BARCELONA – Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned as president of Barcelona in October 2020, saving himself from answering a vote of no confidence, reappeared after ten months of silence, sending an extensive open letter to the current president, Joan Laporta, in which he defended his management at the head of the club and questioned the one carried out by the new board that resulted from the elections held last March.
Josep Maria Bartomeu stated that he planned to “apply a new salary reduction (about 90 million) in the 2020-21 season”, after having already applied “a non-refundable reduction of 12% in salaries to all players , technicians and sports professionals of the Club with effect in the 2019-20 season, which served to alleviate, at least, in part, the drop in income “, and accuses Joan Laporta of not having done so.
In an extensive open letter, the former president of Barcelona affirms that at the time of his resignation he left in the hands of the board that won the elections several economic agreements that, if they had been fulfilled by Laporta, would have ostensibly benefited the financial situation of the club, arguing that in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic the board he led already took into account.
Bartomeu, in this sense, referred, in addition to the new necessary salary review, to the signing of Barça Corporated, which would have meant an injection of 220 million euros, and the entry into the Super League, with another 350 million, in addition to to be against the negative vote before the agreement of LaLiga with CVC that would have meant another income of 270 million.
“As a direct consequence of our dismissal, we were not able to apply the economic and financial measures (Barça Corporate, salary mass reduction, possible Super League bonus and / or La Liga-CVC agreement bonus) planned against the 375 million million reduction in income due to the impact of the Covid, measures that your new Board would have had to apply ”, the former president sentenced, proclaiming that statutorily” our board is not, in any case, responsible for the economic and financial settlement of the 2020-21 fiscal year. “
And he warns that he is surprised by “the announced losses of 487 million compared to a reduction in income of 375 million” challenging Laporta to “explain in detail to all partners. I hope it is not like in 2003, when we tried to provision as losses the book value of the pending amortization of certain players “.
The former leader does not refer openly in any case to the departure of Leo Messi because Barcelona could not face his new contract, but through his arguments it shows that, had Laporta continued his efforts, the club would have had enough economic muscle to keep the Argentine at the Camp Nou.
“Our board was no longer there to assume the necessary and urgent corrections. It is a decision that could only be made by the new incoming Board of Directors, after the elections, but there was no action on their part,” the former president declared, blaming Laporta of starvation.
Bartomeu recalls that Laporta expressly requested the Members’ Assembly to approve the accounts for the 2019-20 year formulated by the previous meeting under the argument that the liquidation reflected the economic, financial and patrimonial status of the club as of June 30, 2020.
The former president compares the inheritance that his board left to Laporta with that received by Rosell in 2010, of which he was a part, recalling a negative result of the entire mandate of 47.6 million euros, “results that supposed a disastrous inheritance that your Board left us “, and warning that the current board of directors has found” an increase of 96 million and a net worth for the club of 35 million “.
Likewise, Bartomeu highlights that his board, before resigning, left in the hands of the Management Commission a dossier with four companies interested in taking over 49 percent of the Barça Corporated project and that it would have meant, “in the event that your board of directors ( referring to Laporta), a minimum capital inflow of 220 million would have approved it with the aim of reducing income losses due to Covid “, which amounts to 375 million euros.
It is at this point that the former president proclaims that to those 220 million he had to add “the necessary reduction of 20% (90 million) of the players’ contracts” and that with this the salary ratio of the League, “enabling the registration of players.”
Furthermore, Bartomeu ugly for Laporta not having voted in favor of the LaLiga agreement with CVC, solving that “with that income of 270 million euros, today we would be talking about a practically zero level of affectation due to income losses due to COVID’19 “.
He also puts on the plane the entry of Barcelona, under his mandate, in the group of promoters of the Super League “which would have meant a net entry of 350 million during the month of May 2021”.
The former president of Barça reveals that his board was “fully responsible for the sports planning of the 2020-21 season” and defends that he could not “execute the plans and planned economic actions”, asserting his conviction that it was “absolutely necessary. take measures against the possible increase in the impact of the pandemic in the form of an exceptional drop in income and the inevitable reduction in the wage bill, which your Board could have applied, “accusing Laporta of not following his advice.
“The lack of reaction and action of the Board of Directors to improve this balance of the 2020-21 season is surprising, despite being perfectly aware of the economic and financial situation of our Club, long before winning the elections, when the Commission Manager, in several meetings, exposed it to all the candidates “Bartomeu discovers in this sense.
He also accuses Laporta of “forgiving 16.5 million to the former player Neymar in the framework of a lawsuit where the expectations in favor of FC Barcelona were quite clear and the auditor did not oblige, in any case, to supply any amount”, asking him ” Why did you make this decision contrary to the interests of the Club? “.
Faced with the soaring salary mass of the Barcelona squad, Bartomeu acknowledges that he took it “to the limits allowed by the League, to try to prolong and maintain the best soccer team in history for 13 years and be able to compete with the teams of the Premier League and other Club-States with practically inexhaustible resources “.
In this regard, he argues that these renovations “were necessary to match the increasingly high offers for our franchise players”, ruling that it was “a colossal and continued effort to increase revenue” and boasts that his management “has led us to be recognized by the prestigious economic magazine Forbes as the most valuable Club in the world in 2020 and by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) as the best team of the decade 2011-2020 “.