Spain about an hour ago
Disgruntled Barcelona fans group 'Go Barca' have called off a move to officially 'censure' president Sandro Rosell and the current blaugrana board as they say the club are changing the rules to stop them.
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On Monday two members of the group -- Joan Arnes and Jordi Cases -- reportedly submitted the relevant paperwork required at the club's offices to set in motion the move against Rosell and three club vice-presidents -- Josep Maria Bartomeu, Javier Faus, and Jordi Cardoner.
The group maintained that Barca's current board had lied and tricked the club's socis, and are particularly unhappy with the club's commercial dealings with Qatar and its handling of the exit of former defender Eric Abidal.
The Catalan club's board then complied with its statutes and were to provide 36,000 forms for fans who wished to support the idea at Saturday's La Liga game against Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou.
But at a press conference on Wednesday, Arnes and Cases said that moves by the club to change the rules around fans 'motions' meant they were not going ahead with their process as it had no chance of success.
Under Barca's present club statutes the support of five percent of Barca's approximately 110,000 members is required to call a full a referendum to decide whether Rosell and the current board should be officially 'censured'. However, at the club's AGM next Saturday a proposed change to its statutes to be proposed by the board is likely -- coincidentally or not -- to raise this requirement to 15 percent.
"They have changed the rules of the game,” Arnes and Cases said. “We do not want to get into a long legal process with the club. We are pulling back because achieving the 15 percent is impossible. There is no 'motion of censure'. We would have been able to achieve five percent, but 15 percent is impossible, it is a huge number. We feel tricked, as we were working off the idea of needing [just] five percent.”
The pair maintained that the reasoning behind their move had been sound, due to the behaviour of the club's current board.
"Lies and tricks are the common denominator," they said. “Brazil, the reform of the statutes, Qatar, the 'fans area' inside the ground. There has been constant deception.”
Go Barca's emergence has provoked memories of the 'elefant blau' group led by Joan Laporta, in which Rosell himself was involved, which censured then president Josep Lluis Nunez in 1997, and led to Nunez eventually leaving the club in 2000.
Arnes and Jordi Cases said they had been acting alone, and not as a front for potential presidential candidates such as Laporta, Agusti Benedito (beaten by Rosell in 2010 election) or Enric Masip (a former Barca handball player with aspirations for the post).
"We have nobody behind us,” they said. “Not Laporta, not Benedito not Masip.”
Last April, former Nike executive Rosell announced his attention to run for a second term, even though his current spell as president still has three years yet to run.