Barcelona Directors resign amidst Barcagate social media scandal
Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of Barcelona, has asked several directors to leave their posts. Alejandro García/Shutterstock.

The Barcelona board is in a state of disarray after six directors submitted their resignations on Thursday, days after president Josep Maria Bartomeu asked several members to leave their posts.

Santi Gimenez of AS published a joint-statement signed by the six departing members: Vice-presidents Emili Rousaud and Enrique Tombas, as well as directors Silvio Elias, Maria Teixidor, Josep Pont and the board secretary, Jordi Clasamiglia.

It was previously reported Bartomeu asked Rousaud, Tombas, Elias and Pont to tender their resignations, but Teixidor and Calsamiglia followed their colleagues out the Camp Nou exit.

The statement read:

"We hereby want to communicate that the undersigned directors have communicated to President Bartomeu our decision to irrevocably resign from our position as directors of FC Barcelona.
"We have reached this point by not being able to reverse the criteria and forms of management of the club in the face of the important challenges of the future and, especially, of the new post-pandemic scenario.
"We must also highlight our disenchantment with the unfortunate episode on social networks, known as 'Barcagate', about which we learned through the press.”

The ‘Barcagate’ debacle relates to a report by Cadena SER in February. This alleged I3 Ventures—a public relations firm employed by Barcelona—were behind social media accounts used to tarnish the images of past and present club figures, including Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Pep Guardiola and Xavi.

The Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan provided comment from Rousaud, who spoke to RAC1 after news of his resignation broke:

The joint-statement acknowledged the current coronavirus pandemic but called for new elections “as soon as circumstances allow” so that the club is led “with all the 'authority' and in the best possible way in the face of the important challenges of the most immediate future.”

"Last but not least, we express our appreciation and gratitude to our colleagues on the Board of Directors who have dedicated and dedicate their best energy and efforts for the good of our beloved Barcelona Football Club,” it continued.

Former Barcelona sporting vice president, Jordi Mestre, recently said the board was “divided” and said that was behind his decision to step down in July 2019, per Sport.

Bartomeu was elected Barca president in 2014 following the resignation of Sandro Rosell.