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Bartomeu Lambasts Successor In Self Defense

Josep Maria Bartomeu former president of FC Barcelona during the presentation of Quique Setien as a new coach of FC Barcelona with contract till 30th of June of 2022 at Camp Nou Stadium on January 14, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

October 14, (THEWILL) – Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has issued a statement in which he defends himself against allegations of financial mismanagement levelled by those in authority at Camp Nou.

Current president Joan Laporta and fellow executive Ferran Reverter have made no secret of their dislike for Bartomeu and his tenure as president, accusing him of leaving Barcelona with debts totaling more than €1 billion.

Bartomeu does not entirely agree, and made a statement to EFE in which he crunched the statistics and accused Barcelona of ‘erroneously’ claiming to be in such dire financial straits.

The former president said that Barcelona only lost €225 million in revenue as a result of COVID-19, not the €330 million claimed by Laporta and Reverter, and that the club’s overall debts are less than half of the €1.3 billion claimed.

He said, “The data will serve to refute the interpretations and information that have erroneously used the figure of €1.35bn of net debt, and that, as has been clarified in the audit notes, the club continues under the accounting principle of ‘Company in Operation’ and has in no case been at risk of liquidation or dissolution.”

Bartomeu emphasised how Laporta revealed the club’s net debt in June 2021 to be €680 million, which, when the €122 million invested in Espai Barca is taken in, should leave Barcelona with a net debt of €558 million, not €1.35 billion.

The former CEO further claims that the club was on course to lose only €50 million before the COVID-19 outbreak, which caused those losses to balloon to €555 million, blaming the virus for having a greater detrimental influence on the club than he did.

“And to finish, we agree with the current board of directors, that despite the terrible impact of COVID in the last 18 months, the club is alive and has assets, brand, land, content, stories and support from our sponsors, financial entities, suppliers, employees, partners and Culés of the world to get ahead with success and reinforced of this difficult stage,” he concluded.