FC Barcelona announced on Friday May 24 the departure of its coach, Xavi Hernandez, after a season in which the Catalan club finished in second place in the Spanish championship, without a trophy. “FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta told Xavi Hernandez that he would no longer be the coach for the 2024-25 season,” the club said in a statement, specifying that Xavi would be on the bench for the final match Liga, this May 26, against Sevilla FC.

Arriving in November 2021 from Al-Saad in Qatar, Xavi had already announced his effective departure at the end of the season, at the end of January, after a defeat against Villarreal (3-5), before reversing his decision at the end of April, after a series of good results and despite the club’s elimination in the quarter-finals of the Champions League (against PSG).

The fiery technician’s relations with his management have further deteriorated with his recent statements on the financial difficulties of the club, little appreciated by his management. According to the Catalan press, Hansi Flick, former coach of Bayern Munich and Germany, is one of the favorites to succeed Xavi Hernandez.

Court cancels club’s indictment for “corruption”

Another important news for the Catalan club fell this Friday. Barcelona’s top court has dropped charges against Barça in the referee corruption scandal, known as the “Negreira affair”, and halted the investigation into club president Joan Laporta. Former presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell are still under investigation.

At the origin of this investigation: payments totaling more than 7.3 million euros, between 1994 and 2018, from Barça in favor of the number 2 in Spanish arbitration. Prosecutors suspected the club of having paid the company Dasnil 95, then owned by José Maria Enriquez Negreira, former vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) in Spain, between 2001 and 2018, with the aim of influencing arbitral decisions. The Barcelona court ruled that Negreira did not have the status of official arbitrator when he was vice-president of the CTA, thus invalidating the corruption qualification.

The investigation began in March 2023 after the Spanish tax authorities identified irregularities in the tax payments made between 2016 and 2018 by this company. FC Barcelona had declared that it provided it with advice and reports on arbitration. The club’s innocence remains to be proven.