Barcelona FC President Joan Laporta Discloses Who Is to Blame for Massive Debt

Barcelona FC President Joan Laporta Discloses Who Is to Blame for Massive Debt

  • Barcelona FC President Joan Laporta slammed the previous regime as he openly broke down the Spanish club's current financial debacle
  • Laporta admitted the club was in massive debt, amounting to €1.35 billion (R24 billion)
  • Speaking during a two-hour-long presser, Laporta said he inherited a terrible mess from his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu

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Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently disclosed the club has a mind-boggling debt of €1.35 billion (R24 billion).

In a two-hour press conference, Laporta brutally broke down the club’s problems as he slammed his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu for the current mess.

Barcelona, President, Joan Laporta, Debt Press conference, Predecessor, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Catalan, La Liga
Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently disclosed the club has a mind-boggling debt of €1.35 billion. Image: Pedro Salado.
Source: Getty Images

According to Laporta, he was given a “terrible inheritance” from Bartomeu’s regime as the Catalan giants resorted to senior players to take wage cuts to help with the salary cap.

Currently, the club’s wage bill accounts for 103% of Barcelona’s total income. If the club had pushed to resign Lionel Messi, it would have seen the wage bill soar up to 110% of the club’s revenue, something La Liga refused to accept.

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"The first thing we had to do when we arrived was to ask for a loan of €80m because otherwise, we could not pay the salaries. The previous regime was full of lies,” said Laporta as quoted by Sky Sports.
"We also found that we had to do some urgent repairs to the Camp Nou because otherwise, it posed a risk to the attending fans. We also found out that the club had already received 50 per cent of the TV rights fees in advance,”
"Barcelona has a negative net worth of 451m euros - it is a terrible inheritance. What has been happening is very worrying."

Bartomeu’s defence

Former Barca President Bartomeu on Saturday, August 14 defended his regime in an open letter, saying he would have placed some strong financial measures in place had he not been forced to resign in October 2020.

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"As is known, our board of directors planned to call elections on 21 March, within the statutory period at the end of our mandate, which would have allowed us to take on and carry out the settlement of the 2020-21 season accounts," Bartomeu said in the open letter seen by BBC.
"We would then have taken the decisions necessary to avoid arriving at the current financial situation.

Pique ‘playing almost for free’ after taking pay cut

Having signed Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay for free in the summer, Barcelona struggled to register the two players because of the salary cap.

However, club captain Gerard Pique took a hefty pay cut just before the La Liga opener against Real Sociedad on Sunday, August 15 to ensure a late registration for the two signings.

Laporta thanked Pique for his move, as he expressed hope that other senior players would follow suit for the sake of the club.

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"I thank Pique for his willingness to help the club. His reduction has helped us to register players. We can register Kun (Sergio Aguero) with the agreement we plan to have with the other players. I hope the other captains act like Pique," said Laporta.

Barca start La Liga season with a win

On the pitch, Barcelona put the disappointment of Messi’s exit aside as they edged Real Sociedad 4-2 in their La Liga opener.

Two goals from Martin Braithwaite, while a goal each from Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto was enough to ensure all three points for Ronald Koeman’s side as new free signing Sergio Aguero watched from the stands.

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