Joan Laporta asked for patience. He did it over and over again. He recalled the management of the board of Josep Maria Bartomeu and assured that his plan will be “successful.” But, he insisted that he needs time. “Different rhythms”, Laporta started. The president understands that there are two speeds: the one the environment wants and the one the club wants. “We have reached the middle of the season and we have to finish a project that was not working and, at the same time, create our own. A project that will give Barcelona fans a lot of joy and that will turn around the economic situation that we have found ourselves, ”he explained. While waiting for the audit to close – “I won’t be able to be very precise because it will end in July,” he clarified – Barça’s finances are the cornerstone of Laporta’s plan, whose main objective is to renew Lionel Messi and wash his face to the template. The president, however, is ambiguous about the future of Ronald Koeman.
“He is a coach that we have met and he has a contract,” he said. He did not seem too satisfied with what he inherited on the bench. Then he backed off: “Don’t discount Koeman. Ronald responds to the profile ”. But Laporta, what he wants is patience. Weather. “With Koeman the relationship is very good, one of respect and of speaking clearly. It is about sharing objectives and criteria. He wants to continue and we are in a period of reflection to find a satisfactory situation for all. If we share everything, of course it can continue ”, concluded Laporta.
On the other hand, he was more convincing about the future of Lionel Messi: “The new contract with Messi is going well. It’s going well, but it’s not done yet. We have to keep working. From the presidency we are working on a proposal that within the possibilities of the club can please the player. We are doing everything possible so that Messi continues at Barça ”.
On the 10th, he left for Argentina on Tuesday to play the first two games of the South American qualifiers for Qatar 2022 (Chile and Colombia) and then play the Copa América, which begins on June 12 and ends on July 11. At that point, Messi’s contract with Barça will already have expired. He does it on June 30. Rosario’s father and representative, however, is still in Barcelona. And negotiate with Laporta. “Leo asks for affection and to feel comfortable. Be at ease and smile, but for this you must win. Therefore, you must see that you can win. That has him in a process of reflection, but he is putting a lot on his part. I think he is very appreciative of the effort he has made and I think he is very excited to continue ”, said Laporta.
“What changed in Messi from when he sent the furofax (in August 2020 he asked to leave the club) to the current moment?” “Before there was another president and now I am. And he likes that. With the other president, he was disappointed and now he has a president who loves him and tells him so. Messi wants Barça to think big and this has to be proven. He wants proven success, motivation and demand. With me as president, he has it. And that is why he is helping us ”, Laporta stressed. He assured that Barcelona has already made an offer to 10. A proposal that from the Argentine environment they deny. “It is not a question of money, it is a team project with the possibility of winning everything. We are moderately optimistic, ”Laporta highlighted.
Messi heads the squad with the highest wage bill in Europe. Another matter to resolve at the Laporta meeting. “We have it at 110 percent of expected revenue. That will have to be adjusted. Now we do not comply with the financial fair play. We must reduce expenses and increase income, “said the boss, who revealed that he is negotiating with Rakuten to renew his contract, seeking an agreement on the name rights for the stadium and other sources of income that allow him” to be optimistic. And he detailed the economic situation: “We have 1,200 million in debt and 350 million in losses. We are fighting to reverse the financial situation and we are sure that we will succeed ”.
The solution, for Laporta, does not only depend on Barcelona. “Soccer calls for innovation,” he said. “That those who regulate football castling … We have contact with all the teams in the Super League. But some are not interested, like state clubs, who make a call and may have more income. Bad things have also been done by the big clubs, ”he said. And he added: “We are going to fight to defend the interests of Barça. And for football to be sustainable, with logical criteria to develop this industry. All the clubs are at a loss and other agents are getting rich. When we are the ones who pay for the party ”.
The Super League represents the change of power. A bet that Laporta supports, he explained, must be voted on in the Assembly, although he recalled that it was not conceived during his mandate. “When we arrived it was very advanced. There were 11 clubs and Barça was important. We will never turn our backs on movements where the greats of football are. Our position is one of dialogue: with UEFA, with FIFA, with the Federation and with LaLiga. I have communication with Rubiales, Tebas and recently I spoke with Zeferin ”, Laporta said. And he explained his talk with the president of UEFA, who opened a file against Barça, in addition to Madrid and Juve, considering that they violated the legal framework of the European football body. “I told him that I did not plan to apologize for thinking and we do not intend to pay a penalty without justification. And if that happens we will go to the TAS and it will surely agree with us. The Super League format no longer exists ”, Laporta explained.
Willing to cut off speculation – “there is some impatience in the environment and we want to explain ourselves,” he said, Laporta also spoke about the changes in the sections. Handball is particularly agitated, after dispensing with the coach, Xavi Pascual, and the manager, David Barrufet. “For sporting reasons we think to change the coach. I ask for respect for the sports decision. Respect and gratitude for Xavi Pascual. In the case of Barrufet, we already said that the sections would not have technical secretaries. The economic situation makes us be austere, “Laporta closed.