Sandro Rosell resigns as Barcelona president

The 49-year-old has stepped down amid an investigation by a Spanish high court into the alleged misappropriation of funds from the transfer of Neymar from Santos last summer.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has tendered his resignation and hit out at "attacks" against him and his family following the opening of an investigation into Neymar's transfer to Camp Nou.

Rosell, who took charge at Camp Nou in 2010, has been replaced by vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Rosell and Barca are currently under the scrutiny of the Spanish High Court over an alleged misappropriation of funds following the transfer of Neymar from Santos last summer.

The Liga champions bought the Brazil star for a fee of 57.1 million euros in May, but only 17.1 million euros of that went to Santos, with third-party owners originally believed to have claimed the rest. However, supermarket chain DIS say they never received their share and the Catalans have since acknowledged paying the 40 million euros to N&N, the company co-owned by Neymar and his father.

Blaugrana vice presidents Bartomeu and Javier Faus met with Rosell at his home Thursday morning and joined the Barca president at a meeting this evening, along with deputy president Joanjo Castillo, general director Antoni Rossich and communications director Albert Montagut.

Rosell said: "Me and my family for some time have suffered attacks that make me wonder if it's worth being president. In recent days there have been unfair criticisms against me, coming from the national courts. I insist that everything that happened in the transfer of Neymar was correct.

"The club has always got to have an image that defends the club, there is confidentiality we have to expect, it's important. If we don't accept confidentiality, it is damaging to the club. We don't want unfair publicity to affect the image of the club."

Rosell then reflected on his time at the club and said he was proud of the achievements of Barca during his reign.

"We've won the Champions League, two league titles. The other sports teams have also won a number of different trophies at home and abroad to show our power as a worldwide entity, if you think back to Ronaldinho's goal in Paris, [Lionel] Messi's goals, what happened in Rome, in London.

"We've reduced the debt and regained assets. We have the pride of knowing some of the best players in the world play for Barca."