• Spain's news in English

Defiant Barça boss quits over fraud claims

AFP · 24 Jan 2014, 09:10

Published: 24 Jan 2014 09:10 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Pressure had mounted on Rosell, 49, after a judge agreed on Wednesday to hear a case made against him by one of the club's own members for alleged misappropriation of funds in the deal which brought Neymar to the Camp Nou last year.

Sporting vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu will replace Rosell as president for the remainder of the board's mandate, which runs until 2016.

Rosell once again defended his position on the Neymar signing by describing the complaint made against him as reckless.

SEE ALSO: Own goal: How Rosell fell on his sword

"From the first day I have said that the signing of Neymar was done correctly and it has provoked jealousy from some of our rivals," he told a press conference at the Camp Nou.

"I don't want an unjustified attack to negatively affect the image of the club and therefore I believe my time at the club has come to an end.

"I have presented my irrevocable resignation to the board."    

Bartomeu will now take over and dismissed rumours earlier in the day that presidential elections could be called in June.

"My first message as the new president of Barca is to announce the continuity of our project until 2016," he said.

"We continue with the utmost desire and commitment to maintain the sporting, economic and social excellence of our club."

Rosell has routinely insisted that Neymar cost the club €57.1 million ($77 million), but refused to divulge how much money each of the parties to the deal received on confidentiality grounds.

That led Jordi Cases to launch the case against Rosell last month for not informing the club's members as €40 million of the fee was supposedly paid to a business owned by Neymar and his father called N&N.

The club were subsequently asked to submit the contracts that sealed the player's arrival in Catalonia, as well as Barca's financial accounts for the past three years.

And the judge, Pablo Ruz, decided that the documentation handed over reveals "sufficient elements" for an investigation to go ahead.

Story continues below…

On top of the €57.1 million attributed by the club for the signing, Barca also paid Santos €7.9 million for the first-option to buy three youth team players and €9 million for playing two friendly matches, the documentation for which Ruz has also now requested.

Rosell's popularity among the club's supporters and indeed some senior players has been on the wane for some time.

His decision to cash in on a commercial sponsor on the club's shirt for the first time in its 111-year history shortly after becoming president in 2010 was decried by many as selling out on Barça's "more than a club" motto.

More recently the failure to offer defender Eric Abidal an extension to his playing contract at the end of last season shortly after returning from a liver transplant was seen as lacking compassion with Dani Alves even changing his shirt number to the number 22 previously worn by Abidal as a tribute to the Frenchman.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available