Barcelona have confirmed Josep Maria Bartomeu has quit his role as president and has left the Nou Camp club, along with his entire board of directors.
The news was initially reported across the Spanish media, with the club making it official and the chief announcing his departure in a press conference later on Tuesday evening.
Bartomeu has been in charge of the Spanish giants since 2014, but has faced increasing pressure to leave following public criticism from Barca icon Lionel Messi and a host of other players over his leadership.
It is claimed the 57-year-old has decided to resign from his post before a vote of no confidence could be cast to kick him out.
Spanish outlet Sport report a number of the directors on the board have also followed Bartomeu out of the club following an urgent meeting just three days after Barcelona lost 3-1 at home to Real Madrid.
Bartomeu was particularly damaged by his handling of the Messi saga this summer, which almost caused the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to quit his boyhood club after 20 years.
While Bartomeu has been calling the shots at Barcelona for years, the club is supporter-owned and it is claimed fans came together and got the required number of signatures to initiate a no-confidence vote.
But the chief has decided to leave of his own accord, rather than be forced out.
“I appear to announce my resignation and that of my board of directors,” Bartomeu said on Tuesday evening.
“It is a thoughtful, calm decision I have taken in consultation with my colleagues.
“After the elimination in the Champions League it would have been easy to resign. We couldn’t leave the club in the hands of a manager.
“We have been disrespected. They have insulted and threatened me, my family and the other board members.
“It has been an honour to serve my club. Today we resign without having completed economic measures in progress, I hope that in the next few days the salary adjustment can be closed. If it’s not done, there will be serious consequences for the future of the club.
“I recognise that rebuilding the team should have been done a year ago.
“I hope that time will highlight the assets of the last ten years, such as the 22 titles won by the football team.”