Barto: Barca risked six-point penalty

Josep Maria Bartomeu claims Barcelona risked a six-point penalty if they did not play Las Palmas on Sunday.

Barca ended up playing Las Palmas behind closed doors after much deliberation over whether the game would even take place due to the ugly fallout of the Catalan referendum, which resulted in mass disorder and 465 people reportedly injured.

“We regret the lack of freedom of expression, which has taken place today in Catalonia, something that we value a lot,” the President told AS.

“We’re very sorry and we’ve decided, instead of cancelling the game, like we wanted, to play it behind closed doors.

“We wanted to show that the game would be played but without normality. The situation is exceptional.

“We give our support to those who have suffered this lack of freedom. We tried to get La Liga to postpone the game, but there was no way it could’ve been played on another day.

“Not playing it would’ve meant the loss of six points. We talked to the executives, coaches and players and we decided to play, but behind closed doors as a form of criticism. The important thing was that no points were lost.

“Closed doors? It wasn’t done over fears for safety, which was guaranteed to us. We did it because of the exceptional circumstances, for the world to see what’s happened here.

“Vilarrubi’s resignation? It’s not easy to make decisions. There will be time to speak. It’s normal that not everyone agrees on certain things, but all opinions are respected here.

“The win? The least important thing was the match, despite the three points we picked up. The important thing is what happens in the streets of Catalonia, where we condemn everything that’s happening.

“We worked to postpone the game and as we couldn’t, we decided to do it as a protest, so that people around the world could see what had happened.

“Political decisions? We turn to democracy, and with everything the club have done so far. We take [democratic] actions every day.

“It’s changed our coexistence and Barca must be with the people of the town.”

Tags Catalan Catalonia Josep Maria Bartomeu