Josep Maria Bartomeu has given an interview to Sport and Sports world. Both newspapers published in Barcelona they publish on their websites a preview of the talk with the former president of the Barça club between January 2014 and October 2020. When he will be one year after his departure from the club, October 27, the former president defends the management of his Board of Directors and it counts the economic problems suffered derived from the pandemic. The interviews with Bartomeu come in a week in which he issued a statement regarding the due diligence and the economic closure presented by Ferran Reverter, CEO of the club.
Management: “If the management has been disastrous? I know it is a phrase that runs but it has been very serious and responsible, rigorous, with a project and a strategic plan that was set especially in 2015. Sports management and the entire project prevailed patrimonial, economic, social … We have done many projects, we are the board that has been most active but as of March 2020, that serious and rigorous management was truncated by the appearance of the pandemic, which drastically decreased revenues. And from then on we suffered a very important cut. “
Management criticism: “It has not been disastrous. I am not saying so. LaLiga, UEFA in its Financial Fair Play and the auditors say so. There have been benefits of about 185 million euros. It has been a good management. Forbes magazine said that in 2020 Barça was the most valuable club in the world “.
Economic limits: “The club began to suffer, also because we were within the limits that UEFA allows for salaries. That meant that we had little margin to foresee this situation but it was not bad management. We tried to compete with the Premier League teams, which They were very powerful. These years we doubled our income and reached almost 1,000 million and that made us able to spend more on men’s and women’s soccer teams, basketball, handball, futsal and roller hockey and that allowed us to have competitive teams that have won many titles these years “.
Coronavirus: “This month of October has been a year that we resigned as Board of Directors. And although we would like to be more anonymous, we have made a statement because things appear that refer to us that do not seem entirely correct. Regarding the statement we made this Wednesday, what we intend is not to question the economic closure of the 20-21 season, because each meeting closes as it sees fit, but we did want to emphasize the impact that COVID has had. Not this season, because It already started in March 2020, when income plummeted, suddenly, from one day to the next, and from then on the club stops making enough money to continue paying salaries and even suppliers. What we want to explain to the member is that the situation is not as serious as it seems to be said from the club, but it is a situation caused by COVID “.
Economy without the coronavirus: “What we have done has been some calculations to see what the result of the year would have been taking as a reference the year 2019, a year without COVID. And that is when it appears that after those 555 million euros of losses announced by the current Board , which are correct, because they provide for possible litigation, depreciate players, there are management losses, of course, but in the event that there had not been COVID we have made a calculation of what their relationship would have been (on the economic closure). What we have done has been to eliminate the provisions and depreciations because it has been a decision made freely by the current board. The COVID effect has been 225 million euros. The loss of income, less the deduction of savings in expenses. That is why With everything subtracted, we obtain that the tax loss would have been 50 million euros. “