Joan Laporta: 'It's at the most difficult moments that I am most proud to be a Barça fan'

Joan Laporta: 'It's at the most difficult moments that I am most proud to be a Barça fan'

The blaugrana president looks at the Club's current off field situation on the programme 'The President's Podcast' on Barça One

As well as taking a look at the Club's sporting situation, president Joan Laporta also touched on off the field matters in the second edition of 'The President's Podcast' on Tuesday on Barça One. During the interviews the president made it clear that now is the time to stand up as a culer. "It's at the most difficult moments that I am most proud to be a Barça fan," said the president during the interviews which took place at Barça Studios. 

The phrase was one of the first uttered by Joan Laporta in the programme after a season in which both the men's football team and the basketball ended the campaign empty handed. Furthermore, rivals Real Madrid have recently collected another Champions League title, knocked Barça out of the ACB league play offs at the semi-final stage in basketball and have announced the signing of Kylian Mbappé. "I am a born optimist and it's a question of being firm in your beliefs," added the president. 

I prefer the philosophy that we have here, the one brings players from the youth teams to the first team. I am not changing our sporting philosophy.

Joan Laporta

On Mbappé and Real Madrid's transfer business, Laporta was clear: "I prefer the philosophy that we have here, the one brings players from the youth teams to the first team. I am not changing our sporting philosophy." As such, the man at the helm of FC Barcelona made it clear that he is worried only about Barça rather than what their rivals are up to, adding that there is plenty to be excited about with regards to the Club's future. 

“We are about to complete our financial transition”

The first thing is the Club's financial situation: "We are about to complete our financial transition, it's getting closer and closer. The culers [Barça fans] have been patient and we are working to turn the situation around from the one we found when we came to the presidency." Laporta added: "The balance sheet this season will be positive and I hope soon we can by 1x1." 

In that sense, the president cleared up the fact that a big player sale will not be needed this season whilst at the same time saying that a big investment in signings would be 'unrealistic'. "I am an optimist and a realist and I know what I am talking about," he explained. "We have grown in terms of income and we have reduced expenses, and we are in a situation in which we are about to resolve the financial fair play issues from last season, Barça Vision and Bridgeburg." 

Return home 

Another reason for which the Barça fans can be excited is the return to Spotify Camp Nou. According to President Laporta, the men's firs team will be back home "at the end of the year". Without outlining a particular date, the president spoke of December or January as "what the technicians and the building company are saying." 

Moreover, he went on to explain that the building work "was moving forward at a good pace" even though it could be even better. The president reminded everyone that the return to Spotify Camp Nou would bring certain inconvenience for fans given that it will come with the stadium at only 60% capacity. "There will continue to be some problems for the fans but we will return back home," he repeated whilst praising the fans' patience with the situation and the process. 

According to Laporta, the refurbishment of the stadium will allow FC Barcelona to remain amongst the elite, increase income considerably as well as fulfilling a "collective dream' of building a new stadium without having to increase ticket prices. The idea is to come to the end of the 2024/25 season with a capacity of close to 75%. 

NEW renders Spotify Camp Nou (5)

“Barça fans, we only have ourselves”

Asked about the latest developments in the 'Caso Negreira' in which the Barcelona High Court exonerated Joan Laporta and his Board of Directors between 2003 and 2010, the president spoke freely: "I am satisfied but I also ask myself the question 'why did it happen?' Surely because of what Barça represents, for fear that things go well for us and we return to the best era in Barça history, which came with me as president." 

The president continued to reflect on the case: "Against us, anything goes. In the 'Caso Negreira' we were condemned before being judged and there was a terrible campaign to denigrate us. It seemed that we had bought matches when it is clear that it was for refereeing assessments which are documented with videos." 

Joan Laporta explained that the campaign had affected rival supporters and refereeing, once again using the example of the league game in the Santiago Bernabéu in which Lamine Yamal's effort was not given as a goal in the first half. "I only want to remind you the Committee has still not provided us with all the footage of Lamine's goal," added the president before concluding: "They have achieved their objective of damaging Barça's reputation as away from home we have found of a lot of antipathy." 

Following on, Laporta explained that the Club maintains a "correct" relationship with both UEFA and FIFA and that "the 'Caso Negreira created so much noise it was like preaching in the desert." On that point he reminded everyone that "Barça fans, we have just have ourselves," before adding that he hopes the facts will prove Barça right. 

On the Club's relationship with FIFA and the support for the Superleague, Joan Laporta also wanted to take pride in how the facts have developed. "They have given us the right to organise competitions and I think that all of this will end with a pact with UEFA. We have maintained our position of support for the Superleague and I think that will win us credit and we knew that this was a battle that would be not resolved immediately," he said. 

The final institutional topic the president touched on was the question of the financial guarantee in the 2021 elections. Joan Laporta was clear once again: "There is nothing, no revolving doors, compensation or renumeration. We did everything legally. It is important for the next president of Barça to not have to pass through the triangle through we have had to pass." 


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