Barcelona Football Club president Josep Bartomeu is most likely to face a no confidence motion from members of the club. The situation arises after the members gathered the required number of signatures to force the vote.

The platform ‘Mes que una mocio (More than a motion)’, formed by a group of Barcelona club members, on Thursday confirmed they had collected 20,731 signatures, comfortably clearing the required 16,520 to trigger the vote, reports IANS.

The signatures will have to now be proved authentic by a panel made up of representatives of the club, the Catalan Football Federation and from the group who will conduct the no-confidence vote.

If 16,520 of the votes are valid, the rules of the club state a referendum over Bartomeu’s continuity has to be held within three months in which his opponents would need to win two thirds of the votes of the club’s 150,000 members in order to force him out.

Some have questioned the need of the motion (which was presented the same day that Lionel Messi said he wanted to abandon FC Barcelona) given that the club will hold elections for a new president in March 2021 in which Bartomeu will not be able to stand.

The development comes after Lionel Messi had expressed his desire to leave Barcelona due to his growing dispute with club officials, especially with President Bartomeu.

Even though the Argentine decided to stay for another year and end his contract, his revelations about the club have rung an alarm bell for the Barcelona bosses.

“I told the club, including the president, that I wanted to go. I’ve been telling him that all year. I believed it was time to step aside,” Messi told Goal.

“I believed that the club needed more young players, new players and I thought my time in Barcelona was over. I felt very sorry because I always said that I wanted to finish my career here.

“It did not come because of the Champions League result against Bayern, no – I had been thinking about the decision for a long time.

“I told the president and, well, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not keep his word.”

With IANS inputs