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Barcelona Board Responds to Calls for Josep Maria Bartomeu to Resign

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#BartomeuDimiteYa campaign is “artificial”, they say

FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu Arrives At Madrid High Court Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

FC Barcelona’s spokesperson has attacked the viral campaign asking for club president to resign, calling the #BartomeuDimiteYa (“Josep Maria Bartomeu Resign Now”) campaign “artificial.”

The spokesperson, Josep Vives, claimed that the majority of the messages on Twitter, which caused the hashtag to be the #1 trending topic in the world, originated from outside Europe.

"Most of the messages were sent during the early morning hours local time," he said.

Analytics showed the hashtag was popular in Europe and outside of Europe. Most of the tweets were written in either English or Spanish. The most retweeted tweets using that hashtag were in Spanish.

Vives decried the campaign, saying it had "personally affected the club president and also his family, who have suffered pressure and threats."

However, Vives has accepted some of the criticism: "The club is sensitive to the the dreams, wishes, and opinion of the socis. We will continue to work hard to achieve all our ambitious goals.”

Foreign fans expressed outrage on Twitter, saying they felt their opinions were being dismissed.