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18th Aug 2020

Eric Abidal sacked as Barcelona sporting director

Eric Abidal has been let go as sporting director at Barcelona following the sacking of manager Quique Setien but president Josep Bartomeu remains

Reuben Pinder

Operation Persuade Messi to Stay is well underway

Eric Abidal has been sacked as sporting director of Barcelona, as the club undergo big changes after their humiliating exit from the Champions League.

Abidal had only been in the job for two years, and has now had his contract terminated.

Big structural changes are expected at Barcelona this summer, and this will almost certainly not be the last high profile sacking of the summer.

It is notable that Abidal is the second casualty following the 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich, following reports that Lionel Messi wishes to leave the club this summer, bearing in mind the conflict between him and Abidal earlier this season.

The former teammates had a public disagreement over the team’s effort on the pitch and substandard performances, which resulted in Messi taking to Instagram to post:

“The players [are responsible] for what happens on the pitch and we are the first to admit when we haven’t been good. The heads of the sports department have to take their responsibilities too and above all own the decisions they make.”

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu may believe he can persuade Messi to stay by replacing Abidal as sporting director.

A mass exodus of players is likely, and Ronald Koeman is expected to be announced as the new first team coach at some point this week.

There is no sign of Bartomeu resigning before the presidential elections, which have been brought forward to March. And that might be the ultimate factor in Messi’s desire to leave the club.

There’s a lot of uncertainty at Barcelona at the moment, but one thing you can be sure of is that there will be more drama to come this summer.