Barca president: Club's finances in 'worse state than I expected'


Joan Laporta admits Barcelona's financial outlook is in even worse shape than expected since being named club president for a second time in March.

Laporta, who was Barcelona chief from 2003-10, is having an audit done to check the club's accounts. The lawyer and former politician conceded that the team's finances are direr than initially imagined.

"The club's in a worse state than I expected - and I knew I was coming into a difficult situation," Laporta told La Vanguardia, courtesy ESPN FC's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

"There are contracts which condition how much we can do," Laporta continued. "There are things that must be explained (by the previous board), and I don't rule out taking some sort of action. We will explain everything because if not, we will be complicit."

Barcelona's debt is around €1.2 billion. The Catalan outfit is desperate to slash wages ahead of the 2021-22 campaign after needing a €100-million bank loan to help pay the team.

"We've encountered a squad with old-fashioned contracts, and we will have to work out what to do," Laporta said. "The existing contracts can be changed or restructured. After that, there are more drastic measures that we hope we don't have to adopt.

"But nothing's ruled out if it's for the good of the club. Between salaries and amortizations, it's about €650 million (annually), which is more than the club's revenue. These salaries are out-of-step with the current market," Laporta added.

Barcelona are reportedly open to selling Neto, Martin Braithwaite, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, and Philippe Coutinho to reduce wages.

However, those sales won't offset a potential new contract for Lionel Messi, whom Laporta has publicly expressed a desire to keep in the fold. The Argentine talisman's current four-year deal worth over €500-million expires on June 30.

"I'd like Messi to say 'yes' as soon as possible, it would help us in every sense," Laporta said.

Barcelona's interest in reducing costs explains the team's transfer habits during the summer window, with Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Memphis Depay all joining the club on free deals.

"There will be three or four more signings," Laporta said prior to Depay's official unveiling Saturday. "We're building a really competitive team."

Barcelona finished third last season in La Liga under Ronald Koeman, seven points adrift of champions Atletico Madrid, and won the Copa del Rey for a record 31st time in club history.

Barca president: Club's finances in 'worse state than I expected'
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