This is a piece written by a great friend of mine, someone who absolutely loves Barcelona and knows a lot about the club and everything related to it: Jessin Chulado. Be sure to add him on Facebook!
Sports director Zubizarreta has finally left the club, shortly after, Carles Puyol, the former Barca player has left the club as well. After these two, there were a few more members inside the club who made the decision to leave Barca. This drama is even more bigger than the best watched movies on Netflix, even more shocking than the mysterious story from the biggest maffia boss ever ‘El Chapo Guzman’. It is even bigger than the most biggest scam from Bernard Madoff. How is this possible? I am sure you all are curious. This has been happening for years. The big political games from the board of FC Barcelona. A board that always finds another scapegoat for their own horrible mistakes. With characters like: Josep Lluis Nuñez, Joan Gaspart and Sandro Rosell. Other names like: Joan Laporta, former president of FC Barcelona and one of the greatest economists in the world and also professor at Columbia University; Xavier Sala i Martin are the ‘ good guys’ for FC Barcelona. Just like in comicbooks they fight against the villains who only care for doing evil and ruining everything that’s good. In this article I will try to describe a couple of the failures made by the board and former presidents at FC Barcelona.
After being an incompetent president for four years at FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell finally left the club in january last year. During these four years he did many bad things. The departure of Pep Guardiola is a perfect example from his mistakes. The current Bayern Münich coach said that he felt slightly stressed; while he actually wasn’t saying the truth. The succesfull coach always stood behind Laporta’s side, he and the most socios (members from the club) were not pleased with the decision from Rosell of suing Laporta for financial fraud. Rosell also started a dirty media campaign against Laporta. It was not strange from Pep to pick Laporta’s side; He was the one who gave Guardiola the chance to coach, via Barcelona B, the first squad of FC Barcelona. Pep is also very fond of Johan Cruijff – and the legendary number 14 is on Laporta’s side as well.
From the moment Sandro Rosell was signed, the club changed a lot. From a respected club, mostly by his youth system who gives youngsters a great chance at football, it has turned into a club which has lost a lot of its charm. The image and name of the club are damaged. This all happened thanks to current president Bartomeu and the last one who left the club; Sandro Rosell. Former president Laporta signed two suitable boardmembers who only committed themselves to financial business. The first one was Ferran Soriano, who convinced the banks to loan FC Barcelona money, however the best man left and another great economist took his place; Xavier Sala i Martin. At the time Barca started with a big dept and there wasn’t one bank which would loan money to the club. Barca was on the edge of banktrupcy thanks to Joan Gaspart and Josep Lluis Nuñez, who both were very incompetent for the job. Gaspart even stole money from the club and started building his own hotelchain. This in combination with poor negotiation with intermediaries, got Barcelona in huge problems. The dept decreased during the Laporta period; but nobody can make 470 million euro disappear in just seven years.
A financial plan was made and showed to the banks and they decided to loan Barcelona money. A huge rebellion took place. In 2002/03 Barca had an income of 137,7 million euro. Despite that it wasn’t a bad amount, they still didn’t run break-even. They still lost more money than they received. In that same year the club spent 308,1 million euro – and that while the club didn’t even qualified for the Champions League. Laporta created a clear plan and the board members presented it to the banks and after this the fans were asked if they wanted to take a bigger part in the club. This action made the number of club members rise hugely, which created extra earnings. 120.000 club members each paid 100 euro; this was ofcourse a great source of income for the club. Players were sold, salaries were reduced, while bonusses were raised.
Barcelona spent 168,2 million euro in 2003/2004, what meant that the club was spending 139,9 million euro less than the year before. Barca also received 174,2 million euro in that year. In 2004/2005 the club had an income of: 264,4 million euro. Every year the amount became bigger, in the season 2009/10 it was raised until 445,5 million euro. The Laporta board made profit, while Rosell said that the club lost millions of euros. At the end of every season the board made the figures pubicly (income, expenses), thinking about recorded agreements about money and television/sponsor income which were paid until the end of the year. Also the sale of Yaya Touré (30 million euro) was included in that year’s annual report.
Rosell started playing his games, because he knew that he could ruin the board at that time. When he was signed, he used the income (from Laporta), at his own income. Such as the Yaya Touré money; even though this was done by Laporta. Rosell sold Thierry Henry with a loss of six million; but he shoved this on to Laporta. Laporta started with a 470 million euro dept – and decreased it with more than 40 million. Barcelona had their most succesful period in the clubs history. Johan Cruijff and Pep Guardiola, ofcourse, had a great part in the success as well.
Cruijff recommended coaches and introduced the legendary system. Guardiola made the team compete at a legendary level – and gave the youth many chances to grow and succeed at FC Barcelona. Laporta took care of great transfers and negotiation with companies. Joan Laporta left the club in 2010, after he had been the president for seven years. Elections took place, this only was done by club members, (socios). Sandro Rosell, former top man of Nike Spain and South-America, took over. The current president, who receives a lot of criticism, was Rosell’s companion and principally did all his work; Rosell forwarded almost everything towards the board and did almost nothing himself. Sandro Rosell however still had a few great deals, he got Cesc Fabregas in and the Spanish midfielder even paid 6 million euros out of his own money. He also signed leftback Jordi Alba. However, Alexandre Song was a big failure; Barca paid 19 million euro (!), while he actually added nothing to the squad.
This was the first part of the article about the board from FC Barcelona. In the next part I will write about the signing scandal of Neymar, Joan Laporta who was sued and the incompetent decisions from Josep Bartomeu.
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