The Barça and the broken promises

The critical economic situation inherited from the previous directive, worsened by the devastating effects of the pandemic, left the incoming directive chaired by Joan Laporta facing two management alternatives.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
27 October 2022 Thursday 23:34
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The Barça and the broken promises

The critical economic situation inherited from the previous directive, worsened by the devastating effects of the pandemic, left the incoming directive chaired by Joan Laporta facing two management alternatives. There was the conservative path, which implied an exercise in realism that was not very common in football, consisting of reversing the situation little by little, gradually reducing the debt without depending on any excessive creditor and assuming before the social mass the reduction of sporting objectives, promoting La Masia and other low-cost alternatives.

The second option, chosen by Laporta as soon as he got rid of the general manager, Ferran Reverter, whom he himself had paradoxically elevated to the altars, was to travel through the time tunnel to rescue the idea of ​​the virtuous circle. That is to say: renunciation of austerity, sale or rental of own assets to obtain cash on account of the future and promise of an immediate change in institutional inertia through the preparation of a template of bells. The cost of the transfers was high, 153 million euros, to which had to be added the 55 paid in the previous winter window by Ferran Torres. 208 in total without counting the additional 36 as variables if these end up being fulfilled.

Has it been worth the effort? Not as planned. Barça has been removed from the Champions League and people still walk down the street in short sleeves. Bad sign. The club is poorer and expectations have lost by a landslide against the harsh reality. “I want Barça to once again be a world leader in the world of football. I want to be three-calm again and win a sextet again. We will live that again. And when I finish what I've started, I'll go around the world." Such phrases were pronounced by Joan Laporta a little over three months ago.

The non-correspondence between desire and facts in both the sporting and financial fields are not new. The most famous mismatch had Leo Messi as the protagonist. What was a piece of cake in the electoral campaign, in the field of non-fiction took an unexpected turn. The Argentine did not stay in the club of his life and left crying when his continuity contract was about to be signed. A traumatic goodbye justified by the directive by the inheritance of salaries outside the market. Compliance with fair play made it impossible to retain the most important player in the history of the club.

In the assembly of last September it was clear that in the objective of cutting salaries the club is still not successful. In absolute figures, the wage bill has gone from 518 million euros to 656, a 27 percent increase therefore. And without Messi.

Levers aside, the board and its body of executives, very renewed under criteria of fidelity rather than curriculum, continue to have problems generating income, a difficulty aggravated from now on by the premature elimination, for the second consecutive season, of the Champions League. The sponsors, sooner or later, will prefer to have allies that maintain a hierarchical position on the continental scene. Barça does not have it.

Nor have they done their homework in the transparency section. During the 2021 election campaign, rightly scandalized by the practices of the previous board for the payment of disproportionate and unethical commissions, Joan Laporta promised electricity and stenographers. “If we want a player and we have to pay an impressive commission, I will explain it. What I will not do is disguise it,” he said. Since he is president, the signings have happened but the figures of the commissions have never been provided. In the presentation of Raphinha, a Brazilian winger represented by Deco signed days after Dembélé was renewed and with Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati and Memphis Depay in the squad, Mateu Alemany, director of football, explained it this way when required by the journalists. “It is a classic operation in percentages and amounts. There are two types of commission and the paying club disburses a proportion of the player's salary. You only have an ordinary commission for your role as an agent. The amounts? We do not give the amounts.

After the coup last Wednesday at the Camp Nou, with an unappealable defeat against Bayern, the usual executioner despite the change of presidents, Laporta lowered, this time, the flight of his speech regarding the possibilities of the first team. "We cannot stop, we knew that in this reconstruction process there would be ups and downs."

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