Barca president quits amid Neymar transfer probe
By Tim Hanlon
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona president Sandro Rosell resigned on Thursday in the aftermath of a Spanish court's decision to investigate last year's signing of Brazil forward Neymar.
"The success the club has had has also come along with difficult moments for myself and my family," Rosell told a news conference after a board meeting held by the Spanish champions.
"There have been threats and accusations which make you consider your position including the claim of misappropriation of funds and the court case. I've always stated that we acted correctly with the Neymar transfer."
Rosell told reporters on Thursday that senior vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu would replace him as Barca chief until his presidency was due to end in two years' time.
Judge Pablo Ruz on Wednesday ordered the start of a hearing to investigate Barcelona for alleged misappropriation of funds over the signing of Brazil's 2014 World Cup hope Neymar, saying Rosell could be called in person to give evidence.
"This board is a team and this group has led a project that has had a lot of success," Rosell told Thursday's news conference. "I don't want attacks to affect the club and for that reason I have resigned permanently as president of FC Barcelona.
"Josep Maria Bartomeu will take over the presidency with immediate effect until the end of the mandate in 2016."
MAJOR COUP Continued...