It’s been a bad week for FC Barcelona. The supporters were forced to watch their players surrender the Liga title to bitter rivals Real Madrid, and Lionel Messi then spoke out against the failings of the club in a stunning interview.
It couldn’t get much worse, right? Well, maybe it could. There has been plenty made of la Blaugrana’s finances and president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s overall running of the club, after the Catalan giants missed out on several marquee signings, seemingly due to a lack of funds.
And these fears have been confirmed, after former club president Joan Laporta claimed that the Barça board has taken out an €800m loan, to be repaid over the next 20 years, as reported by El Pais.
It hardly screams stability, does it? Especially when you consider they already hold a debt of an estimated €217m. Wow.
Discussing the chaotic situation at the club, Laporta confessed that he finds it difficult to believe current chief Bartomeu can ‘leave the club better than they found it,’ while stating he will be ‘very attentive’ to their off-field activities.
“Hopefully this is the case, but the way things are going, I find it very difficult for them to leave the club better than they found it.
“I don’t know if they have already signed it (the loan agreement) or if they have already made a pre-agreement. It will be to return in 20 years. I will be very attentive to everything they do because they can harm the club’s assets.
“It will be a club with a billion revenues, but with a billion expenses and a billion debt. And that will be very difficult for the one who comes. What they are being asked to do is leave all the tools to reverse this situation. And, from what I see, it seems to me that this is not happening.”
According to Barcelona, ??the €800m loan will be used in the development of Espai Barça, the sporting complex which the club hopes will take them to new heights.
For Blaugrana supporters, they would certainly hope to see some of that money invested in their below-par squad, as they prepare to retain their crown from los Blancos next year.