Barcelona calls emergency board meeting

JOSEPH WILSON Associated Press Published:

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Barcelona says its board of directors is calling an "extraordinary" meeting, fueling Spanish media reports that club president Sandro Rosell is under pressure to consider stepping down due to the lawsuit regarding Neymar's transfer.

Barcelona said in a statement that the meeting will take place on Thursday afternoon, a day after a judge agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by a Barcelona club member over the cost of Neymar's signing.

Barcelona said the meeting will deal with the Neymar case, but did not provide further details.

In the lawsuit, club member Jordi Cases alleges Rosell misappropriated funds by hiding the real cost of the transfer behind false contracts.

Rosell insisted earlier this week that the cost of 57 million euros (then $74 million) announced at Neymar's presentation was correct.

Spanish media speculate Rosell may resign to save the club's image ahead of what could be a lengthy legal battle.

The last Barcelona president to resign was Joan Gaspart in 2003 after a long run of poor results by the team.

Rosell was elected to replace outgoing president Joan Laporta in 2010. In April of last year, Rosell said he planned to run for a second term in 2016.

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Associated Press writer Jorge Sainz contributed to this report from Madrid.