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Barca president Bartomeu says financial sustainability key

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said making the Spanish and European champions financially sustainable is his biggest concern.

Luis Enrique’s Barca continue to dominate on the field, and will contest the Club World Cup final against River Plate in Japan on Sunday.

But Bartomeu believes ensuring the financial stability of the club is crucial to maintaining on field success.

“We have to make money to compete with the big European clubs. This is the great challenge for the club,” Bartomeu said to Spanish news outlet SPORT.

“Our goal in the next six years in office is getting the club to be sustainable. In football, it already is. We won the treble and did not lose money.

“But FIFA only pays €4.5million to the winner of the Club World Cup, which seems insufficient. That is one of the things we must talk to [FIFA] about.”

Speaking of FIFA, Bartomeu believes the governing body’s punishment of the club – a 12-month transfer ban and a fine of 450,000 Swiss Francs in 2014 – was misguided.

“The punishment only ended up hurting our grassroots,” Bartomeu said.

“We didn’t sign anyone and we won the treble.”

The transfer ban only served to highlight the importance of Lionel Messi to the Champions League title holders, who Bartomeu said follows a long line of world-class talent.

“Johan Cruyff, as a player, was great and recognised state wide, as a coach, he stood as a benchmark in Europe, as did Ronaldinho as a player,” Bartomeu said.

“Then, with Messi, Barca is already the number one on the planet and with Neymar, continuity and the future is secured.

“My wish is that the club is admired throughout the world, a global club. [Michel] Platini once told me that when he played football, the club was not a global reference. With luck, that has changed now.”

Sat 19 Dec, 2015
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