Quique Setién and Abidal will be struck down, Bartomeu resists

The coach and the technical secretary will be the first to pay the price for the loss in Lisbon against Bayern. Tomorrow, meeting to set an electoral date.


The Lisbon earthquake already has its two first victims in the absence of official confirmation: Quique Setién and Éric Abidal will be the first to pay for the broken dishes of the greatest humiliation in the history of Barça. But the shock wave of the Blaugrana debacle does not only affect the sports plane. Institutionally, the entity lives its most hectic hours. Bartomeu's problems accumulate. He is being pressured to present his resignation and call elections, but everything indicates that the president, who is in his last year in office, will resist and at most will announce the election date for next March 15, the closest date allowed by the club bylaws. All these decisions will be finalized in an extraordinary board of directors called for tomorrow, Monday. For now, the president wants to take perspective after returning from Lisbon with a club on fire.

At Barça there are more unknowns than answers and the possible decisions change every hour. The day yesterday in the Blaugrana environment was frantic and the telephones fumed.

Today the only certainty is the relay in the sports field. The Setién era has ended and Abidal will also be sacrificed. The club yesterday already contacted the lawyers of the Cantabrian coach, who has two years left on his contract, to negotiate the terms of the settlement, although the board recognized that they had not yet told him anything but pointed out that "it is a soccer man and knows what's up ".

Regarding the technical secretary, the issue is further complicated by the coronavirus protocol. Abidal was with Umtiti on Tuesday, who tested positive for COVID, and was isolated in his room at the concentration hotel, he could not attend the game and he could not return with the rest of the team yesterday morning by plane. He came back alone by car.

Candidates. With the decision already made to dispense with the coach, the range of seeing who is Setién's replacement is open. Mainly, there are four candidates: Pochettino, Xavi Hernández, Ronald Koeman and García Pimienta, the coach of the subsidiary. Throughout yesterday's chaotic day they all went up and down in the stakes in a crazy day.

From the start, Pochettino was the best placed. Last Thursday, August 6, he had dinner with Ramon Planes, attached to the club's technical secretary and with whom he maintains a close relationship of friendship, and with Iván de la Peña, representative, among others, of the City center-back sought by Barça Eric García, in the same restaurant in Barcelona where Bartomeu closed the signing of Griezmann a little over a year ago.

Bartomeu also maintains a very good relationship with the Argentine, but part of the board and the Blaugrana public opinion are suspicious of his figure because Pochettino said: "Before training Barça I'm going to my farm." His Spanishist past does not help either, although a week ago he gave an interview to El País qualifying his words.

The rejection of Pochettino caused him to lose integers throughout the day and made them win over Ronald Koeman, the Dutch coach, a Barça myth and whose pulse would not tremble to face a clean in the locker room. Against him he plays his contract with the Netherlands and recently suffered a heart attack.

Xavi Hernández would be the consensus candidate and the one desired by the dressing room, but he does not seem willing to get on the same boat as that of this board. Taking into account that there are months left in office, one option would be to bet on a transition technician like García Pimienta, while waiting for the incoming board to choose its technician.

Elections. Any sports decision is linked to the electoral calendar. Despite the pressure from the media and from the opposition environment for the elections to be called as soon as possible, Bartomeu will resist and his intention is to announce the election date after Monday's meeting.

The defenders' theory of not precipitating events is based on the fact that such a decision would paralyze a club that needs to act as soon as possible and which is urgently required to make decisions.

To start with, changing the manager has been taken, but there are still many things to do and the future of the club depends on what is decided in the next few days.

Photos from as.com

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