Barcelona president Joan Laporta has hit out at critics of the club’s spending this summer, urging detractors to focus on their own business.
Despite well-publicised financial issues, Barcelona have already spent over £100m this summer in deals to sign Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde, who have followed Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie through the door at Camp Nou.
At the same time, midfielder Frenkie de Jong is owed £17m in deferred wages and was recently warned by Laporta that he would need to ‘make an effort’ by reducing his salary if he wants to stay at the club.
Barcelona’s business has attracted plenty of criticism, including from Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann, who recently said: “It is the only club in the world that have no money, but then buy all the players they want. I don’t know how they do it. It’s a bit strange, a bit crazy.”
When asked about Nagelsmann’s comments, Laporta could no longer hold his tongue.
“What I would ask is that [Bayern] look at their current account, they have received significant money from the transfer of Lewandowski,” Laporta said. “What they are doing is distorting reality. I respect everyone and I don’t interfere in the finances of others.
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“I will give them the benefit of the doubt because maybe they thought that we couldn’t, but they haven’t gauged the strength of Barca and the drive of the new board. It’s a lack of recognition, a lack of information about our club.”
When asked for a more general message to the club’s critics, Laporta urged doubters to consider the allure of Barcelona and the negotiating strength that comes along with that.
“Everyone knows that our demands are higher than those of others,” he said. “We have more than 400m fans who demand more from us than others. The others know what they have to do, and if I don’t get involved in what others do, I would ask them not to get involved in what we do.
“We are going to compete on the pitch and we will see who has worked more and better. I don’t say this to start an argument, but they should worry about their own clubs.”
He added: “[Critics] have not understood the strength of Barca. To those who are surprised, I say that we are very awake. We are back on the market.
“The weight, strength and value of an entity with more than 122 years of history is a lot. Let us be calm, we can still surprise you much more.”