Barcelona Set to Sack Eric Abidal as Sporting Director 'Immediately' Following 8-2 Defeat

Quique Setien, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Eric Abidal
Eric Abidal looks set to lose his job as Barcelona's sporting director | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona are set to dismiss sporting director Eric Abidal, as the fallout from their 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League continues.

Manager Quique Setien is widely reported to have taken charge of his last game at Barcelona following the humiliating European exit, but he will not be the only casualty of a major internal shake-up.

According to Diario Sport, Abidal will join Setien in leaving the Catalan club, and could even be the first to fall, with his position now untenable.

Eric Abidal
Abidal is responsible for the signings of Griezmann and Coutinho | Jun Sato/Getty Images

Sport claim that Abidal continued to give his support to Setien in the aftermath of the defeat on Friday night and is expected to be dismissed by the club hierarchy 'immediately'.

Abidal's positions had been precarious for a few months following an all-too public spat with Lionel Messi following the dismissal of former first-team coach Ernesto Valverde in January.

In the wake of Friday's humiliating loss - the first time in 74 years that the Spanish side had conceded eight goals in a single game - the Barcelona board held an emergency meeting where they made the decision to sack both the sporting director and the manager he was vehemently supporting.

Lionel Messi
Barcelona lost in dramatic fashion to Bayern Munich | Pool/Getty Images

It looks as though Barcelona and president Josep Bartomeu are set to move quickly in replacing Setien, with former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino the favourite to take over. On the other hand, the Blaugrana are not expected to move quite as quickly to replace Abidal.

The Frenchman's departure is part of a bigger plan from Bartomeu to change the management structure at Barcelona. There will be an election in the summer of 2021 to decide on who Barcelona's new president will be, so any decision on who replaces Abidal could be delayed until the results of that are clear.

Barcelona's fans are likely to greet the news of these two departures with relief, though many will be will still be left calling for more structural change.