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Barcelona Board of Directors officially announce appeal of FIFA ban

by Tom Conn | Posted on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Barcelona vice-president, Manel Arroya formally announced that the club’s Board of Directors had made the decision to appeal FIFA’s one-year transfer ban and additional bans placed on their La Masia youth academy after being found to have broken rules relating to the signing of Under-18 youth players.

Arroyo

In a press conference on Monday evening, Arroya made the announcement that had already been confirmed by president, Josep Maria Bartomeu the night before and insists that the club will argue their case, along with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and try to get an “interim suspension” on the two-window transfer ban.

“We’re working on an appeal that will give us an interim suspension of the transfer ban.”

A key figure in this situation is sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta, who offered to resign last week, but the club insisted he stay on and continue the fantastic work he’s already done.

“[Zubizarreta] has the complete and absolute support of the Board, he has a lot of work in front of him and we want to focus on the sporting aspect of the Club. Obviously everything can be improved, we don’t like what has happened in the past couple of days.

“We want to have a normal summer. We’re convinced that we will be able to sign new players. It’s a significant ban and our legal team is working so that we’ll be able to sign new players this summer.”

On that subject, Arroyo continued to discuss the ban on La Masia and admitted that they will need to change the way they go about signing players over the next few years.

“We’ll study the formats in which youth football currently works in order to improve the process. We constantly self-analyse. If there are any processes that take us to the brink of breaking any rule, we’ll revise it. There’s an ongoing internal investigation.”

Arroyo concluded by discussing the members’ decision to advance the New Espai Barça referendum (72% approval) and what the next stage will be.

“It’s a very important request from the Club members that requires a lot of responsibility on our part. We have to be dutiful and detailed in our work. It’s the most important project in the history of the Club.

“In the next weeks or months we’ll announce the Work Commission.”

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