Monday, September 26

Barça delegates approve and criticize Bartomeu’s numbers

The delegates of Barça approved “the worst accounts of Barça”. The first ones that presented Joan Laporta in an assembly, which in the first sentence of his speech called it “one of the most important in the history of the entity.” Not only because of those dramatic numbers that have led the club to bankruptcy, but because at this crucial moment, in addition, the board had to carry out two more delicate votes: the approval of the request for a credit of 1,500 million for Espai Barça and the suspension of article 67 that would force the board to resign if it adds two negative financial years.

Those worst scores boiled down to “losses of $ 481 million, negative net worth of $ 450 million, and a debt of 1,350 million. And a null operating cash flow, without being able to pay the payroll “, as Laporta described and later corroborated Jaume Guardiola, president of the Economic Commission, substitute in the position of Carles Tusquets, who ended up being president of the Management Commission that supervised the transition between the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu and the elections. “The losses are of 481 million and the negative patrimony is of 451 million euros, the equivalent to being in bankruptcy”, corroborated Guardiola.

Ask for responsibilities

Those catastrophic numbers were voted by 729 delegates of the 760 accredited (16.35% of the 4,457 members called). And they were approved by 637 people (87%), while 39 people voted no and 42 blank. Yes did not imply tacit approval. Those present harshly criticized the legacy that Bartomeu has left them and demanded that Laporta hold the previous managers accountable.

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“A social action of responsibility would not prosper because the covid forgives everything. What I want, what we want is to arm ourselves with reasons, we do not want to go to trial and have everyone knock us down,” said Laporta, who promised another assembly of delegates to expose the result of the internal audit in charge of finding “behaviors that we have not found appropriate”, without deserving, in the absence of more data, qualify them as illegal or criminal.

“The losses are 481 million and the negative equity is 451 million euros, the equivalent of being bankrupt”

Jaume Guardiola / President of the Economic Commission

Laporta called on his fellow members to carry out “an exercise of responsibility” to make “far-reaching” decisions such as those mentioned. “Today more than ever, the future of Barça is in our hands, and that is good news: it is not in the hands of states or financial funds,” he said.

The increase in losses, a chapter that Eduard Romeu presented in his report for the 20-21 financial year, focused on several games: 20 million less due to the premature elimination in the Champions League (reaching the quarterfinals had been counted and the team fell in the eighth before the PSG), 100 million for the lack of buyer of the BLM company (company that manages merchandising) and 111 million reduction in sports salaries that was budgeted and did not occur. But the drift towards indebtedness began much earlier, certified the economic vice president.

The wage bill after Neymar’s departure amounted to 639 million: 90% of income. “The problem started then,” explained Romeu, whose biggest concern, since his arrival at the club, has been precisely the high cost of sports payrolls.

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Related news

Neymar left in the summer of 2017. From June 2019 to March 2021, “Barça increased its net debt by 514 million“, added the leader who exposed the account of income and expenses of the sports policy of Bartomeu: 1,724 million in transfers and 924 million in transfers; that is, a difference of 800 million. The former president, who boasted of having carried out “a serious and responsible management”, added to his income, for example, 79 million television rights that would correspond to this season 21-22, despite the fact that his term ended in June 2021.

The last accounts of Bartomeu (those of the 2019-20 campaign) were partial. Although the president left in October 2020, the new board did not enter the club until March 8, the day after the lessons. Already in June he presented the numbers of the former president, approved despite throwing some losses of 97 million. Those of yesterday were infinitely worse, although the closure was already done by the executive body of Laporta. And it will remain for history, approved by the assembly, of a second year of 481 million.

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