How Bartomeu destroyed Barcelona’s financial future

How Bartomeu destroyed Barcelona’s financial future

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02 Feb 2022
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Nick
Bartomeu

Barcelona have presented the results of the audit investigation carried out on the work of Josep Bartomeu and his administrative team. For the sake of this, Joan Laporta called a press conference, along with him came the vice-president of the club for economic affairs, Eduard Romeu, and lawyer Jordi Campaner.

 

The first words were from Laporta

“During the investigation, questionable transactions were identified,” Laporta said. – There were unreasonable payments, payments under false pretenses, unmotivated payments. We have inherited an economic situation with astronomical debts. The club has contacted the prosecutor’s office, so they have the right to know about the actions that led to the current sad situation.”

The president of Barca himself gave only an introduction. The whole situation was explained in detail by Romeu and Campaner, specially invited for this purpose.

 

Barca finances: €1.35bn debt,

Eduard Romeu presented a picture of the economic legacy of Bartomeu’s reign. In short, everything is well described by one phrase: “Bartomeu said Barcelona owed half a billion euros. But the truth is that we found a debt of 1 billion 350 million euros. We have lost €600m in the last two seasons, of which only €135m is due to the coronavirus.”

 

Romeu focused on the details:

The salary fund for Barcelona players was 40% higher than that of competitors. The deferred salary of the players is now 389 million euros. During the 7 years of Bartomeu’s rule, no repairs were carried out on any of the obsolete facilities. While Real Madrid took advantage of the lack of fans and began the reconstruction of the Bernabeu, Barca did nothing.

Romeu admitted that if the stadiums were opened to spectators before August, the Camp Nou would still not be able to receive them – the arena was in such a bad condition. The club’s balance sheet is now minus €450m.

Falsification of documents & overpriced agreements

Jaume Campaner, the club’s lawyer in economic law, spoke next. He just dwelled in more detail on the abuses of the previous leadership found during the audit.

“For me, the key word is disloyalty. They (Bartomeu’s people) dishonestly used the money of the club, the money of the socios, as if it were their own pocket. We are talking about millions of euros. After everything we found, I had no doubt that we should go to court. We have no doubt that this is a criminal offense, so we brought the results of the investigation to the attention of the prosecutor’s office. We can counter complex economic crimes.” Also mentioned are payments of almost 9 million euros to a law firm when signing a contract with a player. Radio Cat thinks it’s about Griezmann’s transfer. The Sport edition adds that there are doubts about the commissions of Antoine’s sister and father of the player, the lawyer of the Griezmann family and another lawyer in the transition of Antoine. Unreasonable and false spending. For example, Barcelona paid 15 million just to supposedly get the preemptive right to buy players – according to Campaner, this has nothing to do with reality.

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