of Laporta absolved them of all payments due) and more. So forgive if I don’t take Laporta at his word. Plus, last year FC Barcelona had to pay additional taxes on the Laporta period. I may be mistaken, but IIRC it was for the 2008-2010 period.

      Just as a suggestion, maybe we decide on where to continue to conversation and stick to it? 🙂

  10. So, where are the fireworks and the laughter and tears of joy?

    Are you not satisfied?

    Are you not entertained?

  11. Can we get rid of Zubi too ?

    The guy is Decency personified, but he’s awful in Transfer market.

    Is Bartomeu competent ?

    Can we kidnap Txiki somehow and bring him back ?

    When is that stylish bald coach coming back to coach Barca B ?

    Are we going to bid for the wonderful Monaco captain yet ?

    I miss the guy, He’s so ours. He should be in F.C. Barcelona and nowhere else.

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