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FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell announces resignation

Updated: 2014-01-24 10:27
( Xinhua)

MADRID -- FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell announced on Thursday his resignation after an emergency meeting with Barcelona's Board of Directors.

The meeting was held at the Camp Nou, Barcelona's stadium, as a result of Rosell's implication in a corruption scandal related to the transfer of Brazilian striker Neymar.

The Spanish judge Pablo Ruz announced on Wednesday he will proceed to investigate irregularities in Neymar's contract, who signed for the club last summer.

Rosell reiterated at the press conference on Thursday that the contract was legal, adding that Neymar's transfer had caused "despair and envy of some of our adversaries."

Rosell said he did not want "unfair attacks negatively affect the image of the club" and so presented his irrevocable resignation. He also said his family had suffered threats and attacks, events that had had a decisive impact on his decision.

The vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu will take over as Barcelona president until 2016, he thanked Rosell for his work and supported him.

Rosell, who was president of the club since 2010, explained at the beginning of the press conference FC Barcelona's achievements since he won the elections with 61 percent of the members support.

Rosell told reporters that thanks to an efficient financial management Barcelona had managed to reduce its debt, recover assets and have the best players in the world.

The investigations into Neymar's contract began following a complaint made by a member of the club, Jordi Cases.

The official price Barca paid for Neymar was 57 million euros (78.06 million US dollars), but Spanish newspaper El Mundo published on Monday that the actual figure was higher, 95 million euros.

Santos received 17 million of the stated 57 million euro fee in what is a complicated contract. Meanwhile, 40 million euros were supposedly paid to third parties, although it seems that the amount was paid to the company N&N owned by Neymar and his father.

Rosell said on Monday he had nothing to hide and added he would like to testify.