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Josep Maria Bartomeu was speaking to presenter Lluís Canut / PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA-FCB

Bartomeu and Canut spoke in depth on TV3 / PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA-FCB

Josep Maria Bartomeu appeared in an in-depth interview on Monday night on the Efectivament show on Esport3, where he made a call for patience among the supporters and press following back-to-back defeats to Real Madrid and Celta.

“Success will come” stressed the club president. “Luis Enrique has a very clear idea about what he is doing. The players are well motivated and are working hard. Remember he’s a new manager and there were a lot of changes in the summer. We have every faith in Luis Enrique. We’ll soon forget these two defeats … We need to keep calm because there’s a long league season ahead of us and a lot to play for. This is no emergency”.There’s a long league season ahead of us and a lot to play for. This is no emergencyStill on the manager, he commented that “this is a challenge for Luis Enrique and his assistants. I’ve watched them train and they’re doing well. There’s been a change of mentality. There’s a new fighting spirit … It’s a question of finding the right key, of getting things to fit … He’s showing us the kind of man he is. He is very direct. He takes things head-on, and that’s something to be grateful for because he’s easier to understand that way.”

Bartomeu reiterated how happy he is with the new-look squad. “It’s a more compensated team now” he told the cameras. “A big squad with a lot of talent and that has generated high hopes. We’re excited about this.”

The different names that came up included that of Luis Suárez, who made his official debut at the Bernabéu last week. “He was a very exciting signing for us” said the president. “He wanted to come to Barça even though he’d received better offers than our own … We started working on his transfer at the start of the year. The staff felt the team needed an out-and-out striker. And Luis Enrique gave his blessing to the idea”.Luis Enrique is very direct. He takes things head-on, and that’s something to be grateful forThe interview also touched on institutional affairs, including the FIFA ban on transfers. “This week we presented our case to the Appeals Court” explained Bartomeu. “In it, we explain how the Masia model works and admitted that we made administrative errors in 2004, when FIFA issued a new regulation that we did not comply with”.

But he still insists that the FIFA ban is excessive, as well as guaranteeing that he does not envisage any way that it could put the Masia system in danger.

On the appeal that the club is preparing regarding the Public Liability Case against the previous board, Bartomeu explained that “we want to get to the bottom of the matter. We’re doing that because we feel it’s our responsibility. We have to act in the interests of the club and make serious decisions. Not presenting an appeal would have been a populist decision … But this is not a confrontation with anyone. I’m trying to be coherent, I’m not looking to cause arguments”.The staff felt the team needed an out-and-out striker. And Luis Enrique gave his blessing to the ideaBartomeu talso explained why he had not attended the premiere of the new documentary movie, ‘L’últim partit’, that describes the before and after of Johan Cruyff’s arrival at FC Barcelona. Other members of the board did attend the event, but the president was due to present a speech at the tribute to the veteran players, and could not be in two places at the same time.

He concluded by admitting that on Sunday November 9 he will be participating in the ‘public consultation’ regarding the political future of Catalonia. “I know where I have to vote” he said. “We have to exercise this right.”

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