Barcelona have no option but to undertake a huge revolution in the summer even if they beat Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey Final. A victory cannot obscure the club's current turmoil, while a defeat will conveniently highlight the necessity of the overhaul Barcelona's official shied away from two seasons ago, when then-manager Pep Guardiola said major changes were needed.
Football is cyclical. Before Guardiola's arrival Barcelona had been two seasons wandering in the middle of nowhere without titles and afterwards enjoyed their most successful era – including two Champions League victories. The time of hardship has returned to the Camp Nou again.
Winning La Liga last season over Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid masked the plight of the team and postponed the revolution despite the humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich (7-0 on aggregate) in the Champions League. That title, which then tasted like a victory, has actually proved very harmful for Barcelona. It postponed a necessary revolution has led to the current situation of a team that despite having some of the best players in the world are already out of the Champions League and third in La Liga following their disastrous defeat against Granada on Saturday.
Now they cannot repeat the same mistakes even if they beat Real Madrid. Manager Tata Martino has been designated as the scapegoat but he is not the biggest culprit, at least not the only one. He certainly must leave because he has proven to be overcome by the circumstances. But the seeds of this failure were sown before his arrival, by Barcelona's officials.
Nevertheless, the Argentinian joined Barcelona out of urgency, after the unfortunate Tito Vilanova left to fight his cancer, and they never gave him enough power to turn around the situation. The team needed reinforcements in defence and instead sign Neymar, who has so far brought more problems with the Revenue than goals.
There is no doubt that a signing like Neymar was probably necessary to restore hope to the supporters but signing a centre-back was even more necessary - as it was cleaning a dressing room full of players that looks jaded by repeated success. Again they should go back to Guardiola's beginnings as Barcelona manager and see how he asked stars like Ronaldinho, Deco and Eto'o to leave the Camp Nou, no matter how important they had been to the club before.
Barcelona need to start from zero, from the dugout all the way to the boardroom. Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has failed to bolster the squad with a centre-back during two consecutive seasons and current President Bartomeu has solved nothing since Sandro Rosell resigned over the Neymar scandal. Instead he oversaw further chaos as Fifa sanctioned Barcelona with a 14-month transfer ban which, if it stands, will make the overhaul even more complicated.
Barcelona are confident of beating Fifa in the courts but, if they fail to do it, the new manager should mirror Guardiola and look to their prolific academy to find new talent. Guardiola mined Sergio Busquets and Pedro from the third division; who knows how many gems are waiting to be unearthed this time?