Barcelona Announce Board Changes after Resignations

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Barcelona have moved to restructure their board after six directors resigned last week in protest at the way the club is being run, the Spanish side have said.

Two of the club’s four vice presidents, Emili Rousaud and Enrique Tombas, were among those to announce their resignation in a letter to fans published in Spanish media on Friday.

They were joined by directors Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Jordi Calsamiglia and Maria Texidor.

The departing directors had criticised the club’s handling of a social media scandal and expressed doubts about the board’s ability to handle the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to a 70% players’ pay cut.

Barcelona said the board had approved the appointments of Jordi Moix as vice president for economic and equity, Pau Vilanova as institutional vice president, Oriol Tomas as vice president of the commercial area, Marta Plana as board secretary, and David Bellver as treasurer.

“Javier Bordas will be the manager responsible for the football first team, while Xavier Vilajoana will be in charge of Barca B, the youth teams and women’s football,” Barcelona said in a statement.

The club added they would take legal action against Rousand for allegations that “seriously damage the institution’s image”.

Joan Blade, who is responsible for the club’s basketball teams, would also now manage Barcelona’s control and transparency committee, the club added.

The outgoing directors had asked president Josep Maria Bartomeu to call presidential elections and voiced “displeasure” over the club’s hiring of a third party, I3 Ventures, earlier this year to monitor social media coverage of Barca.

Bartomeu has denied accusations the company created social media accounts to smear future presidential candidates, and former and current players but rescinded the club’s contract with the firm anyway. I3 has also denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Inter Milan want Antoine Griezmann in a sensational swap deal with Barcelona for striker Lautaro Martinez.

Barcelona see the Argentine as the long-term successor to Luis Suarez and he is their priority transfer target this summer.

The 22-year-old arrived in Milan just two years ago for £19.5million from Argentine side Racing Club and still has three years left on his current deal with Inter.

And Inter are reluctant to let their prized asset go though after he has emerged as one of their key players thanks to 16 goals across all competitions so far this season.

But, according to Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday, Inter would consider a swap deal with the Catalan giants if it was to include Griezmann.

The Frenchman only moved to the Nou Camp last summer for £108m after drawn out negotiations with Atletico Madrid.

But his form has been far from consistent, with just 14 goals in 37 appearances, and his failure to strike up a partnership with Lionel Messi has led some to consider his future already.

It is thought Barcelona want Martinez to slot in alongside Messi and Griezmann and provide competition for Suarez before he calls time on his playing career so it remains to be seen if they would consider Inter’s proposal.

Barcelona would be willing to throw midfielder Arturo Vidal into the deal though, according to Corriere dello Sport.

They claim Barcelona are willing to meet Martinez’s €111million (£97m) release clause and are willing to involve the Chilean midfielder in the deal.