Full translation of Joan Laporta’s open letter to Barcelona fans three years into mandate

Barcelona President Joan Laporta has penned an open letter to the fans of the club upon reaching three years in charge of the entity for the second time. Laporta emphasized unity in the face of adversity, and again pointed to the state of the club when they inherited it as a justification for their tight economy this season.

Laporta thanked and praised the employees of the club for their hard work and talent, claiming that they have recovered economically from a desperate situation due to a meticulous plan being put into action. He also highlighted that Espai Barca, the new Camp Nou and the digital transformation of the club as the drivers of the club looking into the coming years. Barcelona also secured La Liga titles in six different sports last season, the best achievement in a sporting sense.

Detractors for Laporta will point to the fact that in terms of their playing staff for the first team, arguably they have suffered more to register players than they did when they arrived, and that it seems little better than three years ago. Equally Laporta’s big election promise was that he would ensure the continuity of Lionel Messi, a promise he broke just months later. Equally, he failed to bring the great Argentine back. His handling of the Negreira case, the two managers and two sporting directors in three years, as well as the decision to sell off assets for short-term income have been other points of criticism.


Full letter, as published by Sport:

Three years after the members of FC Barcelona gave us their trust at the polls, the Board of Directors that I have the honour of presiding over is very proud of the work carried out. Without a doubt, Barca is on the right path, the institution is strong, the club is well organised and we can affirm that, with talent, courage, audacity and professionalism, the club has been righted and recovered. But nothing has been the result of chance, but rather the sum of many efforts used to follow a detailed strategic plan reviewed weekly by those responsible for various departments that make up a solvent organisation committed to the club. I take advantage of these lines to thank the club’s team of workers for the talent and Barcelona spirit that they make available to the club day after day. Without them, the “miracle” of saving the entity from shipwreck would not have been possible.

To properly assess the efforts and achievements achieved in the last three years, it is worth remembering the situation we found ourselves in in March 2021, when we were elected by the members: the club’s own funds were negative and the debt was astronomical, with a large short-term component. Furthermore, there was a clear undervaluation of the Espai Barca project; a breach of commitments with sporting and financial entities and a lack of governance and internal control. With these figures, a private company would have entered into a technical bankruptcy process. But we did not flinch in the face of such a threat and made brave decisions with two inalienable premises: that the cost of economic recovery would not be assumed by the members and that any decision would not put the Club’s ownership model at risk.

Barca’s growth in the last three years is an objective reality after establishing the club economically with a clear improvement in income, a reduction in the sports wage bill, which has gone from representing 98% in relation to total income in the 20-21 season to 57% in the current season, a more than sustainable figure since we are in the low area of ​​the percentage recommended by UEFA. At the same time, the value of the first team squad has increased exponentially, an essential fact to understand the economic-sporting balance of a football club, with a firm commitment to the young talent worked at La Masia, which is the base of the sporting project and the best guarantee to ensure the sporting and economic sustainability of Barca in the coming years.

The institutional pulse has also been recovered thanks to the consolidation and expansion of a series of strategic alliances that confirm the strength and attraction that Barca generates in all areas. More and more partners and investors from all over the world want to associate with Barca and, most importantly, always respecting our identity as a Catalan club open to the world, with inalienable values ​​linked to democracy, freedom, our language and our culture, that is, our founding essences and our ownership model, which the Board of Directors defends staunchly because we believe that the uniqueness granted by the current associative model gives us more economic, social and institutional strength than any other model. 

The challenges for the coming years, established in the meticulous strategic plan, are based on the acceleration of the club’s business to complete the economic recovery and consolidation in the world’s top class in sport. With less than ten months left before we celebrate 125 years of history, our purpose is none other than to continue being the best multi-sports club in the world. Faced with the new paradigms of the football industry, with new and powerful economic competitors, we are moving towards a change in the business model hand in hand with the digital transformation of the entity as a key element to ensure economic and financial sustainability.

The central project of our mandate is the Espai Barca, with the new Spotify Camp Nou at the helm, an essential project to keep FC Barcelona in the leadership of world football and become one of the pillars of the club’s economic viability. We are talking about a new stadium to continue winning, in sports and economically. It will be the best stadium in the world, the culminated dream of all Barcelona fans.

Barca is an irreducible, invincible feeling. I ask that we remain more united than ever in the defence of our badge, our values, our teams. It is worth remembering that in the current season we still have many objectives to achieve in sports. Barca is the current champion of the 6 leagues in which our 6 professional teams compete (men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, handball, hockey and indoor soccer), an unprecedented achievement in the club’s history. If the players see that we never give up, they won’t either. Here we fight until the end. We can win or we can lose, it is part of sport, but we never throw in the towel because winning is part of our competitive essence.

The sporting, economic and institutional recovery of FC Barcelona is being achieved because we have remained more united than ever in the face of those who want to damage us. And this is the key to projecting ourselves more and better in the future: to be more and to be stronger. Barca only has us, the Barcelona fans. And we have to close ranks, be more united than ever, because we do not have nor do we want to have powerful states behind us or millionaires who want to control the club. Our strength comes from our identity, our history and our ownership model.

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