The former Blaugrana supremo announced on Thursday that he was stepping down for family reasons and his decision was swayed by the shocking incidentBy Ben Hayward in Barcelona
Sandro Rosell had been considering his future as president of Barcelona ever since an unsavoury episode in December, when his family home in the Catalan capital was attacked by gunshots.
The incident occurred over the Christmas holidays, when Rosell, his wife and their two daughters were away, meaning nobody was hurt in the attack.
The 49-year-old called in the Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra, who confirmed that the marks left on the property had come from a gun attack.
Rosell's wife Marta Pineda and his parents have been trying to convince the businessman to step down from his post as Barca president ever since the incident and the Catalan finally decided to quit his post on Thursday, telling his fellow board members at the club's EGM: "My family will be very happy with this decision."
Rosell, who is also in the spotlight for alleged misappropriation of funds in the transfer of Neymar to Barca from Santos last summer, cited his family as one reason for his departure in a brief media appearance on Thursday.
|For some time now, my family and I have suffered in silence through threats and attacks."
- Sandro Rosell on Thursday
"For some time now, my family and I have suffered in silence through threats and attacks that have made me wonder if I was putting my family at risk and causing them anguish by continuing to be president of Barcelona," he told the press in a short statement.
Rosell, who never enjoyed speaking to the media anyway, was growing increasingly frustrated by awkward questions from the press concerning the Neymar deal and was angry after Monday's announcement over a new Camp Nou turned into an interrogation from reporters regarding the Brazilian's controversial transfer to the Catalan club.
Tired of defending the club from those allegations (especially from the Madrid media) and confident he will be cleared of the charges in time, Rosell is keen to devote more time to his many business interests (the position of Barca president is an unpaid, honorary role), while he was also genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of his family, in particular his two teenage daughters.
Ultimately, it was a combination of those factors that saw Rosell decide to abandon his post on Thursday.
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