offpitch | 2016-06-30
Bartomeu: "We have reached a deal with Olympique Lyon for Umtiti"
Barça's President discussed the club's financial status and talks about the player's renewals in his season review presser
President Bartomeu gave a lenghty review on this season, you can read the full transcript below.
"It has been an intense season, full of contrasts. We will all remember this season as the season when we lost Johan Cruyff. From a self criticism point of view, I would worry about that we didn't win any European trophy. The season started with the elections last summer, the first team won 4 trophies, the women's team didn't manage to win anything. We did win trophies at handball and hockey and have had disappointing seasons at basketball and futsal. We are in an enviable situation. The members have given us a grade of 7.8.
This season we have suffered the sanctions related to the Esteladas and I repeat that we will always defend freedom of expression. We have received a sanction in the Neymar case because of a fiscal error. We have consolidated the sporting model with Luis Enrique and the economic model. We will have an income of 670 million, 38 more than we had expected.
Espai Barça is moving ahead as planned and we continue our globalization process with an office in New York. One of our objectives was the reduce the debt and to comply with the debt/EBITDA ratio in the by-laws and we did that. In November we have approved a strategic plan to move towards a global and international Barça. We have approved the project for FCB University, because we want to be a center of knowledge and a world reference. We have started collaborations and advanced talked with universities and formation centers.
The Masia 360 project is for future athletes, we want to follow those who are here and those who have left. We'll present it soon. Two years ago we opened an office in Hong Kong and with the one in New York we can now say that the club is open 24h/day. Barça is a leader on social media,but we want to use more technological resources.This digital consolidation process is a reality.
Barça works in 40 countries and we dedicate a lot of resources to having more kids in the schools. We have 19 FCB Escolas in 17 countries, we'll have more than 30 before the year ends. We like to be transparent, like for example with the permanent exposition of the Espai Barça project and other presentations. We have renovated some contents in the museum, we had 1.7 million visitors. Now there's a space for La Masia too. We have created a traveling agency and the socis are very happy because we get economic prices for away games.
We're very happy with the new Nike deal, the best kit deal in the world. 155 million/season, we recover the licensing rights, the management of the store. It positions us as a club in the market. We have reduced the debt and it's now around 280 million. The income is 670 million, 62 more than last season. The debt/EBITDA ratio was supposed to be below 2.5 for this season and will be be around 2.25 so it will comply with the rules. We are still negotiating for the shirt sponsorship deal, with Qatar Airways and 2 more companies. We have taken the necessary time and will continue doing it, because we don't want to sign a bad sponsorship deal. We hope to finalize the shirt sponsorship deal before the start of next season.
We are negotiating with city hall for the Espai Barça project. They see it as a project for the city and the country. What gives us our independence is our assets. We have to achieve our objectives without selling any of our assets.
We're very happy with the first team and the coach. We won 7/9 possible trophies and we have the best player in the world in Messi.
About Neymar's renewal: he doesn't want to leave and we don't want him to go. I don't know when exactly, but we will soon sign Neymar's renewal for the next 5 seasons. Our lawyers and Neymar's lawyers are finalizing the deal and we will announce it in a few days. The DIS case doesn't have an influence in Neymar's renewal.
The feeling is that the year has been good in the academy, we have made a definitive bet on sporting formation of youngsters. This is the first season in which the women's team has been a professional one. The women's team didn't have success this season, but I thank the players and their coach for their work, attitude and effort.
Looking towards the future we would like it if socis were also penya members, we want a symbiosis. The penyas are our ambassadors in the world. There are very important projects related to them. We have decided that the way to obtain more income is the internationalization of the club. We have to be proud, because we are leaders in the football world, not just in the sporting aspect, but also the economic one. Turning the soci seats into something similar to shares is not something we're thinking about right now. We want to form the University because we want to share the knowledge that exists in the club.
I said that the virtuous circle has ended because there has been an evolution and our global growth isn't only based on football. We have a lot of projects that make the club non solely dependent on football results, we are and want keep being different. We have approved the formation of an Animation Group in the North Stand, lots of socis have joined already. The FCB Foundation has projects with kids in Africa, we work with NGOs and dedicate all our resources to children.
The animation area is a requirement of the league who asked us that all the animation groups be in the same place. The sporting area is working with a 60M (+sales) budget. The global profit is not budgeted for this area. We would like to start the work at the stadium when the debt is lower than 200M. Hopefully next season we will lower it more. We have hired a company to help us find a sponsor the stadium's naming rights. We could get more than the 200M we had planned. Last year we had a pre-deal with Qatar Airways, but after we won we thought that we could get a better offer. This is what we're doing.
We want to be competitive and have the best players in the world, that's why we have to keep increasing the income. The players have the salaries they do because they deserve them. I think the sponsorship negotiations are going well, we need it but it's not primordial. Time gives us good deals.
In the deal with the prosecution we accept that there was a fiscal error because of different interpretations. We have consulted experts and some have told us that we paid the taxes well and others told us we did things wrong. If we went to trial we didn't know how much we could end up paying or not. We made an executive decision to avoid this risk. The deal was made for the taxes in 2011 and 2013. For 2014 neither the prosecution or the state's attorney saw any problems. The deal interprets the 40M as salary. Barça will have to reclassify the accounts and to consider this as salary. The 670M include Bartra's sale because he was sold before June 30th. The Museum has increased its income with 20%, Susana Monje will explain more in a few weeks when presenting the accounts.
The transfer cost is what is amortized in the club's accounts.We paid 17.1M to Santos,40M to his dad & 2M bonus for the BDO podium. The back taxes can't be added to the transfer cost, the fine could be added, so another 5.5M. The other contracts involved in the operation were for services his (Neymar) father's companies offered the club, not transfer cost.
Other European clubs don't have the expenditure limitations we have imposed on ourselves. We have to be very careful with the expenditures, because we want to keep being independent.
We have appealed the Esteladas case because we didn't agree with the sanction. If we're not heard we'll take another step. We have presented an appeal in the case against Laporta's board a while ago, there will be a verdict in Sept/Oct. We're surprised at Laporta's attempt to present himself as an injured party in the Neymar case,because he will go against the club In our end of the season poll among members we asked about they deal with the prosecution and 6/10 socis were ok with the deal. It's true that there is a fine,but I don't agree that the club's image has been damaged.The club's record will be wiped in 2-3 years.
We said we would get 200M for the stadium's (or Espai's) naming rights for 15-20 years, but it appears we will get more now. We would like to get a figure close to 65M for the shirt sponsorship. We'll see what happens. We didn't negotiate with another kit company except for Nike.
In January we couldn't sign Nolito because of the debt/EBITDA ratio and the club's debt limit. All of Barça's players could earn more at other clubs. I'm sure of that. But they want to be here.
Messi's legal issues? He has always had the club's full support in all aspects.
We've had many meetings at city hall, before the end of the year I think they'll approve the Espai Barça project. People at city hall are excited about the Espai Barça project. We have to work on a new Urban General Plan.
Last year Dani wanted a longer contract period than we agreed to, so we accepted a clause to let him go for free now.
We congratulate Bravo for winning the Copa América. We sent Messi and Masche our support, it's hard for them. Leo's decision with the NT? It's a personal call, he will evaluate and decide. Messi belongs to Barça, but he is part of football's patrimony.
We have reached a deal with Olympique Lyon for Umtiti for 25M (+variables). He will get here after the Euros.
Barça makes bad sales? I don't agree. In the last 6 seasons we got 231M from sales. But we generally don't want to sell. Denis Suárez is an objective, but his signing isn't completed yet. We'd like him to return. There was never a possibility of Neymar leaving. He always said he wanted to stay here. Leo has 2 more years of his contract, but we want him to stay for much longer.
In recent times we're looking into loans or sales with a buyback option for young players so they have more minutes. It's difficult for kids to compete with our starters,but we try to loan them to clubs with similar models so they keep growing. There's no crisis in the academy.The objective is for the kids to learn, not to win.They also win, but that's not the main goal. I also recall that the area that was most affected by the FIFA sanction was the academy, it hurt the progress of some players. The signings Barça B made last winter was to avoid another relegation. Now we want a promotion to Segunda. I would tell young people to enjoy these times, it hasn't always been this way and we'll try to maintain it as long as possible.
There was no lack of control in the basketball section. We are competing with teams with unlimited resources.
There are names in the press every day. We can't deny each and every one of them.
Bravo and Ter Stegen are both staying. It's a good problem for the coach to have two excellent keepers to chose from. Mascherano is also staying. We have a great squad. We always have to improve, but it's very good. In the last meetings we had we agreed that we would sign one central defender this summer, not two. Will Douglas leave? It's very hard to leave Barça. Xavi used to tell me that you feel very good as a Barça player. I can't confirm or deny anything about Gabriel Jesus.I've seen him play and he's a great player,but I say that as a football fan.
We haven't talked about a renewal with Luis Enrique yet. He's doing great work.The expectation were high, but he surpassed them. We will renew Messi's contract for sure. We want him to stay here until he retires. Messi is in the plenitude of his talent now, plays better every day. We're looking for another forward. Either a young one, with prospects,or an older one that comes to help.The numbers are different. It makes sense to pay a lot for a forward if he's young and has future at the club. A young player is easier to amortize. Halilovic is an interesting player for the future. He has to go to a club where he can progress, but we count on him. Neymar's renewal is like a signing. The announcement will be news around the world. He's a star player. The coaches count on Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal for next season. Busquets's renewal was announced before Neymar's because we started negotiations with him first.
If it's needed the club can afford to take money from next season's budget for signings. We count on Sergi Samper for the future, but he will be loaned out next season to keep growing.
Tomorrow we will have an event to celebrate the 100 years anniversary of Catalan becoming the club's official language. This year there will be various events to celebrate the 25th year anniversary of the first Champions League win."