BARCELONA have sacked sporting director Eric Abidal to continue their major shake-up.
In the aftermath of the LaLiga giants’ 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Abidal becomes the second major casualty of the Barcelona hierarchy.
On Tuesday, the Catalans confirmed their former left-back’s exit after two years in the role.
He follows coach Quique Setien in leaving the club at the end of a first trophy-less campaign in 12 years.
A statement read: “FC Barcelona and Eric Abidal have reached an agreement for the ending of the contract that united the two parties.
“The Club would publicly like to thank Eric Abidal for his professionalism, commitment, dedication and the close and positive nature of his relationship with all aspects of the blaugrana family.”
Abidal was a surprise appointment to oversee Barcelona’s transfers in 2018.
The defender was a popular player in his first six years at the club, where he won eight major trophies while battling liver problems that eventually required a transplant.
His first summer in charge saw little star power arrive but Clement Lenglet, Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo were competent first-team players alongside the flop that was Malcom.
Antoine Griezmann was the marquee signing of last summer and his £108million move has so far failed to set the world alight.
Meanwhile, the decision to sack Ernesto Valverde and replace the two-time LaLiga winner with Setien has backfired considerably.
After Abidal suggested the players “weren’t satisfied or working hard” under their former coach, the Frenchman was on the end of a barb from Lionel Messi.
The Argentine stated: “The heads of the sports department have to take their responsibilities too and above all own the decisions they make.
“Finally I think that when you talk about players, you have to give names because if not, it makes everyone dirty and gives air to things that are said which are not true.”
Mundo Deportivo report that Abidal’s assistant, Ramon Planes, has been handed the reigns on an initial temporary basis.
The club’s woes in the transfer market certainly last much longer than just Abidal with £940million splashed in the last five seasons.
And the cracks around the Camp Nou have opened up after the shock Champions League hammering at the hands of Bayern.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said after the defeat: “There are some decisions that we had already made, and others that we will make over the next few days.
“Announcements will be made from next week, we need to make decisions after things have calmed down.
“Today is a day for reflection. Tomorrow we will try to raise our fans’ spirits following such a heavy defeat.”
Presidential elections are planned for next spring although Bartomeu, having served two terms, cannot stand again.