How Will Sandro Rosell's Departure Influence Barcelona?

Paul Wilkes@@paulwilkesfootyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2014

FC Barcelona's President Sandro Rosell, is seen during a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Jan 23, 2014. Sandro Rosell is stepping down as president of Barcelona a day after a judge agreed to hear a lawsuit accusing him of allegedly hiding the cost of the transfer of Brazil striker Neymar.Rosell says he is resigning after an emergency meeting with Barcelona's board of directors on Thursday. Rosell says vice president Josep Bartomeu will take his place as president and finish the term that expires in 2016. Elected in 2010 to replace outgoing president Joan Laporta, Rosell said last April he planned to run for re-election in 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

When a star player or a manager leaves a club, the reaction from some football supporters can seem quite extreme.

As these two factors directly influence the ongoings on the pitch, it's natural to presume that there will be a change for better or worse.

What is sometimes lost is the importance of senior board members—presidents, chairmen, executive directors, chief executives, managing directors and whatever other titles are invented.

The reason for this is that a large part of the fanbase will have little to no knowledge of what these people do.

We can see the players on the pitch. We can see the managers selecting the teams and making substitutions, but the large majority of the tasks performed by the jobs listed above are done away from the public eye.

They are negotiating new contracts, trying to arrange business deals and signing new players. As the face of the club, a manager will no doubt have received criticism or experienced praise for something that was done by one of these people.

Everyone plays a part in a football club, although some positions are more influential than others.

In Spain, the significance of a president historically is more important to the paying clientele than that of a chairman in England, though times are changing.

The tenure of a president can often be referred to as much as one of a head coach.

So with Sandro Rosell resigning as president of Barcelona on Thursday, it's fair to ask: What consequence will this have on the team's immediate and long-term future?

When Rosell first arrived at the club, he did so as vice-president to Joan Laporta as Ronaldinho became the first major signing.

The bitter split between him and Laporta saw Rosell blame the former president for the club's financial situation, accusing him of corruption.

Hopefully, this means an end to club officials becoming embroiled in public spats. The new president Josep Maria Bartomeu may harbour some animosity towards Laporta, but he is unlikely to show it.

The decision not to renew Eric Abidal's contract distanced Rosell from the players—it was telling that none of them tweeted a reaction to his exit.

Lowering the club's debt was his priority. The sponsorship deals may have been unpopular, but they aren't expected to be removed.

The detail of the Neymar deal was the catalyst for Rosell's departure as he faces legal action for not informing the club's members of where the transfer money had gone.

"For some time my family and I have suffered threats and attacks in silence. These threats and attacks have made me wonder if being president means having to jeopardise my family," said Rosell at his farewell press conference, via Football Espana.

The transparency shown a day later by Bartomeu indicates a new dawn; there he revealed the full breakdown of the Neymar purchase.

Whilst Rosell had used confidentiality as a reason to stay silent, Bartomeu explained that a phone call from Neymar's father had allowed him to be so open, via AS.

Bartomeu appears a little more media savvy than his predecessor and aware that his comments reflect that of the entire club.

"I want to encourage them to continue supporting the project that has brought us so much success and will bring us more success in the future," remarked Bartomeu, per ESPN.

Only time will tell what decisions Bartomeu makes that affect the team, but in difficult circumstances, he has started well.

Rosell may have seen Barcelona progress through its most successful period as both the No. 2 and as president, but few are sad to see him leave.