Democracy, justice and the future are the three axes around which Josep Maria Bartomeu based his speech on Tuesday to the Club’s Senate. The FC Barcelona president focused on four main topics: the current sporting situation at the Club and three replies to some of the most controversial topics that have engendered debate, Barça’s support for a National Pact for a Referendum on Catalan independence, the legal situation surrounding the ‘DIS Case’ and the belief that Barça is not following its traditional path as a club. “I prefer to define them in another way: democracy, justice and the future,” said Bartomeu.
With regards to the Club’s backing of a referendum, the President was clear: “Catalonia is facing one of the most decisive moments in its recent history and Barça cannot turn its back on that reality.”
Bartomeu continued by reminding the Senate that the defence of democracy and freedom of expression are values that have accompanied Barça since its very foundation. “We show commitment to the democratic and pluralistic values of our country,” added the president.
Josep Maria Bartomeu then turned his attention to the ‘DIS Case’, which the Audiencia Nacional (National High Court) has recently brought against Barça, Neymar and his parents, former president Sandro Rosell, Brazilian club Santos and Bartomeu himself. “Both Barça and the player are victims of this conflict of interests between Santos and DIS and we will do all we can to defend our honour and innocence,” said the Barça president.
As for the Club’s model, Bartomeu replied: “From some sectors the ability of this Board to run the Club has been put into question. We have been accused of not protecting the model and of only being administrators. We do not mind, given how football is now, being considered good administrators, however, we are not losing the essence of the Barça model.”
The president spoke of a ‘winning era’ which everyone would like to be extended over the coming season. However, he also stressed the important of looking beyond trophies: “I would like, when we speak of the model, that it was done seriously and not just focused on a style of play, which we obviously want to maintain as it is part of our very essence. I would prefer that we talk about the model of the Club, something that develops, improves and enriches itself every day.”