Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta reveals ‘worrying’ club finances

La Liga heavyweights €1.35bn in debt with salaries up to 25% higher than competitors

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has given details of the club’s “very worrying” financial situation, revealing the La Liga giants are €1.35 billion (£1.1 billion) in debt.

Laporta blamed his predecessor, Josep Bartomeu, for a “terrible inheritance” which he says means club salaries represent 103 per cent of income at the Camp Nou. He blamed the club’s “dramatic” situation on Lionel Messi’s departure and accused Bartomeu of countless “lies”, insisting that he and his board of directors must be held accountable.

Laporte, in his second spell as club president after winning the 2021 elections, said at a live press conference: “Our salaries represent 103 per cent of the club’s total income. That’s 20 per cent to 25 per cent more than our competitors.

“The first thing we had to do when we arrived was to ask for a loan of €80 million because otherwise we could not pay the salaries. The previous regime was full of lies.


“We also found that we had to do some urgent repairs to the Camp Nou because otherwise it posed a risk to the attending fans. We also found out that the club had already received 50 per cent of the TV rights fees in advance. We found the wage policy in the form of an inverted pyramid – veterans on long contracts and youngsters on short deal. There were no wages cuts – lies.

“We have found that disproportionate payments have been made to intermediaries, not even agents. Barcelona has a negative net worth of €451 million – it is a terrible inheritance. What has been happening is very worrying.”

Loan of €550m

Despite such a wealth of problems, Laporta believes Barcelona can repair their situation and revealed they had taken out a loan of €550 million with an interest rate of 1.1 per cent to restructure the club. He thinks it will take a couple of years for the club to be back on a more stable financial footing.

“The situation is dramatic, but we have good news,” said Laporta. “The strategic plan based on our credibility and experience, on the assets that Barça have, makes this situation temporary. I think that in a couple of years, the club’s economy will be healthy.

“We are not scared at all. We are highly motivated and positive and morale is high. It’s a big challenge but we are capable of overcoming it. I’d like to call on all Barça fans and the entire club to be united. With football and unity, I’m convinced this era will be full of success.”