Barca target Christmas elections after Bartomeu departure

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Josep Maria Bartomeu (L) stepped down from the Barcelona presidency last week
Josep Maria Bartomeu (L) stepped down from the Barcelona presidency last week

Barcelona are aiming to hold presidential elections in the festive season, the la Liga giants said Monday, as they try to rebuild following the resignation of previous chief Josep Maria Bartomeu.

In a press conference interim president Carles Tusquets said that the club was hoping for the vote to take place "towards the coming end-of-year celebrations".

Tusquets added that Barca intended to hold the elections within the next three months as per the club's statute.

Bartomeu stepped down last week along with his board of directors following mounting pressure from fans and his public falling out with Lionel Messi.

His six-year tenure saw a decline in on-pitch performances and his management of the club led to Messi, the club's greatest ever player, trying to leave the club for free in the close season. 

Tusquets also said that the club wanted to hold salary talks with the players, pointing out that the club's financial situation in the wake of Bartomeu's departure was "highly worrying".

He estimates that some 300 million euros ($349 million) needs to be found in order to balance a budget devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We want to continue to reduce spending in the short term and the most necessary measure is salary renegotiations. We hope to reach an agreement with the players and the non-playing staff," he said.

"We don't want to take money from anyone, we just want to pay what needs to be paid when it will be easier to pay it."

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