Barcelona is drowning in debt, the results are bad - especially in the Champions League - and the new management, led by Joan Laporta blame the old adminstration. It has been going on for several weeks, so Josep Maria Bartomeu, the "first accused" of the financial collapse of the Catalan giant, decided to say something in his defense.
Let us remind you, during the previous months, the revisers searched the books at Camp Nou and concluded that the gross debt amounts to BILLION and 350,000,000 euros! The latest news that shocked the fans was about the crazy bonuses for certain players.
Two unnamed players (still allegedly in the club) were under scrutiny, who have items in the contract to receive 11,500,000 euros for half of the matches played each season, in addition to the regular salary, ie to be followed by 1,200,000 for each entry in the group stage of the Champions League (which is practically guaranteed for Barcelona).
And that's not all - for the triple crown there are 3,500,000, and then 7,500,000 in the name of "loyalty" bonuses. If all bonuses were realized, Barça would have to pay around 50,000,000 euros for these two "senators" alone ?!
Regardless of this and similar informations, Bartomeu, visiting the Catalan media, explained how the club was run "responsibly and seriously": "First and foremost: there is no risk of bankruptcy. The club is sustainable with all its resources.
Okay, the losses are there, mostly due to the pandemic, but Barcelona has huge capital in players, stadium, high market value," the former President began Our leadership was not nearly as catastrophic as UEFA, La Liga and the revisors say.
Well, Forbes leads us as the most valuable club in the world!" "The pandemic led to a drop in revenue of around 500,000,000 euros for last season, that is true. However, without it, the loss would amount to only fifty million.
Coronavirus could not be controlled, it hit many clubs. I ask club members and fans not to worry. " Bartomeu explained the difference between net and gross debt ... "The latter, the bigger one, consists of bank debt and what is owed to other clubs.
Transfers are paid in installments. Some owe us too. That is why the real debt is smaller." "I repeat, the pandemic had a huge impact. Until March 14, 2020, our business was flawless " The journalist was persistent - Laporta and his people point fingers at you, not at COVID...
"There is no bad management! There is no bad legacy! Club members, fans, should be explained that in recent years the locomotive of European football has been big clubs." "Barcelona is one of them. We have made football grow, the club grow.
All right, there is Bayern, Juventus, Chelsea, and club-states like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, but Barça and Real have contributed the most.
He said about the enormous increase in salaries: "Salaries did not increase abnormally but followed the parameters of the club's income.
And there was income. We were close to breaking a billion euros." "If you earn more, it is normal to pay players more. Until March 2020, all that was feasible, but then there was a pandemic and it became unsustainable."
"We always tried to grow the team, to bring in the best possible players. Those players participated in winning all the titles. It was normal for us all to participate together in the economic bonaca. " Bartomeu claims that there was no danger of bankruptcy at any moment, just as there is none now.
"The alarm is fine, but there is no real danger. The Spanish authorities have decided that losses due to COVID cannot lead to bankruptcy if you have capital, a high market value."