“Barcelona has a negative net worth of 451m euros, it is a terrible inheritance. What has been happening is very worrying.”
Bartomeu defended himself in an open letter released on Saturday, claiming financial measures he would have put in place had he not been forced to resign in October would have allowed Messi to stay at Barcelona.
“As is known, our board of directors planned to call elections on 21 March, within the statutory period at the end of our mandate, which would have allowed us to take on and carry out the settlement of the 2020-21 season accounts,” Bartomeu said.
“We would then have taken the decisions necessary to avoid arriving at the current financial situation.
We would have been the only ones responsible for the closure due to the pandemic and its consequences, a decision that the new board has not taken throughout these past months, making clear their inaction.”
Laporta described Bartomeu’s letter as “an effort to justify management that is unjustifiable” and “an exercise in desperation”, adding that “They will not escape their doing.”
New signings Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Rey Manaj were only able to be registered by La Liga after defender Gerard Pique agreed to a wage cut to comply with salary cap rules.