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Josep Maria Bartomeu opened Saturday’s Delegate Assembly with a positive review of a season that he defined as one of “records and memories.”

But he began his speech with some strong words in response to the comments made in the wake of last week’s win in Valencia: "I have to comment on the imprudent and irresponsible statement by the president of the LFP, Javier Tebas, and its disciplinary committee” he said. “They are an example of what should never be said and done by people and bodies whose behaviour should be exemplary.”

“We shan’t allow ourselves to be attacked and we have no doubt that we shall go as far as it takes to defend the honour of our players and club.”

Having made his views more than clear on that matter, the president moved onto his annual review of the year, saying that “things have happened that we can feel very happy and proud about, others that have hit our hearts with grief and others still that have made us feel unfairly treated.”

Record figures

“But this was a record year, the year of the double, of four major trophies, of 131 goals scored by the best strike-force in the world, and in financial terms we generated revenue of 679 million euros, the highest ever figure to be achieved by a sports club.”

“This was also year that brought the first designs of the future Espai Barça, the new Camp Nou, which will be the best stadium in the world, as well as the new Palau Blaugrana. We also have the world’s biggest support, with 300 million fans. And we are still ahead on social media, with more than 250 million followers.”

“Seeing the Empire State in New York lit up in the Barça colours or such heart-warming stories as that Japanese child, Yamashita, singing the Barça anthem, or the pictures that went all round the world of our U14 B players consoling a team they had just beaten, are all factors that show the strength and global appeal of our club and the values that our players learn from so young.”

“The year also brought the sadness of the loss of Johan Cruyff, a Barça legend. We are currently talking with his family about a way to create a permanent tribute to his memory.”

Bartomeu also had words for Manel Vich, the long-time stadium announcer who also died this year.

A club that cares

The president’s speech also covered the charity projects that the club runs through its Foundation. “We want this to be the leading sports foundation" he said. "And we are focusing our efforts on three core areas: educational access and support, the prevention of violence and resolution of conflicts and the fight against social exclusion and discrimination.”

Spreading the word

And he also stressed the work being done on the FCBConeixement (FCBKnowledge) scheme, "which covers two major projects in Masia 360, the club’s education and training model that we presented just this week under the banner of ‘making people through sport’, and the new FCBUniveritats department, which is about acquiring, researching, generating, sending and treating knowledge and innovation.”

He ended by reiterating now pleased he and his board are with the way things have gone over the last twelve months, and presented a video that reflects Barça’s sporting excellency in football and other sports, including women’s sport, the coaching work done at La Masía, the club’s efforts to globalise and the way that the stadium reflects a new future outlook for the club.

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