Josep Maria Bartomeu has broken his silence and defended the government he led at Barcelona in an interview with Mundo Deportivo. 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.
“Has our management been disastrous? I know it’s a phrase that’s been running but our management has been very serious and responsible, rigorous with a project and strategic plan that was established in 2015,” Bartomeu said.
“Sports management and the entire heritage project prevailed; economically, socially. We’ve done many projects and we’re the board that’s been most active, but as of March, 2020, that serious and rigorous management was truncated by the appearance of the pandemic, which drastically decreased revenues. From then on we suffered from a deep cut.”