Josep Maria Bartomeu has broken his silence and defended the government he led at Barcelona in an interview with Diario Sport. It’s the first time he’s spoken on the matter almost a year to the day from his resignation on October 27th, 2020.
Bartomeu led Barcelona from 2014 to 2020, a tumultuous era that saw the club win a treble in 2015 but also compromise on the principles that earned them such success.
Money was squandered irresponsibly and standards slipped, with Neymar leaving for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017 before being followed by Lionel Messi this past close-season.
Joan Laporta, who was elected as Bartomeu’s official successor at the beginning of this year, has been busy trying to clean up the mess left by the decisions Bartomeu’s government took.
Barcelona are in a ruinous financial state, and lack the ammunition to compete with the rest of Europe’s elite – especially the state-owned clubs – for the foreseeable future.
“We want to emphasise the impact that covid-19 has had,” Bartomeu said of Barcelona’s financial situation. “Not this season, because it began in March of 2020, when revenues plummeted suddenly – overnight – and the club wasn’t bringing in enough money to continue paying salaries or even suppliers.
“What we want is to explain to the members is that the situation isn’t as serious as it’s being made out to be due to the club, but that it’s a situation caused by covid-19.”