Out-going Barcelona President Sandro Rosell has said the effect of the Neymar case on his family spurred his decision to resign.
Rosell’s departure was confirmed on Thursday evening with Vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu filling his term, which extends until 2016.
A Barcelona club member, Jordi Cases, alleges that the full fee paid to Santos for the signing of Neymar hasn’t been revealed and Rosell has been called to testify in the case by the Spanish high court. Rosell denies the accusation.
“For some time my family and I have suffered threats and attacks in silence,” Rosell said at the Press conference announcing his departure.
“These threats and attacks have made me wonder if being president means having to jeopardise my family.
“In recent days an unfair and reckless accusation of misappropriation has resulted in a lawsuit against me in the Audiencia Nacional.
“From the beginning I have said that the signing of Neymar has been correct and his signing has caused despair and envy in some of our adversaries.
“The right of the club members to be informed needs to be compatible with the defence of the club and confidentiality of certain matters and facts. This confidentiality is essential in the world of football because otherwise the club could be damaged.
“The board of directors is a team. And this team leads a project that has brought the club great success. I don't want unfair attacks to negatively affect their management or the image of the club. This is why I think my time here has come to an end.”
Laporta had been Barca president since 2010, winning an election to succeed Joan Laporta.
“In these four years we have enjoyed and suffered because we are Barcelonistas, just as many generations of Blaugranas have enjoyed and suffered for more than a century,” Laporta added.
“In all of these years we have seen that our successes are the result of our victories on the pitch and overcoming innumerable obstacles off the pitch: political, external and, what's worse, at times the pressure has come from our own environment.
“It has been an honour to serve the Barcelonistas. It's been a privilege to be the president of Barcelona.”