Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke to ‘Mundo Deportivo’ on Barcelona’s current situation, Messi and Ter Stegen’s new contracts, Luis Suarez’s future, the transfer market and Tebas.
What Bartomeu says at Barca is practically sacred. The Barca club president spoke about the club’s immediate future and about Leo Messi.
Barca’s president is sure the ’10’ will stay at the club. “He has sauid many times that he wants to retire here and I’ve no doubt he’ll renew,” he told ‘Mundo Deportivo’.
However, Messi’s renewal is not the priority for Bartomeu. “For me, it’s Ter Stegen. Not only because of his quality, but because of his personality. He’s a major man in the dressing room and for the future,” he said.
Another person mentioned is Luis Suarez, who said that he has a “contract that based on the number of games he plays, automatically renews him for 2021-22. His substitute was going to be Lautaro Martinez, but Bartomeu confirmed that “talks are halted”. He also ruled out Neymar. “If there is no straight swapping of footballers, it’s very difficult for him to come,” he said.
Elections in 2021
Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed that he is not planning to call elections before time. “I’ll do what the statutes say. It would be irresponsible from this assembly in a situation of crisis because of the pandemic which affects Barca and the big clubs. You have to make many decisions to guarantee sustainability in the future,” he explained.
In addition, Bartomeu is looking for someone who knows the club. “If someone new came, they wouldn’t know how things go. Now, with this pandemic, you have to have calm and do good work to be sustainable,” he added.
On the social media situation, the Barcelona president confirmed that “things that you don’t think will happen didn’t happen.” “Nobody paid people money to write messages against the players. The prices were normal market prices and there was definitely no type of corruption. Therefore, I’m very calm,” he said.
Bartomeu said Barcelona will get “30% less in earnings due to COVID-19”. “If anyone thinks this pandemic won’t affect Barca, they are mistaken. We are the European club who get most money and which is most affected. This makes the market complex. Therefore, we cannot ask the players to adjust their salary and then buy new players,” he explained.
Return to La Liga and VAR
One of the issues post pandemic is the VAR. Bartomeu gave his opinion of a few weeks back. “The referees have criticised themselves. Them admitting mistakes is good, of course there’ll be mistakes, but the VAR is not good enough for La Liga”
“The VAR is a very powerful tool and the same decisions in two games has led to different results. It’s improved refereeing, but there’s a way to go,” said Bartomeu “Imagine if every president called Rubiales if he didn’t like something.”
Return to La Liga: “It was a for social and economic reasons” although have neither benefitted nor been worse off because of it. “People must return respecting social distancing and filling an x percentage of capacity,” he said.