The alarm bells are ringing. The criticism aimed at Josep Maria Bartomeu is growing louder and becoming more ferocious by the week. Barça fans are once again asking him to step down. The team tried but couldn't get the job done against Athletic. Everything that is happening at Barça is as a result of the poor management and planning in the sporting department.
They've lost control, made a lot of mistakes and are incapable of getting the sporting department back on track after a series of costly errors. The president can have no arguments about his situation.
If the team doesn't win a trophy this season, the elections in the summer won't come soon enough. It feels like Barça are quickly approaching the end of its cycle. There have been so many mistakes that there's no other option than a major overhaul and kickstarting a new project.
It's sad to admit but Messi is having to deal with a team full of players on multimillion euros contracts. If it wasn't for the Argentine star, the Camp Nou would have exploded a long time ago. Leo has become tired of the incompetence. He doesn't want to leave at the end of the season but the disgraceful comments from Abidal don't help matters.
A horrible last month
It's been a month to forget at Barça. A rollercoaster rider of disappointment, lies and fake news. On the 10th January the team lost to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final in Saudi Arabia. Ernesto Valverde's time at the club ended there and then but Barça didn't have a replacement lined up. They tried to bring Xavi home, asked Koeman to take charge and even spoke with Pochettino, who didn't give an answer.
And then came Setien. A man who was happy to leave the cows to coach at the Camp Nou. They searched for a striker to cover the absence of Luis Suarez but the sporting department failed to bring anyone in. A day after saying they wouldn't sign anyone, they agreed a deal for Trincao and paid Jorge Mendes €7m for his role in the transfer.
To explain the ongoing situation, they decided to let Abidal talk. Another mistake. His comments were seen as an attack on the team and Messi, who usually remains quiet, was forced to hit back at the director of football. A horrible month which saw the club hit rock bottom.
A race to the abyss
This horrible sequence of events concluded on Thursday when Barça, who put in their best performance of the season under Setien, were eliminated by Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey quarter finals. It wasn't enough as Athletic only needed one chance on goal to win. Messi felt frustrated and down after a fine individual performance. This defeat was on poor planning from the sporting department.
The criticism isn't aimed at the team, or even the coach, but solely at Bartomeu. His time in power isn't helped by the poor advice his receives and surrounding himself with people who aren't good enough. The bad guy in all of this is no longer Valverde but the president who backed himself into a corner with nowhere to go.