Barcelona President Joan Laporta tears down member after question – ‘Enough with your publicity act’

Barcelona President Joan Laporta was entirely in his groove at the club general assembly on Saturday morning, as he declared that the Blaugrana were being attacked by Madrid-supporting state powers. And he had no issues in tearing apart questions from his own members too.

As the opportunity arose for members to ask questions, and Jaume Llopis, who is a former director at the club, had plenty of them.

Llopis was formerly in charge of the Espai Barca project, where Barcelona will redevelop the area around the renovated Camp Nou. He asked no shortage of tricky questions of Laporta and Economic Vice-President Eduard Romeu.

He claimed that their explanation of the club’s finances was dishonest, regarding how they were accounting Barcelona’s sale of the Barca Vision, which they have only received €40m of the €200m for. He also claimed that Barcelona would end up with a debt of more than €3b including the Espai Barca project.

Romeu responded that regardless of whether it was ‘ugly’ or not, as Llopis called it, it was a matter of a legal accounting practice, and that was what they had done.

He then explained that the Espai Barca project could be considered a separate project from the rest of Barcelona’s finances. The financing for the project will be exclusively paid for by the income from Espai Barca, rather than from other income. They also highlighted the necessity to complete the Espai Barca project to increase the long-term income of the club.

Laporta was not quite as diplomatic as Romeu.

“You have economic training, do not con people with these games. Do not express your opinion with such smugness. We are living a reality, not a fiction. Provoking other Barcelona fans does not give me anything. That you support me with the Negreira case, neither. It’s clear that you really want to be a protagonist.”

“He knows Barca very well. Seeing him throw spanners in the works makes me sad. As I said before, Barcelona fans only have each other. I ask him to reduce his desire for prominence. It makes me very sad to see him engage in demagoguery. Hopefully sooner rather than later we can make him understand that we are on the right path. You know that we are much better since we arrived.”

“Your opinion is intentional, critical – which always helps to wake us up – but it is time to close ranks and you are putting a spanner in the works. It is inappropriate for these moments. It has been answered and I trust that it will be looked at with a more positive perspective. The best Barca in history will be repeated and elsewhere they are panicking. We cannot get better sportingly if we do not do our homework economically. His point of view is catastrophising and mine is realistic. Let’s not put more obstacles in the way in these difficult times, let’s continue working to get better.”

Laporta will no doubt have his view of the finances, but there is no doubt that the President of Barcelona is leaving little room for criticism of his regime. Whom is closer to the truth, it’s impossible to know without detailed knowledge of the internal finances, but from a purely democratic point of view, it’s a concerning precedent.


Tags Barcelona Jaume Llopis Joan Laporta
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