It's been a long time since Gerard Pique's role at Barcelona was limited to what he does on the pitch. He often comes out as the club's unofficial spokesman and this season he's raised his voice as a member of the first-team squad. And he's done so with comments that reveal the rift between the dressing room and the board.
"We have to be together, the fans and the board," he said after the win at Getafe. "When someone doesn't want to get angry, there are no fights. We know the club, we know the newspapers linked to the club, we know who writes the articles, even if someone else signs them."
The message eluded to information which had appeared last week regarding the player power at the club. And Pique made the dressing room's unease at that idea public.
It's not the first time he's gone against the board. He's not done so in such a public way before, though. However, even recently he complained that the need for two preseason tours had not helped the team's fitness in the early weeks of the season.
The first criticism
"Sometimes it happens," he said of Barça bad start to the season last week. "Preseason didn't help. There was lots of traveling and not much training, but we're Barcelona and there are no excuses. However many players we have missing, we have to win."
The tension is not new and has slowly been bubbling to the surface. Lionel Messi, usually conservative, made some comments to SPORT in his recent interview which could also be interpreted as a criticism of the board.
Messi appeared skeptic about how hard they'd tried to sign Neymar. "I don't know, honestly, if the club did everything possible," he told SPORT. "I didn't have much information on how the negotiations went. I know they spoke with Ney and he wanted to come. I don't know if they really wanted him or not."
Messi's words highlight a signing policy which has been followed by the players with skepticism. Above all because they were not able to sign Neymar and they have never replaced him.
They tried with Dembele and Coutinho at first. And now with Griezmann. "With Neymar, we would have had more chance of getting the results we all wanted," Messi added.
Frustrated by recent failing in Europe, Messi continued: "Barcelona is my home, I don't want to leave but I want a winning project."