Antoine Griezmann's announcement, that he's staying at Atletico Madrid and turning down Barcelona's offer, provoked a genuine earthquake at the Catalan club. Not because they missed the opportunity to sign a great player, but because of the way things played out at the end.
As Movistar+ broadcast 'The Decision', calls and messages were being exchanged between Barca's directors, expressing disbelief and outrage. The testimonials from Griezmann and those close to him, almost narrating the day to day of negotiations with Barça and Atletico, revealed the club's movements in recent months.
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The final straw, though, was that many of the Barça hierarchy only found out the player's decision through the documentary, like everyone else. Well, maybe not everyone else. Because Gerard Pique, one of the club's best players, was in Sochi reminding us that he was linked to the production company behind 'The Decision'. His brother Marc appeared on the credits as 'Kosmos Senior Producer'.
Otra manera de ver la vida del futbolista y sus dudas para tomar la decisión más importante de su carrera. Gracias al equipo de @Kosmos_Studios y en especial a @AntoGriezmann por estas últimas semanas. Decidiste quedarte en el @Atleti y espero que te vaya genial esta temporada!— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) 14 de junio de 2018
The feeling among the Barça directors was of indignation and ridicule. And no longer because they'd missed out on a signing. Griezmann was seen as a "good opportunity." A great forward available for a 'reasonable' price: 100 million euros. And not because he rejected the offer, either. He played his cards in the market, earning a huge new contract from his club. There's nothing new there.
Another thing is the feeling that there was a lack of information being shared. As was the case when Neymar left, less than a year ago, Barça are left with the idea, once again, that everyone knew Griezmann's decision but them.
In Neymar's case, the Brazilian told teammates at Lionel Messi's wedding he would go to Paris Saint-Germain. That's to say, the dressing room knew everything and the boardroom knew nothing. Pique, author of the infamous se queda tweet, is among the players to have confirmed that story.
Now, in the Griezmann issue, Bartomeu had parked an announcement on the signing until July 1, when the forward's release clause drops to 100 million euros.
The discussions and indignation grew at Barça as the hours passed on Thursday: they didn't like Pique's attitude in a matter which damaged Barça's interests (he tweeted to follow the documentary, using a popcorn emoji). They also didn't like that Samuel Umtiti also joined the part, tweeting about it, too.
🤣🤣🤣 me faltan las palomitas 🍿 https://t.co/5nLCaZjuJp— Samuel Umtiti (@samumtiti) 14 de junio de 2018
We will see if the consequences of the earthquake lead to anything concrete, but the disgust at certain people involved in the farce that was 'The Decision' is big. At the end of the day, after the ridicule which Bartomeu, Pep Segura and others at the club will be subject to, it's the image of FC Barcelona which suffers.