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We All Know Who’s Really Responsible For Barcelona’s Europa League Failure

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

After a brief but thorough investigation into the club's surprising Europa League 3-2 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt Thursday, officials at storied Spanish soccer side FC Barcelona have decided to consider firing its fans.

Satisfied that Barca's team and manager Xavi had no discernible role in the stunning loss at the Nou Camp that eliminated Barca from the Europa competition, the Barca brass immediately found that the problem was actually the 30,000 Frankfurt fans who had managed to nefariously sneak into the stadium by buying available tickets made available on the open market with actual negotiable tender agreed upon in advance. This system, known by its shorthand "barter," was deemed to be the result of Barca fans concluding that the tickets they bought long ago actually became their property and therefore could be sold just like any other fairly acquired commodity to any interested party, which in this case coincidentally happened to be mostly Germans.

The direct result of all this Germanic background noise was Barca falling behind 3-0 midway through the second half, and eventually losing despite what Xavi described as "the heroic attempt in the end."

“Clearly the atmosphere did not help and the club is looking into why this happened,” Xavi explained. “The players want to know why too. It was a clear miscalculation on our part. This cannot be allowed to happen. It was more like a final with the stadium divided.”

While Xavi also cited an underlying and arcane reason why Barca did not win a match it was expected to—"We did not play well"—the bigger problem was clearly the Frankfurt fans who continually used the tactic of making noises of approval related to their team's performance.

“It’s a disgrace what has happened," club president Joan Laporta said. "I feel embarrassed. As a culer, I feel ashamed and I am really sorry about what I have seen.”

The result, which broke a 15-match unbeaten streak by the club, caused some supporters to take personal blame for offending their corporate overlords. While reporters from mainstream outlets like The Athletic and Sky Sports were wasting their time asking Xavi and Laporte about the team's failure, intrepid reporters from the Defector Iberian Bureau were asking hard questions of those who were truly responsible for the loss.

"I did it, this one's on me," on fan told Defector. "I foolishly thought the players' performance was critical to the players' performance, but I was clearly wrong. It was me, yes, me not being there, despite the 70,000 Barca fans who did turn up. I look forward to the team investigating me and making me take direct responsibility for my failure to properly mark Filip Kostic (who scored twice for Frankfurt)." The fan went on to say he hoped not to be traded to Levante but would accept being sent to Mallorca as "fair."

One unnamed Barca player agreed with that assessment, telling Defector, "I don't know what happened. Every time I heard the lyrical German language being spoken, I just felt enraptured by its languid and enchanting rhythms and gave the ball away as soon as I received it. If only I'd had 30,000 Barca fans to go along with the 70,000 fans I already had, I surely would have been brilliant."

The team plays Cadiz at the Nou Camp Monday, and some insiders believe the club will look seriously at the Cadiz fan base, currently 18th and one point below the relegation line, with an eye toward buying it at the June transfer window.

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