Bartomeu leaves in defense of Ernesto Valverde (Martí Molina)


The Camp Nou experienced a crazy day in which Josep Maria Bartomeu had to defend the continuity of Ernesto Valverde as he saw how the press published that the technician would not follow the next season. The pressure of most of the board to convince the president to quit the coach almost took effect. And in fact, in the noble offices many think that Valverde could still be fired because he has been losing support, both in the clothing and within the board. Bartomeu, however, insists that the next season, the coach will be Valverde.

Yesterday morning RAC1 explained that the decision was already taken and that it was firm, and that soon they would tell Valverde that he would not continue as a coach. Information that was categorically denied at Barça: "It's a lie, nothing has been decided". These same sources, however, acknowledged that Valverde's position was hanging from a thread and that events can precipitate at any time. Bartomeu ended the day defending him, but after a day of strong internal debates in Barça, the word of the president was imposed. It was a day of debates and meetings with the technical secretary, between executives or between executives. The future on the bench has become the central theme of most conversations. In the president's environment, there is the feeling that it must change yes or no. Bartomeu, who has always been reluctant to change, kept his head cold when from within the club, some media was informed that Valverde had already been informed that he would be fired. But the coach, who is abroad on vacation, has not received any calls.

Bartomeu, who only has two seasons in office, does not want to touch anything on the bench or the technical secretary. Only high and low among the players. As well as disappointing the elimination in the Champions League, the highest president repeatedly ratified the coach on two occasions. And in a third in private, when they met two days after the defeat to the Liverpool field. The president continues to think that Valverde is the best manager possible for a complex dressing, full of stars and egos that must be taken care of. And he also thinks that Pep Segura, the sports manager, is the ideal piece to be the highest ranking executive in the sports field. But some managers, especially the closest ones, have made him see that, if he did not act, there was a capital risk that next season the Camp Nou public would end up turning against him. And this time he could not shield neither in Valverde nor in Segura, but would be indicated as the person responsible for not having acted in time.

A conditioned dismissal

Now, putting out Ernesto Valverde is not that simple. Not so much for an economic issue – it renewed in February and has another year of contract – so that to dismiss it means dismissing the coach who has won two leagues in the two seasons that has been sitting on the bench at the Camp Nou. And there is no guarantee that a new coach will win the Champions League, a long-awaited competition. Moreover, the president is afraid that the next course, with another technician in the dressing room, the results will not accompany even the regularity tournament, which would leave him in a weaker position.

For these reasons, the president has asked executives to give him some more time. In any case, and if you have to finish pressing the red button, the president is clear that he would follow the code of honor and talk to the coach earlier that, a few days ago he left Barcelona, ​​on vacation with his family. The team's environment insists that nobody has communicated anything to him and that his idea is to follow Barça next season. But the circle around it is closed more and more. The players increasingly defend it and the fact that the names of the candidates have been leaked from the club to interpret it is interpreted as a pressure measure for Valverde to take the step, as Bartomeu defends it. However, his surroundings insist that he will not leave the club by his own will but must do it off. The Extremadura coach is perfectly aware of the division in the club, but he also knows that the club would not make any move until the name of the replacement of Valverde was tied. Among the list of candidates, which included names such as Ronald Koeman (Holland's selection), Erik ten Hag (Ajax), Massimiliano Allegri (ex-Juventus) or Unai Emery (Arsenal), who had the advantage is Robert Bob Martinez, current coach of Belgium. But Bartomeu continues to defend the figure of Valverde, although the leaks and fights of yesterday may leave open wounds within the club, since not everyone believes that it was played clean with these leaks.

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