Millennium Post

Enrique under threat as Barca crisis spirals

Enrique under threat as Barca crisis spirals
Yet, worse could still be to come with rumours of dressing room discontent between coach Luis Enrique and star players like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique bringing Enrique’s position under serious threat should they fail to comfortably see off Elche in the Copa del Rey in midweek and beat La Liga champions Atletico Madrid at home on Sunday.

Zubizarreta’s sacking as the club’s sporting director by president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Monday came as little surprise. Bartomeu is fighting a losing battle to see out his mandate until 2016 and needed a scapegoat for the one year transfer ban imposed on the club by FIFA for irregularities in the signing of minors, which rules out any further reinforcements to the playing squad until next January.

Anticipating the ban, Zubizarreta was in charge of Barca’s near 160 million euros splurge on seven new players over the summer which has so far proved largely unsuccessful. The most expensive signing in the club’s history, Luis Suarez, has scored just one league goal, whilst 18 million euro defender Thomas Vermaelen is yet to make his debut. However, there was widespread shock when former captain Puyol decided to follow Zubizarreta by resigning. The 36-year-old intimated his departure from the Camp Nou may be fleeting, stating that he hoped “to grow both personally and professionally so that, in the future, I can return home.”

Yet, it was another major body blow for a beleaguered board to lose an icon with a lot more recent credit with the fans, having won three Champions League and six La Liga titles in the past decade.
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