Barcelona have sacked Andoni Zubizarreta as their director of football, while Carles Puyol, the club’s assistant director of football, has resigned from his position after being in the job for just three months.
Zubizarreta, Barcelona’s goalkeeper from 1986 to 1994, rejoined the club as football director in 2010. Former Barcelona defender Puyol retired as a player last summer after a hugely successful career with both club and country.
“The FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has decided to terminate as of today the contract of the club’s Director of Football, Andoni Zubizarreta,” Barca said in a statement on their website.
“The President, in the name of the club, thanks Andoni Zubizarreta for his contribution, dedication and professionalism over the last four years in his role at the head of the club’s football area.”
Barca are second in La Liga, one point behind arch-rivals Real Madrid, although they missed an opportunity to go top of the table after they were defeated 1-0 by Real Sociedad on Sunday night.
The announcement of Zubizarreta’s departure comes days after the club lost its appeal to the Court of Arbitration to have a 12-month transfer ban reduced.
Within hours of Zubizarreta being sacked, Puyol announced that he is leaving his post as assistant director of football.
Puyol had only been in the role for just over three months, but has decided to follow Zubizarreta out of the club after the Basque was relieved of his duties.
“In this statement I want to let you know that I have finalised my working relationship with Futbol Club Barcelona,” Puyol wrote on his Facebook account.
“These three and a half months have given me the opportunity to see the other side of the club. I have learned a lot, I am very grateful, but I want to experience other things from another perspective and from other places.
“I want to grow both personally and professionally so that, in future, I can hopefully return to this house and give back everything you have given to me in these unforgettable years.”
Puyol said that he would have preferred to have said his farewells on the football field and thanked the fans for their amazing support.
“I am still enormously grateful to the employees, directors, president and the football department for helping and believing in me in this period of transition which has been anything but easy,” he said. “But above all, the fans. As a player, I always felt they were very close to me and since my retirement, even more so.
“I would like to have said goodbye to everyone with my boots on, but life doesn’t always give you what you wish for. I have been and am extremely fortunate to feel so much affection, and can only say THANK YOU and know that I will always hold you in my heart. Long live Barca!”