Joan Laporta aspires to be proclaimed president of Barcelona in the next few hours, after LaLiga validates the guarantee of 124.6 million, 15% of the club’s budget, which must be presented this Wednesday as the deadline, as required by the Law of the Sports of 1990. Although it is expected to close on time, the formalization of the guarantee became very complicated, to the point that Laporta has negotiated with investment funds and different businessmen, after Jaume Giró, former general director of the Fundació La Caixa, resigned on Saturday to join the board despite being the spokesman for the economic policy of the candidacy Estimem the Barça, winner of the elections on the 7th.
Giró’s surprising departure will cause news in Laporta’s board of directors. The most significant could be that of Eduard Romeu, vice president of Audax Renovables, the energy production and marketing company directed by José Elías and whose shareholders include Goldman Sachs, the investment fund that intends to finance the Espai Barçto. It would not be the only one in the council that Laporta would announce in the inauguration, but more incorporations are expected such as Joan Soler, president of Vilafranca and member of the pre-candidacy of Jordi Farré, leader of the vote of no-confidence that in the long run caused the resignation last October of President Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The high amount of the guarantee and the critical economic situation of the entity have put Laporta in a major hurry, who trusted Giró to solve both issues on which there was no impact as expected during an electoral campaign in which the candidacies also participated. by Víctor Font and Toni Freixa. The 124.6 million demanded cannot be covered individually through the assets of the candidates and therefore the processing of a guarantee from a financial entity that is willing to assume the risk is required at a time when Barcelona’s debt amounts to 820 million, 50% more than a year ago, and above all because half of the obligations to pay are due in the short term.
The different members of the Laporta board who participated in the elections together cover a little more than 50 million among all – some endorse others – and therefore it is necessary to gather 70 million more, an amount that requires complex negotiations and balances of power that somehow they caused the withdrawal of Giró, who since then has opted for silence. There is no alternative for the guarantor or guarantors to enter the board with conditions or, on the contrary, resort to outside businessmen or an external and foreign investment fund, in which case even “electoral fraud” could be denounced, in the words of former directors of Barcelona.
Last Saturday, before departure, the former director of the Fundació la Caixa, Sabadell and JB Capital had already agreed on a guarantee structure that was approved and ready to sign. Everything was cut short with the departure of Giró. The solution has been to negotiate with Audax and try to expand the board with Romeu, since Elías does not have enough seniority as a partner to be able to be a member of the Barça board. Although the compensation is not known, the economic policy of the club may change with respect to the declaration of intent expressed in the campaign by Giró – a supporter of the bond issue – and Laporta. The sensation of improvisation, in any case, is mixed with institutional embarrassment after the attempt to reach a consensus on a single candidacy to re-float Barcelona failed.
The forecasts are alarming because if last year ended with losses of 97 million, it is estimated that the current one can reach up to 250 million, amounts that already had their importance so that some pre-candidates ended up giving up their appearance in the elections, such as was the case of the businessmen Jordi Roche and Juan Rosell. The risk of execution of the guarantees is much higher than in previous years. For example, as when Laporta was president from 2003 to 2010, the guarantee amounted to 25.6 million. In Barcelona, unlike Madrid, only the winner of the elections has to present the endorsement and not all the candidates.
The board must have a minimum of 14 executives and a maximum of 21. The names of Elena Fort, Rafael Yuste, Josep Cubells, Alfonso Castro and Josep-Ignasi Macià – linked to their previous mandate – as well as those of Xavier are already known. Puig, Antonio Escudero, Aureli Mas, Josep Maria Albert, Juli Guiu, Jordi Llauradó, Xavier Barbany and Miquel Camps. Laporta therefore has room to incorporate new members to the board willing to endorse, an option that can cause internal tensions for control, or negotiate with a foreign investment fund that in return may require commissions of the order of 5 to 7% , annually, a figure that is difficult to assume by the Barcelona council.
The control of the box can also alter the transfer plan planned by Laporta, which aspires to hire Haaland and does not rule out bidding for Alaba, while trying to retain Messi. Advised by the economist Xavier Sala i Martín, the future president has already devised an organization chart that includes as figures Ferran Reverter, former CEO of MediaMarkt and Mateu Alemany, football director. The technical secretary would be Jordi Cruyff. Before, in any case, you need to close the guarantee and you only have until today, 10 days after the 7-M election.
The statutes provide that otherwise a new manager will be appointed, such as the one currently chaired by Carles Tusquets. The situation, therefore, is very delicate as long as the Banco de Sabadell does not issue the expected guarantee and it is validated by LaLiga. The final formula chosen would be that the guarantors were about 14 executives, some external company and Audax.