Following a tumultuous few days after Barcelona star Lionel Messi communicated to the club his intention to leave, the club was left scrambling for what to do next. Now, president Josep Maria Bartomeu has offered to resign if Messi publicly reverses his decision, according to Alfredo Martinez and Samuel Marsden.
Bartomeu Offers Resignation To Keep Messi
Smart Business Move From Man Hated by his Own Fans
By offering his resignation, which is what Barcelona fans have wanted all along, in order to keep his star player, Bartomeu is effectively putting the ball in Messi’s court, and saving himself from further humiliation.
Now, if Messi does decide to stay in order to get rid of him, his last act as Barcelona president will be to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the club, which he hopes will redeem himself to the fans.
However, if the Argentine leaves anyway, which is looking more and more likely, he’ll be able to suggest that he did all that he could. Either way, Bartomeu hopes to have garnered more fans’ respect after this move, although it has the clear look of a political ploy.
Longstanding Negative Relationship With Players and Fans
When Bartomeu took over as president in 2015, he experienced instant success. His club, led by Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar, won the treble and it seemed that Barca would have a bright future under him.
Make no mistake about it, that win had nothing to do with him, and everything to do with ‘MSN’, Luis Enrique, and the La Masia players developed by past president, Joan Laporta. Bartomeu was just able to reap the rewards of the way the club was run before him.
But the club went downhill from there. Dani Alves warned about it when he left after 2015, he spoke about the incompetence of the people behind the scenes, but everyone thought he was crazy. And why shouldn’t they, after the club had just won the treble?
Because the changes that were subtly being made to the way the club was run would only be truly felt later. Fast-forward to today, after the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich, after the night at Anfield, after the capitulation at Roma, and it becomes much clearer.
After Neymar left, Bartomeu poured hundreds of millions of dollars into big-name players just for the sake of it, without a clear transfer, or a clear gameplan. He merely signed Ernesto Valverde, a defensive-minded, pragmatic manager, to hide the club’s flaws.
The change was needed back then, and change is needed now. Messi has wasted the last four years playing for people that frankly don’t deserve the best player of all time. You can’t blame him for leaving, but his last act could be to get rid of the man responsible for this mess, stay for one more season, and then leave as a hero, with a hero’s farewell.