FC Barcelona News

Joan Laporta Blames Josep Bartomeu for Barcelona's £1.15b Debt

By Amreen
Barcelona have announced their debt has risen to £1.15b since January
Barcelona have announced their debt has risen to £1.15b since January / LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has announced that the club are in a “dramatic” financial crisis with debts amounting to £1.1bn.

Laporta took over at Barca in March after winning elections and has had to deal with a number of on and off-the-field problems, worst of all being the club's financial situation, worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

"As of March 21, 2021, the debt was €1.35bn," Laporta said in a news conference on Monday. "Bartomeu was plugging holes in the short term and mortgaging the club in the long term. That leaves us a dramatic inheritance

"To the initial debt of €617m you have to add €389m on players, €90m in litigation, €79m in advance television rights and €56m from the 'Espai Barca' project. In total, it's €1.35bn."

Gerard Pique agreed to a pay cut along with fellow captains Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, and Jordi Alba which allowed Barca to field new signings Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia in LaLiga this weekend.

"We're happy we resolved it with Pique and we're hugely grateful," Laporta said. "Some players are more than just players. Pique is a club man who loves Barca above all. He's seen that we're in a difficult situation and he's done something that deserves praise.

"The negotiations are going well, and they're behaving extraordinarily. I understand the players, they've already had a wage cut and now they're being asked to make another effort, no-one likes that. ... We're trying to sort out the captains first, and then the rest of the squad."

Laporta also blamed Joseph Bartomeu for Barca's current situation and added: "It isn't true that the salaries rose to be able to compete with the 'state clubs' [referring to PSG and Manchester City] and the Premier League.

"They spent the €220m from the Neymar deal disproportionately and at light speed. That is when the salaries shot up. We'll have to change the model and invest in [Barcelona's academy] La Masia, making more proportionate investments with more sporting logic."