Barcelona Directors skip Pre-Clasico meal with Real Madrid Directors

FC Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu arrives for a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Jan 24, 2014. 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. The screen reads in Catalan: "Cost of signing Neymar JR". (AP Photo / Manu Fernandez)

The festivities surrounding Sant Jordi – St. George’s day, a national holiday in Catalonia – have disrupted the usual pre-Clasico meal between directors of Real Madrid and Barcelona ahead of tonight’s clash at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Thus, the president Josep Maria Bartomeu – as well as Carles Villarrubí and Jordi Mestre – will not arrive in the Spanish capital until shortly before 19:00 CET.

There will be nine Barcelona directors present on the executive box for the match, four of whom will also attend the meal beforehand.

Questions were raised as to the attendance of the visiting party after Gerard Pique stoked tensions between the club’s with his remarks on Real Madrid’s values following Spain’s recent friendly victory over France.

With president Florentino Perez and Sergio Ramos both making barbed responses to Pique’s words last month, one imagines the atmosphere at the get-together could be positively chilly as a result.