Bartomeu slams Tito ‘misunderstanding’

Josep Maria Bartomeu has slammed critics who suggested he blamed Barcelona's deceased former Coach Tito Vilanova for the Neymar tax case.

Some quarters interpreted Bartomeu's testimony during last month's High Court hearing as him pointing the finger at Vilanova, but the 52-year-old insists he never intended to taint the ex-trainer's legacy.

“[I will organise] an EGM to explain the whole Neymar situation to socios,” he said in a statement on Barca's official website.

“I treat [my comments] as a misunderstanding. I don't like people messing around with Tito Vilanova's name.

“He was someone very important to this club. I'm disappointed with some people's interpretations [of my comments].

“Since 2011, we'd tried to sign Neymar. He was a technical request. Sandro Rosell closed the deal for 2014, but in 2013 our technical staff asked us if we could bring forward his signing, and we did.

“In any case, Tito Vilanova is only responsible for bringing him. He did no wrong.

“At the hearing, I just told the truth. There's no need to praise me or [Sandro] Rosell [for Neymar's arrival].

“It was a wise choice by Tito. We're against anyone who wants to stain Vilanova's name. He's been an example to everyone at this club.”

Tags Josep Maria Bartomeu Neymar Tito Vilanova Transfers