FC Barcelona

Joan Laporta claims football still needs Super League

Max Cooper
Laporta believes the European Super League can still exist
Laporta believes the European Super League can still exist / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed the Super League is still required to make football 'more attractive and sustainable', despite the collapse of the private division.

12 of Europe's giants initially withdrew from the UEFA Champions League to pursue the money-spinning ESL, but a fierce reaction from supporters saw nine of those clubs backtrack on the agreement.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are the three teams still pushing for the birth of this new league, and Blaugrana president Laporta believes football must 'go down this route' to survive.

"If we want football to be more attractive and sustainable, we have to go down this route [with the European Super League]," he said during an interview with La Vanguardia.

His persistence for the revival of the ESL largely comes down to Barcelona's dire financial situation, however. Laporta went on to admit that the economic side of the club 'is worse than expected,' and hinted at drastic measures to balance the books.

Rafael Yuste, Joan Laporta, Eric Garcia, Mateu Alemany
Laporta signed Eric Garcia for Barcelona / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

"The club is worse than I expected, and I expected it to be in a difficult situation," Laporta said.

"There are some contracts that greatly limit us. There are things that will have to be explained and I won't rule out any measures. Everything will be explained, because otherwise we would be accomplices. The same people always appear in the contracts."

Laporta also bemoaned the contracts with 'out-of-date salaries' which have been handed out to players, and suggested that they will ask most stars to take pay cuts 'for the good of Barcelona'.

Joan Laporta
Laporta believes the ESL is still a necessity / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

"We have found ourselves with a squad with out-of-date salaries and we will have to juggle," he said.

"Existing contracts can be changed or restructured, and then there are drastic measures that we would like not to have to take. Nothing is ruled out for the good of Barcelona.

"Between salaries and amortisations we have a figure of 650 million, which is more than the club's income. These salaries are out of date."

Despite all of the financial distress, Barça are still prepared to offer superstar Lionel Messi a new contract, and they hope for the Argentine 'to say yes as soon as possible.'

Lionel Messi
Messi's in talks over a new deal / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

"I would like Messi to say yes as soon as possible, it would help us in every way," he said.

"We are in communication, day in and day out. He's excited and I'm grateful for the desire he's showing to stay."