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Josep Maria Bartomeu defends his record as Barcelona president

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says he has no intention of resigning from his position.

Bartomeu saw off competition from Joan Laporta two summers ago to ratify his role as the club's president -- he had previously inherited the job from Sandro Rosell, who had resigned -- but he has come in for criticism in recent months.

There are complaints that he and the board have not protected the club's traditional model and values, and there have even been suggestions that he could step down.

However, during a speech to the Club's Senate on Tuesday, Bartomeu said: "To all those that have suggested the board and I are thinking of resigning, I tell them that we have no intention of doing so.

"From some sectors the ability of this board to run the club has been brought into question. We have been accused of not protecting the model and of only being administrators.

"We do not mind, given how football is nowadays, being considered good administrators, however, we are not losing the essence of the Barca model.

Josep Maria Bartomeu became Barcelona president following the 2014 resignation of Sandro Rosell.
Josep Maria Bartomeu is happy with the job he is doing as Barcelona president.

"I would like, when we speak of the model, that it is done seriously and not just focused on a style of play, which we obviously want to maintain as it is part of our very essence.

"[But] I would prefer that we talk about the model of the club, something that develops, improves and enriches itself every day."

Amid that debate, Barca face the very real possibility of ending the season with just the Copa del Rey, while Real Madrid could win the Champions League and La Liga.

Bartomeu, therefore, asked for a more holistic view to be applied to the club's current situation, adding: "We're in the era of Barca. In terms of titles, the way we play and having the best players, we're a reference point [in football].

"In the last three years we've won eight out of 11 trophies and that could be 10 out of 13 if we win the league and the cup this season.

"All while we've had to tackle the departure of one of the best managers in the world in Pep Guardiola, Xavi [Hernandez] leaving, the death of Tito Vilanova, who was set to be a great manager, and a transfer ban from FIFA."

Bartomeu's immediate task is to find a manager to replace Luis Enrique at the end of the season, with Barca denying on Tuesday that they've already agreed a two-year deal with Athletic Bilbao's Ernesto Valverde.

"I'm not going to be able to give any names," Bartomeu said of the search for a new coach. "We've been working for a while on appointing a new manager with the intention of extending our era of dominance.

"You will hear a lot of names going around, but that's normal these days. All I can say is that the club have been working on the planning for next season for some time."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.


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