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“It was misspending the €222m from Neymar” - Joan Laporta blames Bartomeu for Barcelona crisis

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has slammed his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu for misspending the €222 million that was raised from the sale of Neymar in 2017. The pair continue their battle of words amid the club's economic crisis.

Laporta was quoted as saying:

“It’s not true that the club’s salary bill exploded to compete with the state-owned clubs. It was misspending the €222 million from Neymar, in salaries and amortizations. The transfer policy of the club was just bad. He [Bartomeu] talks about Neymar. He says that we have forgone €16.7m. Another lie, it is not true."

The current Barca president added:

"And you could remind Bartomeu of the damage that the Neymar case did to the image of Barca because it was an infinity of lies. When he sold Neymar for 222 million, they had already spent disproportionately. This triggered wages and amortization."

According to Laporta, Barcelona's economic crisis began after the sale of Neymar. The club pocketed a whopping €222 million from the sale of the Brazilian to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017. What followed was years of reckless and fruitless spending. Bartomeu's administration splashed €105 million to sign Ousmane Dembele as a replacement for the Brazilian.

This was followed by a deal for Philippe Coutinho worth €160 million in 2018 and Antoine Griezmann also joined the club for €120 million, for a total figure of €385. It's unfortunate that none of these players have performed consistently for Barcelona despite their high wages.

What next for Barcelona?

While the economic crisis and the loss of Lionel Messi have been difficult, Barcelona are already nearing the end of the tunnel. The Blaugrana stepped up at the right time to send a huge message across with a splendid display in their first game of the season.

Ronald Koeman's men outclassed Real Sociedad with a vital 4-2 victory at Camp Nou to make a perfect start in the La Liga. Martin Braithwaite scored two brilliant goals while Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto also found the back of the net. If they maintain this momentum throughout the season, they should pick up some silverware.