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Barcelona president Bartomeu resigns, all board members step down

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By Fola Raheem

Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned, amid criticism and a looming vote of no confidence.

The entire board members have also stepped down from their posts, goal.com reports.

Bartomeu’s decision came after several months of criticism in the wake of Barcelona’s 8-2 Champions League elimination by Bayern Munich, as well as Lionel Messi’s shock request to leave the club shortly after.

Although the club was able to keep hold on Messi, with the longtime Barca star staying to avoid having to take the club to court, Bartomeu’s position has been under scrutiny for months.

The president had been due to officially end his tenure next year, with elections called for March, but the club’s members called for a vote of no confidence in an effort to get Bartomeu out immediately.

A total of 20,687 votes were gathered for the motion against Bartomeu, passing the threshold of 16,250 signatures required for the vote to go ahead.

The Barca board repeatedly tried to postpone the vote but, on Monday, local authorities rejected the club’s push to delay the proceedings.

As a result, the vote was set to go ahead in the coming weeks, but will no longer be necessary as Bartomeu and the board have stepped down.

Bartomeu originally joined Barca during Joan Laporta’s presidency and ascended to that role himself in January 2014.

He replaced Sandro Rosell, becoming the 40th President of Barcelona as he signed on to complete the rest of Rosell’s tenure following his resignation.

During his time in charge, Barca won La Liga four times as well as the 2014-15 Champions League, but his time in charge will largely be defined by the club’s failings in his final seasons.

Having struggled to find value in the transfer market since Neymar’s departure to join Paris Saint-Germain, Barca finished the 2019-20 season trophyless.

Their 8-2 loss to Bayern only furthered unrest, with Messi’s request to leave proving the final straw for the president.

Messi told Goal in September that Bartomeu “did not keep his word”, with former Barca star Luis Suarez saying that he believes Messi will stay at Barca if a new board arrives.

Bartomeu said on Monday that he believed that Messi could lead Barca to titles this season, admitting that he could not let the Argentine leave for the good of the club.

And now, it is Bartomeu that is leaving, as he ends his time in charge of Barca after nearly seven years.

Barcelona are set to face Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions League.

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Newcastle United agree N3.4b deal for Victor Osimhen

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Victor Osimhen

Super Eagles and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, has reportedly agreed personal terms with English Premier League side, Newcastle United hoping to join them before the end of the summer transfer window, according to report on respected Italian media outlet, La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The deal is reportedly worth twice the amount (4.5m euro) he’s presently earning at Napoli that amounts to N3.4 billion in Nigerian currency.

Further cementing his spot as the highest earning Nigerian player in Europe.

Newcastle United is however yet to agree a deal with Napoli over his transfer fee with the Serie A side holding out for a transfer fee in the region of around 100 million before they can sanction any deal.

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It was gathered that the idea of asking for a 100 million is due largely to the fact that 30% of whatever is gotten from the sale of the forward will go to his former club, Lille as agreed in the deal that’s aw him join Roma two seasons ago.

Similarly, Manchester United is willing to pay Osimhen ₦75million in wages per week if he agrees to join them this summer.

Osimhen has been the subject of numerous transfer talks. Top Premier League sides Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle United, and Manchester United have all been linked with a move for the Napoli talisman.

According to teamtalk, Ten Hag wants to bring Osimhen to Manchester. Manchester United faces a challenging task luring the Nigeria international, but the club is looking to entice Osimhen by doubling his current earnings.

Teamtalk reports that Osimhen would earn £146,000(₦75million) per week if he joins the former Premier League champions.

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Just in: Jose Peseiro confirmed Super Eagles head coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed Jose Peseiro as the new head coach of the Super Eagles.

He replaces Austin Eguavoen who was drafted from the technical team to step before the last Africa nations cup after Gernot Roh was sacked.

Paseiro’s appointment is coming months after an initial deal fell through.

His appointment was confirmed in a statement released by the federation on Sunday.

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Todd Boehly is new owner of Chelsea FC

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Chelsea football club has agreed to a £4.25bn ($5.2bn) sale term of the club to a consortium led by Todd Boehly, co-owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team.

The club was put up for sale before owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned for his alleged links to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

A Chelsea statement said the new owners will pay £2.5bn for the club’s shares. The proceeds will go into a frozen bank account to be donated to charity.

It was in 2019 when Boehly tried to buy the club off Roman Abramovich but a £2.2bn bid was rejected. This approach came shortly after Abramovich decided to withdraw his application for a UK visa and also amid halted progress on Stamford Bridge’s redevelopment.

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The new consortium is led by Boehly but Clearlake Capital, a Californian private equity firm, will own a majority of the shares in Chelsea.

Other investors include US billionaire Mark Walter, also a co-owner of the LA Dodgers, and Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss.

BBC Sport reports the new owners have agreed to not sell a majority stake in the club until 2032 and have given assurances over dividends and debt.

The consortium said it will provide £1.75bn to invest in the Premier League club, including “investments in Stamford Bridge, the academy, the women’s team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation”.

In the statement, Chelsea said the sale was expected to complete in late May. The takeover will require approval from the English football authorities and the UK government.

Chelsea are operating under a special licence from the UK government which ends on 31 May, but last month, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the club were on “borrowed time” to complete the sale.

Any sale can only be signed off by the bidder passing the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.

Todd Boehly was pictured with Chelsea fans outside Stamford Bridge on Friday. Also in the photo is former Chancellor George Osborne, whose firm has signed onto the Boehly bid in an advisory capacity.

Boehly, an American investor and businessman, has a reported net worth of $4.5bn (£3.6bn), according to Forbes.

He is a part owner of the Dodgers – a US baseball franchise – and US women’s basketball outfit the Los Angeles Sparks, and owns a stake in the renowned LA Lakers NBA franchise.

His consortium also includes American PR executive Barbara Charone, British businessman Jonathan Goldstein and British journalist Daniel Finkelstein.

Other consortiums who had been in the running to buy Chelsea have been headed by Sir Martin Broughton and the co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Stephen Pagliuca, but they were told in late April that their bids were unsuccessful.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe – majority shareholder of chemical group Ineos – made a late offer, but it arrived on 29 April, several weeks beyond the initial deadline for bids of 18 March.

Ratcliffe’s bid was dismissed but he said on 4 May that he was “not giving up”.

On Thursday, Abramovich said he has not asked for his £1.5bn loan to Chelsea to be repaid when the club is sold.

A spokesperson said Abramovich “remains committed” to making sure the proceeds from the sale “go to good causes”.

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