Andoni Zubizarreta is no longer the Director of football at Barcelona after it was revealed that the club has decided to terminate his contract.
“The FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has decided to terminate as of today the contract of the Club’s Director of Football, Andoni Zubizarreta,”the club said in a statement.
“The President, in the name of the Club, thanks Andoni Zubizarreta for his contribution, dedication and professionalism over the last four years in his role at the head of the Club’s football area.”
Zubizarreta was appointed as the Director of football during the previous regime, when the then incumbent Txiki Begiristain moved to Manchester City. His reign will probably more talked about with regard to the transfer ban the club received regarding registration of foreign youth. It was found that Barcelona were in breach of flaunting FIFA rules that were in place for the protection of minors and their transfers. The case went up to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but even the CAS upheld the two transfer window ban for the club.
While the case was going on, Barcelona tried recruiting with the future in mind, and brought in Luis Suarez and Thomas Vermaelen, but the latter has not even played a single game for the club so far, with him out for the entire season with an injury. They also sold Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal, where he is performing at with such intensity that people have begun to question why he was sold in the first place.
It seems all these have gone against Zubizaretta and has hastened his departure from the club. It is not yet known who will be replacing Zubizarreta for the role, but it will definitely not be his assistant and former captain Carles Puyol, who has also submitted his resignation.
Puyol’s statement read: “These three and a half months have given me a chance to see the other side of the club. I have learned a lot, I am very grateful and now I would like to try other things from other vantage points and places. I would like to grow on both the personal and professional levels so that in the future I can return to this home and give back all the was given to me during all these unforgettable years.
“I am enormously grateful to all the employees, the management, the president and the leadership for trusting me and helping me during this transition that has not been easy. And to the fans, with whom I felt very close as a player and even closer to since my retirement, I am also grateful. I would like to have said goodbye in action but life doesn’t always go as planned. I have been very fortunate to feel so loved and that’s why I am only saying THANK YOU. Please know that you will always be in my heart.”
It is unknown as to why Puyol also submitted his resignation, but the club would be looking to make a permanent hire for the position as soon as possible.