Josep Maria Bartomeu was unable to get the assembly of delegates to approve the retouching of the Barça shield to adapt it to digital needs, but he did manage to get the 97 million deficit left in the 2019-20 financial year approved.
The first time the president was in charge of the meeting with the partners. In the second, he was at home, even watching on television that it was Jordi Moix, his former economic vice president, who defended the red numbers at the Camp Nou, which was like playing at home: with the incoming board that of Joan Laporta and before an audience who whistled and booed Moix as a representative of what one partner called “the worst meeting in history.”
And Bartomeu won. Thanks to Laporta and his board, who urged the partners to approve this heavy inheritance. There were 770 accredited members in the assembly, of whom 768 voted to be present at the time of voting, of the 4,457 people called, chosen in a draw that was held in June 2020. With the audience spread out in the stands of the Camp Nou, the count was slow. It ended with 616 in favor, 67 against and 68 blank .
A similar percentage voted to approve the budget for the 20-21 campaign, the current one. There are ten days until the official closing and Bartomeu made forecasts of 832 million in income and 831 million in expenses, already with the pandemic installed after the terrible consequences that it had unleashed.
As the cost of the wage bill continued to skyrocket, the budget was made to cover the costs. And, of course, it was not fulfilled, since there was no public in the stands of the Camp Nou or in the Museum or in the stores.
The Laporta board did not want to reveal or hint at the real deviation from the budget, which was going to yield a profit of one million. But it will be, and will be known in October, that the losses are close to 300 million.
There were 578 in favor and 71 against, with 94 blank. Laporta, as in the first point, interceded asking for a favorable vote. “Make an impossible trip back in time,” suggested the president to the partners so that they close their eyes and lift the blue card with the yes.
Bartomeu breathed with that triumph, only partial and momentary. Laporta intervened at the beginning to explain what was the situation and the true need of the club: he asked the members to vote in favor. “We don’t like these accounts , ” he had advanced, underlining “the complexity of this assembly” in which he had to bite the bullet and defend Moix and Bartomeu, who “that is the situation as of June 30, 2020”, that is to say , when Bartomeu and Moix were in command, not him.
They were audited and signed accounts to which he was not going to put any objection, although he already anticipated, at the request of a partner, that this deficit “does not exonerate the previous board of directors from responsibility.”
“Let’s vote in favor”
“We will vote in favor of these accounts so that the club returns to the path of normality, because otherwise it would cause institutional paralysis,” proclaimed Laporta after Moix’s intervention and questions from the members, who in their vast majority, practically unanimous , expressed their rejection of Bartomeu’s economic legacy.
“We have the responsibility to put them to a vote and as we are not certain that they have been formulated on a false basis, I ask for a favorable vote,” Laporta repeated, insisting on two aspects: they were accounts from last season, from Bartomeu, and that Subsequent legal actions are not ruled out if “subsequent irregularities” are observed.