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Once the league ended, and with the return of the knockout stages of the Champions League to be played in August against Napoli on the horizon, the president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, reviewed the current sports and institutional news in an interview with Mundo Deportivo. Bartomeu spoke about the highlights of the last few weeks, such as the configuration of the squad for next season, the club's budget and its sporting challenges including the Champions League and the possible promotion of Barça B to Segunda División A.
The Champions League
"Napoli are up first. The last few days has seen internal self-criticism and I think it has helped to renew energies for this unique Champions League format in an atypical and exceptional season."
"Barça are always a favourite in any championship they play, especially seeing the winning spirit and competitive eagerness of our players."
"It is a very suitable moment to return and give a demonstration of talent and ambition of what they know, to play football well."
"At no time has Setién's continuity been up in the air. Simply put, the coach and the players must manage and talk to each other."
"Despite not having won the league, which would have been a spectacular nine from 12 - after eight from 11, which is already a record - you have to look forward."
"We already have seven new players. We have bet on Trincão, Pedrito and Matheus for the future, and they will have first team numbers alongside Araujo, Riqui and Ansu. Pjanic will consolidate from the beginning."
"If there are no player exchanges, it's very difficult for Neymar to come."
"We have spoken to Inter about Lautaro, but for now things are on hold."
"Messi has said many times that he wants to retire here and I have no doubt that he will renew."
"Ter Stegen is an important member of the dressing room and for the future. At 28 he is one of the three best goalkeepers in the world, and is a priority to be renewed."
"Luis Suárez has a contract that, depending on the number of games he plays, he is automatically renewed for the 2021/22 season."
The budget for next season and the management of Covid-19
"Players have adapted their salaries to the level of income the club has now and will have in the future. Everyone understands the situation."
"I want to thank everyone because in March, April and May the teams reduced their salary by up to 12%."
"We are matching expenses to income and until we know the effect on the workforce, we will not decide anything."
"In our Strategic Plan we had planned to bank 1,100 million euros and now we will bank 30% less because of Covid-19."
"The pandemic affects the big European clubs and Barça, which is the European club that makes the most money, is the one that is most affected."
"The Strategic Plan did not foresee a pandemic and we have had to make decisions, such as strengthening the Digital Area with the OTT of Barça Studios and the electronic commerce platform."
Possible promotion for Barça B
"We all know the great difficulty in gaining promotion. Getting to the Segunda A opens up different possibilities, including more income."
"Those at La Masia work hard and there are very good players like Collado or Monchu, who have a very good future."
"Our goal is to train players to play, not to do business with them."
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