Josep Bartomeu speaks out about Setién and Sarabia

Josep Bartomeu at the forum held at the Circulo Ecuestre / PEP MORATA
Josep Bartomeu at the forum held at the Circulo Ecuestre / PEP MORATA

Tuesday evening, at a forum held at the Circulo Ecuestre, Josep Bartomeu spoke about Barcelona’s situation, its transfer moves and Eder Sarabia’s actions.

After much speculation and talk in the press in recent weeks, Barcelona’s club president Josep Bartomeu has spoken out about the team’s situation and moves in the most recent transfer window.

Tuesday evening, at a forum held at the Circulo Ecuestre in Barcelona, Bartomeu made his thoughts clear about the club’s current situation, and the football being played by the players in blue-and-red.

“The football being played by the team can be improved upon, we’re in a process — in a phase of improvement,” the club’s president told Mundo Deportivo’s journalist Santi Nolla, per Spanish news outlet AS. The club president made it clear that his expectations and demands are high for a club of Barcelona’s caliber.

“I am not satisfied despite being first, but the progress has to come and it will come. We are expecting an improvement in the coming games,” he explained.

What seemed to be a turning point for many was when Barcelona announced the dismissal of Ernesto Valverde, prior to hiring Quique Setién. Barcelona have very rarely had a manager dismissed mid-season, hence the dismissal — and it’s timing above all — coming as a surprise to the Blaugrana faithful.

“Barcelona is a club of managers, not presidents. The managers carry weight, but we needed an impetus like [Quique] Setién. The team is motivated and ambitious. We aspire to win all of the titles,” Bartomeu explained, adding that the team’s players, although they voice their opinion, do not make the decisions.

The team’s players this season have not been many, due to injuries, transfers and loan deals, leaving the club with only 14 first team players at Quique Setién’s disposal. Bartomeu assured that ‘the decision [to let go of the players in question] was made by the technical secretary and the manager’.

The club president also made clear that he, despite the uproar regarding assistant manager Eder Sarabia’s actions and words during El Clásico, is ‘happy with him [Sarabia] and Setién, but he [Sarabia] has to be mindful of how he acts’.

Despite the usual transfer rules, Barcelona were allowed to sign a player, outside of the January transfer window, due to Ousmane Dembélé’s most recent injury keeping him sidelined for five months. The only condition that had to be met was that the player either already played in Spain or was unattached.

Barcelona ultimately chose the now former Leganés man, Martin Braithwaite, who only is eligible to play in La Liga, who has shown a lot of promise in his three first games for the Catalan side.