Home Sport news “The world sees Barça as a fallen giant”

“The world sees Barça as a fallen giant”

by archysport

BarcelonaCornered by more than 20,000 signatories of a motion of censure launched after Leo Messi’s bureaufax, Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned as president of Barça a year ago. The resignation fell on Tuesday, just 24 hours after the same person involved grabbed the chair and said he had “no reason to resign.” In a farewell without questions or the presence of any journalist in the press room of the Camp Nou, Bartomeu blamed the government of Catalonia for his departure. He understood that political power was making him bedridden allowing Catalan members to vote in the plebiscite on his term, scheduled for November 1, the Sunday of that week. Both he and his collaborators had rolled up their sleeves to stretch the deadlines before the polls were put in place, even turning to the Civil Guard to tarnish the entire process of validating signatures in favor of the censorship vote. The last bullet was the health argument, but neither the Secretary General of Sport nor the then Aragonese vice-president granted legal coverage to delay the vote another 15 days. “They have washed their hands in the face of an awkward situation without thinking about the consequences,” the former president denounced today.

A year after the resignation of Bartomeu’s government (2015-2020), the club is still mired in a multisectoral crisis. Despite Joan Laporta’s victory in the March 7 election, the effects of the previous board’s mismanagement and the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic are still being felt at all levels. “Sports disaster, economic hole and institutional discredit. Everything has been established. That is why we made the motion of censure,” Marc Duch, promoter of the legal mechanism to force the resignation of the board and later member of the candidacy, told ARA of Víctor Font in the elections. “Journalism did not know how to control Bartomeu’s management and preferred to live with complicity with power. This caused the worst crisis in the club since 1908 to erupt without knowing where the kicks came from,” laments the columnist and historian Frederic Porta.

Sports crisis

Barça lives badly in the Champions League and suffers in the League

Barça’s first team, the mainstay of the club’s sports project, remains with Ronald Koeman on the bench. The high bill of his dismissal and the lack of consensus between the board and the sports management regarding a possible replacement keep the Dutchman in charge despite the poor start of the course of Barça, summed up with a partial four defeats, ten goals against and only one in favor of the four matches against top-level rivals (Bayern, Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Madrid). Koeman, who left the Camp Nou screaming a few days ago, leads a squad without Leo Messi, who could not sign up due to high salary, or Antoine Griezmann. He also blames the difficulties of adapting Memphis Depay, star signing for the forward. “It will cost to raise the sports project. There is a good batch of young people, but good technicians will be needed to make it grow,” says Duch, who criticizes the lack of a plan in this regard by the new board.

Economic crisis

The shadow of the joint-stock company

Barça approved “the worst numbers in its history” at the last assembly, said President Laporta. 481 million euros in losses in 20/21 and a skyrocketing debt of 1,350 million include the club, which has been put in the hands of its star creditor, Goldman Sachs, to begin reconstruction. In June, the partners approved a nearly $ 600 million transaction to refinance short-term obligations. And a few days ago they gave the green light in search of a maximum of 1.5 billion to make Espai Barça, a heritage project that the new management sees as essential to compete with the big clubs in Europe. “We are late”, insists from the main floor in relation to the comprehensive reform of the stadium and the construction of a new Palau Blaugrana.

At the same time, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of wages, with current contracts out of the market that go back to Bartomeu’s years, in which, according to Porta, “power was given to the dressing room by paying him much more than that he deserved. ” Specifically, according to the budget 21/22, a saving of 147 million more is imposed. “The deficit has skyrocketed and I see more and more black that the conversion into a sports corporation is avoided,” adds the journalist, pessimistic about the possibility of having to change the ownership model. For his part, Duch notes “lack of courage, forcefulness and imagination in reducing spending,” but at the same time celebrates the work of economic vice president Eduard Romeu and CEO Reverter: “So far it is very remarkable, a note of color and shine come from the grayness where we came from. “

Bartomeu and his board after winning the 2015 elections.

Institutional crisis

The doubt of responsibilities

A year after Bartomeu’s resignation and a half after Laporta’s wide victory at the polls, the Barça member still doesn’t know if those responsible for the “bad management” (in the words of CEO Reverter) of the old government they will end up in court. “We want to do well, not like they did with us,” Vice President Elena Fort told ARA, who in 2010 suffered the responsibility action that Sandro Rosell launched against Laporta’s first term. The Barcelona president discards this mechanism eleven years later because he suspects that “the covid will forgive everything” to justice. However, it will put the conclusions of the report in the hands of the partner forensic which is being done to study irregularities in turnover with extra costs in areas such as the Espai Barça, which has caused very high costs despite still being in its infancy. If the actions prospered, they would join the case opened by Barçagate, in which Bartomeu and the former executives Jaume Masferrer, Òscar Grau and Román Gómez Ponti are accused.

“It will be difficult to recover Barça’s institutional credit as well. It will take a lot of success, there is not much room. Now the international perception is that we are a fallen giant,” laments Duch, in a painful parallel with what happened. a few years ago at Milan. For his part, Porta emphasizes the idea that the consequences of Bartomeu’s mandate, which are very present today, “are indissoluble in Rosell’s government, in which the impossible was done to end the inheritance received” . “Now we have the rope around our necks and all we have to do is put a candle in Sant Gamper to open the miracle,” jokes the journalist.

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