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Home Sports Barcelona President Slams Predecessor After He Reveals €1.35Billion Debt

Barcelona President Slams Predecessor After He Reveals €1.35Billion Debt

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has opened up on the club’s “very worrying” financial situation, revealing the LaLiga giants are €1.35billion in debt.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta

Barcelona president Joan Laporta

Laporta blamed his predecessor Josep Bartomeu for a “terrible inheritance” which he says sees club salaries representing 103 per cent of income at the Nou Camp.

He blamed the club’s “dramatic” situation on Lionel Messi’s departure and accused Bartomeu of countless “lies”, insisting that he and his board of directors must be held accountable.

Laporte, in his second spell as club president after winning the 2021 elections earlier this year, said at a live press conference: “Our salaries represent 103 per cent of the club’s total income. That’s 20-25 per cent more than our competitors.

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“The first thing we had to do when we arrived was to ask for a loan of €80million because otherwise, we could not pay the salaries. The previous regime was full of lies.”

Laporte continued: “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.

“We found the wage policy in the form of an inverted pyramid – veterans on long contracts and youngsters on short deal. There were no wages cuts – lies.

“We have found that disproportionate payments have been made to intermediaries, not even agents.

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“Barcelona has a negative net worth of €451million – it is a terrible inheritance. What has been happening is very worrying.

“Bartomeu’s (open) letter is an effort to justify management that is unjustifiable. It is an exercise in desperation. They are responsible for everything until 8 March. They will not escape their doing.”

Barcelona signed Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia on free transfers this summer.

However, despite the departure of Messi, the club were only able to register the pair at late notice ahead of their opening-day victory against Real Sociedad on Sunday after captain Gerard Pique agreed to take a reduction in his salary.

Laporta hopes other senior players such as Jordi Alba will soon follow suit.

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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.

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