Joan Laporta’s Press Conference

5 min read
Transfer Window Joan Laporta

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta

The President Speaks Out About FC Barcelona’s Financial Situation

FC Barcelona’s financial situation is no secret; the club is in heavy debt. Ever since Messi left for PSG, there has been a lot of talk about why that happened. No one still knows the exact reason(s) and details of the saga. The press conference from Barca President Joan Laporta about the club’s financial situation and what measures will be taken provides an insight into what the future might look like. 

LAPORTA BEGINS THE CONFERENCE  

“This press conference is called because I want to put several situations into context and to explain what we had found when we arrived at the club.”

LAPORTA ON MESSI LEAVING 

“La Liga fed us expectations that it would allow us a salary margin to fit Messi, but they did not tell us in exchange for what. And when we met him, we couldn’t accept it. We were convinced to renew Messi because we didn’t know the numbers as we do now.

We had the budget numbers approved by the previous board. We saw space in selling players, cutting salaries. We failed to achieve the expected results. We would all have liked him to retire here, but for objective and economic reasons, it was not possible.

There is the FPF, an operation that mortgaged the club if we accepted. The displeasure was great; it is understandable, we did not manage to get everything to go as planned. I still hold him in the same esteem. It was a shame it didn’t end the way we wanted.”

“We are convinced that the decisions that should have been made. Messi’s situation is sad, but it was necessary. Because the institution is above all.”

“I think it’s been a relationship that has lasted a long time. In the end, it has deteriorated. It is the law of life. We have advanced the post-Messi era by two years. Messi is the best, and he also has his aspirations.”

“I have contradictory feelings regarding his presentation [in Paris], but I feel like I saw a happy Messi. I’m happy for him because he deserves it.” 

LAPORTA ON PLAYERS WHO DID NOT MAKE IT TO THE SQUAD AGAINST SOCIEDAD 

“Umtiti is training well. Pjanić has exemplary behaviour as a professional. Collado did not end up making a move to Club Brugge, and Coutinho is recovering from a serious injury.”

LAPORTA DISCUSSES THE SPORTING PROJECT

“Koeman is happy with the squad he has, and you see which players he has and which ones he doesn’t.”

“If we are all united, the new era will be very successful. The players are engaged on and off the field. They are very motivated; the captains have told me that they are going to leave the last drop of blood.” 

LAPORTA ON CONVERTING THE CLUB INTO A PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY

“The situation is dramatic, but the good news is that this will be short-term…This club will always be owned by its socios as long as this directive is in place.”

LAPORTA ON ESPAI BARCA

“Espai Barça was a hoax. More than 12,000 members had to move from ‘first to third grade’. They didn’t face the problems because they didn’t explain them either.”

“Stopping investing was a way to finance itself, and now we have to face urgent repairs that will cost around €20M. In Espai Barça, we are rebuilding the project in a way that is viable and sustainable.”

LAPORTA ON SELLING PLAYERS

“We do not contemplate a sale of Ansu Fati or anything similar to reverse the club’s economy. We will bet on La Masia; we will strengthen ourselves only with top players.”

LAPORTA ON DEBT OF THE CLUB

“As of today, the debt is €1,350 million. The economic and patrimonial situation is very worrying, and the financial situation is dramatic. Incredible figures have been paid to intermediaries. Barça has a negative net worth of 451 million euros.”

LAPORTA ON CVC

“CVC was to mortgage television rights for half a century, and it is not structured as an income but as a debt. The legal structure is not that they make a payment to us; it is like a loan.”

“Regarding Barça Corporate, Bartomeu talked about 49% sales and offers. They were also talking about the offer of the CVC, the SuperLeague. Basically, their profits were on the club’s mortgage and nothing certain.”

LAPORTA ON BARTOMEU AND HIS BOARD

“They received 222 million euros for Neymar, and they spent it at the speed of light and disproportionately. And now we find ourselves with skyrocketing salaries and amortisations.”

“I received the letter from Bartomeu, and I see it full of lies. With an effort to justify management that is unjustifiable. The salary policy that we stumbled upon from the previous board is wrong, it’s what the experts call the inverted pyramid, where veterans have long contracts and young players have short ones, and that makes it very difficult to renegotiate contracts.”

LAPORTA ON SALARY REDUCTIONS

Laporta: “Alba’s salary reduction? I thank Piqué for his willingness to help the club. His reduction has helped us to register players. We can register Kun with the agreement we plan to have with the other players. I hope the other captains act like Piqué.”

LAPORTA GIVES SOME GOOD NEWS

“We have 5 sponsorship offers for the jersey. We have also restructured Barça Studios, and there is a lot of interest: 9 presentations have been made and 17 investors interested.”

There’s a happening around the club at the moment, and we will see even more insight into it. The financial situation, the reason Messi left, potential sales between now and the end of the season, and more.

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