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Barcelona have responded to the application for a vote of no-confidence issued against president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the club’s board by one of its members, Augusti Benedito, on Friday.
Issuing a statement on the club’s official website, Barca vice-president of the social area, Jordi Cardoner, said:
“Now is not the right time to do it, and for our part we believe that these type of events are more suited to the end of season, when an evaluation, both sporting and of the board, can be made and not when competition has just begun.
“I am pleased to say that members, who are the owners of this organisation, can bring about actions such as the one began today Friday.”
The statement also detailed the exact requirements needed to trigger such a vote. Benedito called for a vote aimed at forcing the resignation of the incumbent president, per ESPN FC’s Sam Marsden.
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Under the terms of the proposed vote, “Barca now have five working days to facilitate the papers and Benedito will then have 14 working days to gather the signatures of 15 percent of the club’s members, which he estimates is around 16,500 people,” per Marsden.
However, the information provided in the club’s statement calls for a more exact number of 16,570 eligible voters. In addition, Barca has shown an eagerness to do its part to help a vote take place by making available “33,140 forms, double what is necessary,” per the club statement.
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These numbers suggest there is a strong chance Benedito’s vote takes place, despite Cardoner’s questioning of the timing.
Benedito, who ran for the club presidency in both 2010 and 2015, has described the situation at Barca as an “important institutional crisis.” He was more blunt when saying, “this board has done terribly badly. Bartomeu should resign, the situation is out of control.”
To put his plan into action, “Benedito has been actively pursuing signatures on social media for some time,” according to Spanish publication Marca (h/t Gareth Platt of TalkSport).
It has been a summer of upheaval at Barca, particularly on the transfer front. The club saw Brazil international Neymar choose to join Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record transfer.
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Although Ousmane Dembele was brought in as a replacement from Borussia Dortmund, the Blaugrana have since struggled to get a deal for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho over the line.
Benedito is now stepping up his efforts to apply pressure on the men at the top. However, his vote, successful or not, will only add yet another layer of uncertainty and upheaval to a club embroiled in turmoil this summer.