Current FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has hit back at his predecessor, Josep Maria Bartomeu, who had attempted to wipe his hands clean of the carnage that he left behind in the club's coffers.
Last Friday, the ousted former club president released an open letter where he blamed Laporta for the club's current financial crisis while also distancing himself from any wrongdoing. Laporta did not take things sitting down, and faced the press in a lengthy conference on Monday.
To be fair, it is well-known that Barcelona was already deep in debt way before Laporta took the reins in March this year. Bartomeu's statement came out because he "started to panic because the results are negative," claimed Laporta, referring to the internal audit that was conducted to reveal the real state of the club's finances.
"He is desperate because he sees that his management of the club has been disastrous," added Laporta, who has been forced to let go of club captain Lionel Messi because the club could not afford to re-sign him this summer.
Laporta said that he was faced with a "terrible inheritance," with the club's current debt standing at around 1.3 billion euros. The eye-watering amount is one of the reasons why La Liga could not sanction Messi's new deal, as the club's wage bill will put them even deeper into debt if it is not controlled under the salary cap.
Apart from the over-inflated wages that Bartomeu had sanctioned in the past, Laporta also shared that despite being one of the most valuable clubs in the world, their home stadium, the Camp Nou, had fallen in a state of disrepair.
"Emergency repair work" had to be competed at the Camp Nou before they could officially open the 2022/22 season against Real Sociedad last Sunday.
Laporta then said that just because Bartomeu has left his post, it did not mean that he will not be made to take responsibility for the damage his administration had caused. "No one will escape from their responsibilities," he warned.
Laporta and Bartomeu look set to enter another legal battle, something that they had done during their previous stints with the club.