Josep Maria Bartomeu’s recent appearance on the club’s official in-house TV channel was a historic moment.
The president is in command of one of the biggest club in sporting history, and he’s managed to come through a hundred fires before their latest crisis, amplified by an 8-2 defeat in the Champions League quarter-finals that was televised to the whole world.
Bartomeu always knows that there’s a big figure available in a time of crisis.
His willing idol was Ronald Koeman, the Wembley hero, just as Johan Cruyff had been for the club in 1988.
Koeman arrives with memories in tact. The Dutchman is an idol, he offers protection after an unusual decision to put an “untouchable” sticker onto a group of players during that recent Barca TV talk.
Koeman’s arrival puts Lionel Messi in a tricky position now. Let’s see how a God doesn’t agree to help a fellow club idol.
Messi’s paths have become unclear.
If he continues at the club, has a great season and Barcelona win titles, he’s seen to agree with the president and to have had sporting and attitude problems.
If he stays and doesn’t perform it will be seen as him having a sporting and attitude problem that hasn’t been resolved.
And if he leaves, Bartomeu and his orchestra will see to it that the No.10 is painted as a traitor within hours.
Some signs indicate that Bartomeu even has a draft of his farewell to Messi ready.
Of course, it will be ten paragraphs long.