Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has submitted his resignation from the club, Spanish newspaper Sport reported on Tuesday.
Bartomeu has been facing growing resentment in the last year due to the club’s worsening finances and the team’s decline on the pitch, which came to a head with their 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals in August.
A total of 20,687 votes were gathered for the motion against Bartomeu, passing the threshold of 16,250 signatures required for the vote to go ahead.
The Barca board repeatedly tried to postpone the vote but, on Monday, local authorities rejected the club’s push to delay the proceedings.
As a result, the vote was set to go ahead in the coming weeks, but will no longer be necessary as Bartomeu and the board have stepped down.
Bartomeu originally joined Barca during Joan Laporta’s presidency and ascended to that role himself in January 2014.
Now Lionel Messi’s chances of staying at Barcelona have risen dramatically following Bartomeu’s reported resignation.
The president was the centre of Messi’s criticisms when the Argentine announced his shock transfer request to Barcelona earlier this summer.
The Barcelona captain revealed the president did not keep his word about letting Messi leave the club if he wanted to, as the 33-year-old tried to move on a free transfer due to a clause in his contract.
Messi told Goal in September: ‘I told the president and, well, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not keep his word.’