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As censure motion appears to be successful, Bartomeu should resign rather than face the ignominy of a recall

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He is expected to be censured and face a recall vote

FC Barcelona Introduce New Player Pedro Gonzalez Lopez - ‘Pedri’ Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

A motion to formally censure Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has smashed past the required signature amount, making it highly likely Bartomeu will face a vote that could force him to step down.

Més que una Moció, the group collecting the signatures, says it submitted 20,731 signatures, much more than the 16,521 needed for the motion to go forth.

It is normal for some signatures to be thrown out upon review, due to irregularities. The last time a motion to censure a president went through, the error rate was 3%. To be sure the motion would be successful, Més que una Moció aimed to have enough so even a 10% error rate would not torpedo the effort. With 20,731, even a 20% error rate would not be enough to stop it.

Next would come a vote in which members can decide Bartomeu’s fate. If two-thirds of voters agree, he would be forced to step down as club president.

After a series of bad steps in recent years, punctuated with a trophy-less season that ended in humiliation in Europe, and even the public rebuke of the club’s best-ever player, Lionel Messi... when is enough enough?

Bartomeu may survive the vote. Two-thirds is a large threshold that can be hard to pass. But at some point, Bartomeu should have some shame. Even during a pandemic, and with no games in which to collect signatures, there was a historic movement against him. The best player in the club’s history, by far, stated it publicly. The time to resign was years ago, but that has passed. Now, the sooner he resigns, the better.