At 8.50pm Sandro Rosell officially communicated his decision to resign as president of Barcelona, the post he took over on 1 July 2010 and has held for three and a half years. His replacement is Josep María Bartomeu, who takes over until 2016. Rosell, under pressure due to the Neymar case, with Judge Pablo Rafael Ruz agreeing to investigate the signing of the Brazilian following an accusation of wrongful appropriation by Rosell in the transfer, announced he was leaving the club and that he had presented his irrevocable resignation.
The now ex-president of Barcelona had been considering his position over recent days and, having met this morning with Bartomeu and Javier Faus, economic vice-president, he called an extraordinary board meeting to present his decision.
He then faced the press in the Camp Nou: “Good afternoon to everybody. Nearly four years ago, in the club’s presidential elections, thousands of members turned out to vote with the excitement of choosing how the club should be run and who should run it. It was an unforgettable day for me, a fiesta of democracy. In these four years we’ve suffered for being Barcelonistas...”
Having praised the club’s economic and sporting successes Rosell explained why he was leaving. “The last few days have seen a case filed against me at the High Court. I’ve said that Neymar’s signing is correct and it’s made our rivals jealous. I don’t want unfair attacks [on the club] and for that reason my time here has finished and I have presented my resignation. Josep María Bartomeu will be president until the end of the term in 2016. It’s been an honour to serve the Barcelonistas. I give sincere thanks to the players of the club and I am grateful to the board. Visca el Barça and Visca Catalunya”.