July 19, 2024 | 2:21

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The Barça circus benefits Athletic

Nico Williams presents his best season at Athletic

Jesus Carames

May 17, 2024 | 6:40 p.m.

Nico Williams will not move to a club in free fall and without a penny

Xavi Hernández, Barça coach, is once again on the line just three weeks after being ratified by president Joan Laporta.

Just three weeks after receiving support from Joan Laporta during an emotional sushi dinner, Xavi Hernández is once again on the brink of dismissal as coach of FC Barcelona. According to various sources, the trigger for this situation was Xavi's realistic statements before the League match against Almería, in which he expressed the club's difficult economic situation and admitted errors in sports planning.

«Now it is not like 25 years ago, when the coach asked for this player and that other. […] Now we cannot compete,” said Xavi, admitting that the planning had not been correct and that “it was not the intention” to sign Vitor Roque in the winter market.

These words have been considered a betrayal by Laporta and his team, who believe that they do not align with the commitment that Xavi showed during the sports commission dinner at the president's house. On that occasion, Laporta, Yuste, Masip and other managers understood that Xavi was committed to taking advantage of the current squad for the next season, convincing them to keep him in office.

Xavi's statements provoked an immediate reaction among some managers, who were already opposed to his continuity. These managers pressured Laporta to reconsider Xavi's position as first team coach.

The day after the statements, Laporta and the sporting director, Deco, canceled their trip with the squad to Almería, which generated speculation about his health and increased the internal crisis. All of this occurs while the club is under investigation by the Treasury for the presidential endorsement, with payments disguised as loans, which has generated even more institutional tensions in a club without a general director since the departure of Ferran Reverter at the beginning of 2022.

Xavi and his brother Óscar have met for hours with Alejandro Echevarría, Laporta's advisor, but there has been no direct meeting between Laporta and Xavi.

With second place in the League practically assured with two days left, Barça returns from Almería in full storm to prepare for Sunday's match in Montjuïc against Rayo Vallecano, the last at home this season. So far, none of those involved in the decision to replace the bench have been formally notified. When this happens, the club will have to start a negotiation to liquidate the contract of Xavi and his technical team, which they have signed until June 2025.

Xavi has secured around 8 million gross for next season, while his staff shares around 4 million. In total, if Laporta decides to fire them unilaterally, the club will have to pay 12 million.

The alternatives to Xavi include Rafa Márquez, coach of Barça Atlètic, and Hansi Flick, who currently does not have a team and would be flexible to sign as Blaugrana coach in a context of financial difficulties.

The current situation highlights the internal tensions in the club and the need to find a quick and effective solution to guarantee the sporting and institutional stability of FC Barcelona.

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