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Rosell i Bartomeu, abraçant-se un cop acabada la compareixença / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

After the Board of Directors’ extraordinary meeting, Sandro Rosell resigned as FC Barcelona president. The first vice president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, will immediately assume the presidency for the rest of the term, through 2016. Below is Sandro Rosell’s speech:

“Close to four years ago, during the Club’s 2010 elections, thousands of FC Barcelona members cast their ballots with the excitement of showing who they wanted to take the reins of the Club. That day was unforgettable, it was a democratic festival that reinforced the greatness of our Barça.

On that day, 61% of the votes gave the team that I led the charge to direct the destiny of the Club until 2016.

In these four years we have enjoyed and suffered because we are Barcelonistas, just as many generations of Blaugranas have enjoyed and suffered for more than a century.

In all of these years we have seen that our successes are the result of our victories on the pitch and overcoming innumerable obstacles off the pitch: political, external and, what’s worse, at times the pressure has come from our own environment. In the last four years we have won one Champions League, one Club World Cup, two Ligas, one Copa del Rey, one European Super Cup, three Spanish Super Cups and one Copa Cataluña. In addition, our other professional teams have triumphantly paraded our colours around the world showing the character of our multi-sports Club.

Today the Blaugrana feeling is felt worldwide, and it will continue to be felt around the world in the future.

Our global athletic leadership that began with Ronaldinho in the Paris final, and continued with Messi in Rome and London, was coupled with effective economic management, which allowed us to continue to be competitive, reduce our debt, restore and expand the Club’s estate. In addition, we are proud that the best players in the world don our colours.

To this we add the immense excitement of presenting the construction of a new stadium on the foundations of our magical and legendary Camp Nou, which the Club members must ratify via referendum in April.

But this period of success has also brought us very difficult moments. For some time my family and myself have suffered threats and attacks in silence. These threats and attacks have made me wonder if being president means having to jeopardise my family.

In recent days an unfair and reckless accusation of misappropriation has resulted in a lawsuit against me in the Audiencia Nacional. From the beginning I have said that the signing of Neymar Junior has been correct and his signing has caused despair and envy in some of our adversaries.

The right of the Club members to be informed needs to be compatible with the defence of the Club and confidentiality of certain matters and facts. This confidentiality is essential in the world of football because otherwise the Club could be damaged.

The Board of Directors is a team. And this team leads a project that has brought the Club great success. I don’t want unfair attacks to negatively affect their management or the image of the Club. This is why I think my time here has come to an end.

Now, in accordance with the Club’s Statutes, I have presented my irrevocable resignation of the presidency of FC Barcelona to the Board of Directors.

From this moment, just as the directors announced, in accordance with our Statutes, the first vice-president of the Club, Josep Maria Bartomeu, will immediately assume the presidency of the Club until the end of the term, through 2016, just as the Board unanimously agreed a few moments ago.

It has been an honour to serve the Barcelonistas. It has been a privilege to be the president of FC Barcelona. I wish nothing but the best to the new president and I ask the Club members for their support. I sincerely thank the employees of the Club, the players and the managers. My special thanks to the directors who have accompanied me on this voyage.

I also thank my family. They, in the end, are the essence of my life. They are the most important thing to me.

Thank you all.

Visca el Barça and Visca Catalunya”


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