FC Barcelona prepone Presidential elections
Madrid, Jan 8 (IANS) FC Barcelona President Josep Bartomeu has announced that the Spanish football club will hold presidential elections at the end of the current season.
Speaking at a packed press conference in Barcelona's Camp Nou Stadium on Wednesday, he explained the elections would be brought forward from their planned date in the summer of 2016.
The President was speaking, after three difficult days for FC Barcelona, which began with a 0-1 defeat away to Real Sociedad on Sunday. This also led to the sacking of Director of Football, Andoni Zubizarreta.
There have also been voices questioning the future of coach, Luis Enrique at the club, while doubts have also been raised over star player, Lionel Messi, who is thought to have strained relations with Luis Enrique.
Meanwhile Bartomeu, who acceded to the presidency, after Sandro Rosell was forced to resign over irregularities in the signing of Brazilian striker Neymar, has also been criticised.
Especially as it was confirmed a week ago that Barca will not be able to make any new signings until January 2016..
"I am calling the elections at the end of the season in order to help lower the exceptional tension," said Bartomeu.
He insisted the tension was out of proportion with the current situation as Barcelona is still "competing in all three competitions," while admitting that success was "based on club members being happy".
He asked any possible candidates to respect the rules and said that, "fair play will serve to strengthen the club".
Bartomeu was also asked about Luis Enrique, who himself had spoken to the press.
The Barca coach had said he had the support of the club and Bartomeu confirmed that.
"I have no doubt he is the right man for the job, he is the person we chose and he is the ideal man to be in charge," said Bartomeu, adding that Luis Enrique's future would not be decided by results against Elche and Atletico Madrid this week.
Bartomeu was clearly angry at stories of a poor relationship between Luis Enrique and Messi saying they had been spread with the idea, "to damage the club".
"They are completely false," said Bartomeu, who was confident Messi would not be leaving.
He told the press; "Messi has a contract ... we are very relaxed ... he is a leader and we are very happy with him."