Ex-Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has clarified that the Catalan giants are in agreement with the proposed European Super League.
The 57-year-old, who vacated his position as the club supremo on Tuesday, made the revelation in a special press conference called to announce the resignation of the entire club board.
Bartomeu had come under criticism in recent years. Following the underperformance of Barcelona and amidst mounting pressure, he made the decision to resign from his position five months before fresh elections were due.
He also dropped another bombshell at the press conference by revealing that one of his final actions as Barcelona supremo was to affirm the club's interest in joining the European Super League.
This is a decision that is guaranteed to make Bartomeu even fewer friends and in the immediate aftermath of the press conference, LaLiga president Javier Tebas came out to brand him 'ignorant'.
What is the European Super League and what did Bartomeu say about it?
The European Super League is a controversial proposal that would see the creation of a closed league exclusively reserved for the elite clubs of Europe, including selected clubs from the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, and Bundesliga.
With the growing commercialization of the game, the biggest clubs are continuously wielding more influence in decision-making, and UEFA has had to grant several concessions to appease the big guns in the last few years.
The European Super League has been the bait that club CEOs use for bargaining power, and Bayern Munich were among the earliest proponents to suggest the creation of an exclusive league that mirrors the structure of the NFL.
Their reasoning is that a closed league open to only the biggest teams in the world would generate more revenue due to the marquee nature of all the games.
However, core traditionalists are kicking against the move, and several prominent names have come out to voice their displeasure at the planned league.
Some years ago, German publication Der Spiegel leaked documents showing that memos concerning the planned Super League had been shared to some top clubs including Bayern Munich and Liverpool.
Earlier in October, SkySports also reported that American financial giants JP Morgan had put together a £4.6 billion package for a European Super League, and it is said that the new tournament already has the backing of FIFA.
A green light would have to be given by UEFA but it is unknown if this would happen, as doing so will severely dampen the quality of teams available in its premier competition: the UEFA Champions League.
Bartomeu, however, revealed that Barcelona are in agreement with the new tournament, saying:
"I can announce some extraordinary news. Yesterday we accepted a proposal to participate in a future European Super League, which would guarantee the future financial sustainability of the club.
"And we have accepted the future Club World Cup format."
Josep Maria Bartomeu began his tenure as Barcelona president in 2014, following the resignation of Sandro Rosell.
His tenure has, however, been plagued by accusations of corruption, inept leadership and controversial signings, while the Lionel Messi transfer saga last summer saw animosity between Bartomeu and fans reach new heights.
Despite his agreement, it remains to be seen whether the European Super League would see the light of day, while any final verdict on participation would have to be voted upon by the club members.Published 28 Oct 2020, 17:40 IST