The Spanish press have hailed the impending arrival of Ronald Koeman as the new Barcelona manager but took aim at president Josep Maria Bartomeu as the fall out from their dismal defeat by Bayern Munich continues.
Tuesday’s front pages in Spain were littered with pictures of Koeman as he prepares to replace Quique Setien, who was sacked on Monday after the 8-2 defeat by the Germans in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Bartomeu called for an emergency board meeting on Monday in the wake of the humiliating defeat and axed the club’s manager, as well as promising a ‘restructure of the first team’.
Marca’s front page boasts the headline ‘Koeman arrives, the crisis continues’ as they offer a bleak assessment of the challenges facing the Dutchman.
It bears a picture of Koeman back from his playing days at the Nou Camp as they get set to appoint one of the greatest players in the club’s history.
The former Everton manager is reportedly set to tear up his contract with the Dutch national team to begin work at the Nou Camp in the near future.
Koeman played for Barcelona for six years during a highly successful career that saw him win LaLiga four times, as well as the Copa del Rey and European Cup.
SPORT’s front page is also led on Koeman, declaring him ‘the replacement’.
The SPORT cover also boasts news of the change in date of Barcelona’s presidential elections. The club announced on Monday that elections will take place on the first match day from March 15 next year after they were brought forward.
They say March was the most convenient time to hold elections given that the season starts in September, with the formal announcement of the elections to take place in January.
The other two major Spanish papers have gone with Bartomeu on their front page as they take aim at the president and his position at the centre of the current crisis.
AS claim Bartomeu is ‘Getting away with it’ in their headline as he tries to reduce some of the pressure on the club’s hierarchy by sacking the manager and promising wide scale changes.
They also mention that sporting director Eric Abidal and his assistant, Ramon Planes, are likely to carry on in their roles, despite the club’s abysmal recruitment in recent transfer windows.
Mundo Deportivo’s front page has an image of Lionel Messi and Bartomeu, two of the key protagonists in the crisis.
Their headline reads simply: ‘Messi, yes; Bartomeu, no’ and features a message at the bottom of the front page reading: ‘The club is more important than the economic interests of the worst president in the history of Barcelona’.