MADRID: Barcelona president Joan Laporta has continued to play the blame game after revealing a club debt of £1.15bn.

Laporta, who was voted back in to the presidency early this year, blamed Spanish league regulations for the free-transfer loss to Leo Messi to Paris Saint-Germain and has now blamed predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu for the club’s financial plight.

Barcelona appear to be sinking back into the internal turmoil which marked much of the club’s history up until the past 30 years.

Laporta said Bartomeu haad bequeathed a “terrible inheritance” which saw salaries soar beyond 103pc of income.
He added: “Our salaries represent 103 per cent of the club’s total income. That’s 20-25 per cent more than our competitors.

“The first thing we had to do when we arrived was to ask for a loan of €80m because otherwise, we could not pay the salaries. The previous regime was full of lies.”

“We also found that we had to do some urgent repairs to the Camp Nou because otherwise, it posed a risk to the attending fans. We also found out that the club had already received 50 per cent of the TV rights fees in advance.

“We found the wage policy in the form of an inverted pyramid – veterans on long contracts and youngsters on short deal. There were no wages cuts – lies.

“We have found that disproportionate payments have been made to intermediaries, not even agents.

“Barcelona has a negative net worth of €451m – it is a terrible inheritance. What has been happening is very worrying.

“The situation is dramatic but we have good news. A strategic plan based on our credibility and experience, on the assets that Barca have, makes this situation temporary. I think that in a couple of years, the club’s economy will be healthy.”