PETE JENSON: Barcelona’s crisis has been put on the shoulders of Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets after Josep Bartomeu’s comments – to scapegoat the legendary quartet is SHAMEFUL from the man who is largely to blame
- Josep Bartomeu said it is time to send some players off with full honours
- A number of Barcelona legends look set to leave after the loss to Bayern Munich
- These include Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets
- List of players not available for transfer also raised eyebrows in some cases
So there we all were thinking Barcelona‘s current mess might be the fault of their incompetent board spending €250milllion (£225m) on Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, sacking a coach in the middle of a season when they were top, allowing the club’s B-team to flounder in the third tier and overseeing an incomprehensible transfer policy since sacking the club’s last decent sporting director in 2015, but no we were wrong.
The problem is Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.
They are the ones who have to leave, not the president, who said it would have been ‘irresponsible’ to quit forcing the elections that almost all supporters of the club want.
Josep Bartomeu said it is time to say goodbye to players who made Barca the best in the world
His list of players who wouldn’t be sold did not include that of club legend Gerard Pique
Luis Suarez might also have to move to a new club as the club sets to enter a new era
Ronald Koeman is set to become the next manager after Barcelona’s 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich
Josep Bartomeu told the club’s in-house media: ‘Now it’s time to say goodbye to some of those players who have made us the best club in the world.
‘I don’t want to talk badly about anyone but we have to start sending some of them off with full honours.’
Full honours. That will be nice. Pique already has full honours of course. He has won everything possible in the game.
Suarez is the all-time third highest goalscorer in the club’s history and Sergio Busquets has been so good his position on the pitch now tends to carry his name.
It’s true that Busquets has wilted dramatically over the last 12 months and Suarez is the first to admit that he is in his final seasons and Pique said in his post-match interview after the Bayern debacle that he would go if people thought it best.
But to scapegoat them still seems pretty shameful. ‘This is not a social or an economic crisis it is a sporting one’, said the president pointing the finger clearly at the players.
Sergio Busquets is another experienced player who the club now look set to let go
Jordi Alba also might have played his final Barcelona game during the Champions League loss
‘There are certain players who know they are not going to continue. Give them free transfers? All the options are open,’ he said.
The list of players that Bartomeu did give as not being available for transfer also raised eyebrows. Frenkie De Jong, Clement Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann fair enough. But Nelson Semedo destroyed by Bayern Munich last Friday, really? And Dembele, seriously? You wouldn’t listen to an offer to the most expensively flawed signing in the club’s history?
It did not make a lot of sense but then almost nothing at Barcelona does right now. Eric Abidal, said Bartomeu had not been sacked. He had resigned.
Surprisingly big-money flops Phillipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele could end up staying
Did the club not know of his intention not to carry on when they said in a statement the previous day he would be overseeing the squad changes?
There is plenty of drama left in Barcelona’s summer and the Messi situation, for all that Bartomeu made assurances he was staying, is clearly not resolved.
Spanish radio Cadena Ser reported that Bartomeu had spoken to Messi’s father to tell him that Koeman wanted him in the team but that Messi’s father told Bartomeu that he needed to speak to his son face to face.
That meeting needs to happen soon. The new season starts in three weeks.
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