In a move that shouldn't come as a complete surprise, Barcelona terminated the contract of director of football Andoni Zubizarreta on Monday in the wake of a series of comments that brought his position within the club into question.
The Catalans released a statement thanking the former goalkeeper for his services:
The FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has decided to terminate as of today the contract of the Club’s Director of Football, Andoni Zubizarreta.
The President, in the name of the Club, thanks Andoni Zubizarreta for his contribution, dedication and professionalism over the last four years in his role at the head of the Club’s football area.
FC Barcelona goalkeeper between 1986 and 1994, the man from Vitoria in the Basque Country returned to the Club in July 2010 to take up the role of Director of Football.
Barcastuff passed along a timeline for the naming of Zubizarreta's replacement:
SPORT also shared information on Zubizaretta's potential replacement:
The outspoken Zubizarreta often made headlines with his comments on the inner workings of the club and did so again after the Court of Arbitration for Sports decided to uphold Barcelona's transfer embargo last week.
As shared by Football Espana, he shifted the blame to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, a move that likely didn't sit well with the Blaugrana boss:
Combined with a series of disappointing performances from the senior squad and Sunday's 1-0 loss against Real Sociedad, Zubizarreta's days appeared numbered. As reported by Spanish football insider Rafael Hernandez, he was one of the men targeted by supporters during Monday's open training session:
ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan also wasn't completely surprised with the news of his sacking, believing his latest comments may have sealed the deal:
AS' Nicholas Rigg was of the same opinion, also highlighting his lack of success in the transfer market:
Zubizarreta was a beloved player for the Catalans in the late '80s and early '90s but never recaptured that magic as a member of the club board, and he quickly became a less-than-popular figure among the fans for his decisions in the transfer market.
With Carles Puyol also resigning from his position as assistant director of football, per Sport English, fans have to wonder how many more big changes they'll witness in the coming days.