FC Barcelona is a club in turmoil after sacking sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, while club legend Carles Puyol has also left his position at the Spanish giants.
Puyol was operating as Zubizarreta’s assistant, but announced he had terminated his working contract at the club in the wake of Zubizarreta’s sacking on Monday.
Barcelona is still reeling from last week’s Court Of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to uphold a FIFA sanction means that the Spanish giants will be unable to buy anyone in the next two transfer windows.
And the bloodletting might not be over as the club will now discuss the future of coach Luis Enrique at an emergency board meeting on Wednesday. Enrique has not won a lot of friends at the club and Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Real Sociedad did not help matters. Neither did the news that Lionel Messi missed practice today, a sign that Enrique has perhaps lost the Barcelona dressing room.
Zubizarreta has paid the price for a failure last summer to effectively strengthen Barcelona’s defence. The club signed Brazilian full-back Douglas and Arsenal’s central defender Thomas Vermaelen but the former has looked hopelessly out of his depth and started only one league game and the latter is yet to play because of injury and needed surgery towards the end of last year which is likely to rule him out for the rest of the season.
The logical person to take over as Sporting Director was Barca legend Carles Puyol but he surprisingly announced that he too will be leaving the club.
The former club captain said on his official Facebook page:
“I want to announce that I have decided to finalise my working relationship with FC Barcelona.
“These three and a half months have given me the opportunity to see another side of the club. I’ve learned a lot, I’m very grateful and, now, I would like to experience other things from a different perspective and from other places.
“I want to grow both personally and professionally so that, in the future, hopefully I can return to this house and give back everything you have given me during these unforgettable years.
“I’m enormously grateful to the staff, directors, president and sporting management for trusting in me and helping me in this transition, which hasn’t been at all easy for me.
“And above all to the fans, who as a player I’ve always felt very close to and now, since my retirement, even more so.”
It is shocking to me that a club that prides itself on building from within is letting Puyol walk away. What has Puyol seen that has made him want to leave the club he spent 17 years at?