Rosell departure sends shockwaves through Spanish press

Madrid, Jan 24: The decision taken by Sandro Rosell to resign as president of FC Barcelona over allegations of corruption linked to the transfer of Brazilian striker, Neymar to the club has had widespread repercussions in the Spanish press and been reflected in both the sporting and daily papers.

The Catalan press have been more factual in their coverage of the story with ‘El Mundo Deportivo’ echoing words spoken by Rosell in the press conference confirming his departure, in which he implied other factors had motivated the accusations, reports Xinhua.

“Neymar has provoked envy and desperation among our rivals,” reflects the paper, which has always been close to Rosell. Meanwhile El Mundo Deportivo adds that, “Real Madrid are rubbing their hands in glee,” with pro-Madrid experts “spending the day producing apocalyptic predictions for Barca’s future.”

Diario Sport, another pro-Barca paper, which was closer to Barca’s former president, Joan Laporta, takes a slightly more guarded role, with the simple headline “Rosell Abandons,” saying “Neymargate” provoked his resignation.

The attitude is different in Madrid with the pro-Real Madrid and anti-Barca ‘Marca’ headlining “Rosell runs away, but the scandal remains.”

Marca says that new Barca president, Josep Maria Bartomeu is included in the original charges of paying false commissions on the Neymar deal, which forced Rosell out of the club.

Diario AS is also pro-Madrid, but less partisan than Marca, although their headline highlights the fact that although Rosell gave a press-conference lasting an hour and a half: “Rosell resigns without saying why.”

Editor Alfedo Relano highlights the questions Rosell has to respond to, which are: “How much did Neymar cost? How much money did the player and his father earn from the deal? How much money remains in ‘dark areas’ where some hands can still take advantage of it.”

It is also interesting to note that the action which caused Rosell’s downfall was started by questions of a single Barca fan, rather than the mechanisms of the Spanish Football League, which should be the institution trying to protect the transparency and honesty of the Spanish game.

That line is also taken in the daily ‘El Mundo,’ whose investigations played an important role is bringing around Rosell’s resignation. The right wing newspaper agrees Rosell’s departure explains nothing and also adds that new president, Bartomeu could be under investigation.

La Razon explains that “the Neymar scandal ends the Rosell,” while the centre-left ‘El Pais’ contains an editorial by their Barcelona correspondent Lu Martin, entitled “Welcome to the real world”.

“The president with the biggest mandate in the club’s history, controlled the Catalan oligarchy and thought he controlled the media, but he ended up losing to the street,” writes a man who is a lifelong Barca fan.

“But for one pertinent point, we need to go back to Diario AS editor Alfredo Relano, who has one grudging acknowledgement for Rosell.

“In a country filled with corruption scandals, the now ex-Barca president did what no Spanish political accused of corruption has so far done… He resigned.”

IANS