Barcelona civil war! Bartomeu launches scathing attack on Laporta
Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has launched a scathing 10-point attack on successor Joan Laporta following Lionel Messi’s departure from the club.
Laporta, who came to power following Bartomeu’s resignation upon a ticket promising that Messi would remain at the club, has been an outspoken critic of the previous regime, pointing out that they left the club in a woeful financial state.
This has been particularly pointed following the revelation that Messi would be unable to remain at the club – news that broke on 5 August. Just a few days later, it was confirmed that Messi had joined PSG.
Bartomeu, however, has now broken his silence on the matter in a lengthy public letter.
“As is known, our Board of Directors planned to call elections on March 21, 2021, within the statutory period at the end of our mandate, which would have allowed us to take on and carry out the settlement of the 2020/21 season accounts, as was our wish, and take the decisions necessary to avoid arriving at the current financial situation,” Bartomeu wrote.
“We would have been the only ones responsible for the closure due to the pandemic and its consequences. Decisions that the new Board has not taken throughout these past months, making clear their inaction.”
Bartomeu's Messi claims
He claims that had deals his board were trying to broker been continued by Laporta’s leaders, Messi might remain a Barcelona player.
“If Laporta's Board had approved the Barcelona Corporate project, it would have meant a capital injection of at least €220 million with the aim of reducing the income losses caused by COVID...which in 2020-21 could be €375 million.
"If to those €220 million we had added the necessary 20 percent salary reduction from the players' contracts, essential from March 21, 2021, when the worst expectations were confirmed, the salary ratio dictated by La Liga would have been complied with, allowing for players to be registered.”
Furthermore, he claims that Laporta paid money to Neymar that he was not owed.
“Why did you take that decision against the interests of the club?” Bartomeu asks.
Barcelona will begin their La Liga campaign on Sunday with a match against Real Sociedad, with summer signings Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia ineligible while Sergio Aguero is injured. Barca have been unable to register them with the league.