Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu admits to two key mistakes during tenure

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted to two key mistakes during his tenure at Camp Nou.

Bartomeu was in charge of Barcelona for the best part of six years between 2014 and 2020, eventually resigning in October of last year.

The 58-year-old has been heavily criticised for his time at the helm, despite helping to bring four La Liga titles and a Champions League to Camp Nou, leaving the club in a financial hole they are struggling to find a way out of.

Amid intense criticism, Bartomeu gave an interview to Esport3 on Monday night when he claimed the coronavirus pandemic was responsible for the extent of the club’s losses which, current president Joan Laporta claims, have resulted in a debt of more than €1.3billion.

And on the back of those comments, Bartomeu says he made two key mistakes, starting with a decision he made in 2019 to stay the course following a shock second leg defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League.

“One of my mistakes is that we did not re-examine the situation of the team after Anfield,” he said. “We had to make a complete change. I was wrong in listening to the players.”

Turning his attention to finances, Bartomeu added: “The second mistake is that I used maximum economic power before the sudden covid-19 pandemic struck us.”

The proof is in the pudding on that second ‘mistake’, but how does Bartomeu explain the evident mistakes when it comes to transfers, many of which have not worked out?

“Some players who cost a lot of money did not live up to expectations and demands, but it is perfectly normal in football,” he said.

“While everyone was excited about our shopping, Coutinho came because of Iniesta’s departure, he was the best player in England and worth the price. Dembélé came because of Neymar’s departure.

“The coaches demanded Griezmann, not me. They insisted on acquiring him. They saw him as a critical player because of Suarez’s injuries. He was a different striker, a world star and a team player.”

Tags Antoine Griezmann FC Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu Philippe Coutinho