Barcelona are “erasing a myth” in their poor handling of Lionel Messi, says Hristo Stoichkov, with the Liga giants accused of “giving the best player in history a kick up the backside”.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is threatening to force his way through the exits at Camp Nou.
Having grown disillusioned with mismanagement on and off the field in Catalunya, Messi has informed Barca of his desire to move on.
The Blaugrana are being backed into a corner by their talismanic captain, with the Argentine only contracted to them through to the summer of 2021.
A move elsewhere may become the only option for all concerned, with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain being heavily linked with moves to bring an all-time great onto their books.
Stoichkov is bemused as to how this situation has been allowed to come about, with Barca shooting themselves in the foot and “staining” the name of a player who has served them with such distinction.
The former Blaugrana striker raged to TUDN: “We're erasing a myth, we're giving the best player in Barcelona's history a kick up the backside.
“We're staining his name, his charisma. I'm a member, so that's why I'm saying we're staining it.
“This board has ruined everything. It seems as though they want to pit the fans against the players.
“I won successive league titles, the club's first European Cup - I don't know how to repay the love from the fans.
“But this board doesn't show its face. It pays journalists to add fuel to the flames. As a club, it's pitiful.”
While frustrated by goings on at Barca, Stoichkov is not overly surprised as his own exit from Camp Nou in 1995 was made under a cloud.
The legendary Bulgarian added: “I don't know why we, the players who have made history at Barcelona, are always shown the back door.
“They think we're going to bother them because we want to take the presidency off them or something like that.
“I don't know what goes through their heads.”
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been falling under ever-increasing pressure, but has stated his intention to continue in his post up to the club's next elections in March 2021.