Competition Focus

‘If we meet the budget, the darkest era in FC Barcelona history will be over’

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta was speaking for over an hour to Catalan radio station RAC 1 this Friday morning and had all kinds of things to say on a number of different topics. Here’s a run-down of some of the most important things he had to say.

The team

“I am working hard for Barça. We need to be very careful right now, it’s a complicated situation. But things can be addressed and we haven’t thrown in the towel.”

“Xavi and the players are all motivated. We are depending on the players’ commitment to the cause.”

“Last season was an excellent job. We won a difficult league. This season we felt that we had an even stronger squad, but things have not gone to plan.”

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“I found out after the game with Villarreal. I always go down to say a few words to the squad and that’s when he told me. I was surprised. I assumed his decision had to do with the result of the game. But then I realised he had been giving the matter some thought and felt under a lot of pressure. It was a resignation in delay. He also told me he was turning down the year he has left on his contract. That was honourable because we extended his deal last year.”

“I want Xavi to stay until the end of the season. That’s the best thing. If the board had to decide, we’d keep him on until the end of the season. He doesn’t deserve to be sacked. If it wasn’t Xavi we were talking about, we’d have got rid of him. I accepted the idea because it’s Xavi.”



“If we meet the budget, the darkest era in FC Barcelona history will be over.”

“The budget produces a surplus without having to sell assets. The club has been doing some good work here. The expenses and debt have been reduced in just over two years. In part, this has been thanks to the large turnover generated by BLM and to the reduction of the sports payroll.”

“To fully meet the budget, we still need new income that is expected to be obtained from new sponsors. Buying and selling of players can also help us.”

“I completely rule out the idea of Barça becoming a joint-stock company. It will always be owned by the members. The membership system is one of the club’s primary assets. It is highly appreciated and attracts sponsors. We have many ways to get income.”

“The key to boosting income is to gain business investors, but without having them form part of the ownership model. It helps us to make lines like Barça Studios and Bihub profitable.”

“When we arrived, we faced 500 million euros in losses and 1,500 in debt. We have reduced the debt with La Liga to 652 million and the sports payroll by 172 million. In principle, we will return to the 1/1 rule of financial fair play. Selling players will also help.”


New coach

“The new coach is a matter for Deco. I’m concentrating on this season.”

“There are certain conditions that the new coach would have to accept. It might improve our sporting policies, but there are some things that are non-negotiable and that we want to keep, such as the youth structure.”

“Any coach who comes to Barça knows that we have a genuine way that we like to play. Of course, each coach brings his own style and will add his own ideas.”

“I haven’t spoken to any coaches. Sure, there aren’t too many options. It has to be a coach with a strong background. A substitute like Rafa Márquez isn’t out of the question. He has been learning the job here and knows the players to perfection.”


“Deco is working to sign the two Joãos”.

“Right now, no players are up for transfer, they are committed to the rest of the season. At the end of the season, we’ll decide.”

“Deco has been monitoring Lucas Bergvall for some time. We made our offer to the player and now it’s up to him. Other clubs are chasing him, such as Tottenham, who are offering more than we are.”

Real Madrid  

“Real Madrid are carrying out a cynical campaign and that is not acceptable. The judge has extended the instruction period in the ‘Negreira Case’ because they have asked for it. I am confident that Barça will be absolved. It’s a campaign orchestrated to damage FC Barcelona’s reputation.” 

“What Real Madrid TV are doing is a disgrace. If they had any decency, they would not allow it. The referees’ committee or the Federation ought to do something.”  

“I am against VAR. The game loses spontaneity. The improper use of VAR referees games again and Madrid have benefitted.”  

“The last time I spoke to Florentino was during the Super Cup.”  



“The idea of its creation is to be able to compete against state backed clubs and look for sustainability in European Football. In the current European competition organisation everyone is getting rich and the clubs are being ruined. We are not getting any benefits with the current structure.”  

“There will be a Superleague for next season or the 25/26 season. If it not then, I will have a rethink. Now is the time.”  

“I can see a first phase and then bringing in more team. I don’t care if the English teams are not in it. Some have shown interest.”  

Espai Barça and Montjuïc  

“The works are going according to schedule. The Espai Barça is to embrace the future. It’s vital due to our financial situation. The demolition has gone really well and the building according to predictions. At the end of the year we will be back playing Spotify Camp Nou if all carries on like this.”  

“It’s the most important institutional project for the Club. We are complying with everything that is required. We have passed five inspections and only two incidents have been found.”  

“At Montjuïc the numbers don’t add up. With tickets we were ambitious but that is not happening. The capacity and views are what they are. It’s not the most adequate stadium, nevertheless, tickets are being sold. What we lack we are making up with new sponsors.”  


Barça shirt  

“With Nike we have a situation which is not the most desirable. They have not fulfilled some contractual conditions. At the moment, the market is offering double what Nike are paying.”  

“We are talking and we think they should make an effort. More than a sponsor, they are a partner. At difficult moments, Nike have not been there. We are at a point to find the best situation.” 

“There are three ways for the first team shirt: accept what Nike are offering, go to the market, an interesting option and safest, or make it ourselves.”  

Alexia and Ricky

“We want Alèxia to stay and we’re working on it. She’s one of the stars of women’s football. The team is having an impact and we intend to keep things that way. It’s the only team whose budget has been raised. But we have to remember there are financial limitations.”

“I hope Ricky Rubio ends up playing for Barça. We think he could be very useful for the rest of the season.”

“The idea is for all of the professional teams to win their domestic championships.”



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