Rosell's resignation must bring Barca election forward

Posted by Francesc Tomas

Sandro Rosell has decided to step down from his presidential seat at the Camp Nou due to the scandal surrounding the signing of Neymar from Santos last summer. Despite denying any wrong doing, the fact that the investigation into the transfer is set to continue in the Spanish High Court for months to come has, ultimately, proven too much for the Catalan businessman.

I must admit I am quite shocked by such an unexpected decision, especially considering the determined way in which Rosell has defended his innocence whenever questioned on the matter. While it is clear that judge Pablo Ruiz will need further clarification in order to finish his investigation, the fact that the now ex-president has resigned even before being found guilty in front of the court makes the situation pretty hard to understand at this point -- and quite suspicious at the very same time.

• Barca stay silent on Neymar

Personally, I believe that the Socis (Barcelona club members) have the right to know how much the club spends on each and every transfer. Rosell’s decision to hide such vital information from the public eye has definitely raised a few eyebrows and caused many suspicious thoughts to arise in an already polluted environment.

His refusal to accept Johan Cruyff as honorary president, his in-depth investigation and disapproval of Joan Laporta's accounts during his time as president and the lack of understanding with legendary manager Pep Guardiola were key negative factors which the Catalan public will find difficult to forget. His past as a Nike executive in Brazil and dealings with dubious former CBF chief Ricardo Teixeira certainly didn't help, either.

I am obviously not in a position to argue whether the way in which Rosell achieved the transfer of Neymar was legal or not. All that can be said at this point is that I am confident that the judge will be able to make a fair, informed decision in due time and his findings are to be respected whatever the outcome.

My main concern is club stability, both in the short and long term. People come and go, but the institution as a whole must remain the one and only focus.

From an immediate sporting perspective, Gerardo Martino has inspired his players to an impressive start and has ensured they reach the decisive stages of the season with a great opportunity to succeed in every competition entered.

While it is clear that the squad will not enjoy the unwelcome negative attention that Rosell's resignation will undoubtedly bring, I trust that they will still be able to perform at their best on the pitch, especially as the initial toxic days go by.

The long-term vision for the club is, however, much more uncertain at this point. Incoming president Josep Maria Bartomeu clearly stated his desire to finish Rosell's mandate but, personally, I feel the Socis should have the right to choose who they want to be represented by in the very near future. Ultimately, the club members voted Rosell, not Bartomeu, as their president.

On that basis, I strongly believe the election should be brought forward: It is unreasonable to expect Socis to keep quiet about the future of the club until the summer of 2016, as previously scheduled. It doesn't make any sense for Cules to wait for a further 30 months in order to vote for a new president.

Nearly four years after becoming president with a record 60 percent of the vote, Rosell decided to step down due to the continued pressure and huge media attention on the transfer of the most valuable player he managed to attract to the Camp Nou during his mandate.

The (sporting) show must go on. Let's hope the current generation of players stick together through the adverse times ahead and manage to bring further sporting success to the Camp Nou.

218,000 Cules follow Francesc Tomas at @TomasESPN and Barcablog Facebook for news and opinion notes on Barcelona.

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