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Víctor Font raises alarms: Barça’s economic crisis and leadership concerns

Victor Font / RAC1
Victor Font / RAC1

Victor Font speaks on his thoughts on Barcelona ahead of elections in the next year.

The day after publishing an open letter to the members of the Blaugrana club, asserting that Barça is deviating from the club’s model, Víctor Font, former candidate for the presidency in the last elections, reiterated in an interview with Jordi Basté on ‘RAC1’ the precarious state of Barça’s economy, with operational losses of 1 billion in the last three years. According to Gabriel Sans of Mundo Deportivo, he denounced the club’s management as familial and accused the club of aligning with Real Madrid and Florentino Pérez.

Font, who stated that he is stepping into the public eye because it’s nearly three years since the last elections, made it clear that he would run for the presidency again if the elections were tomorrow, and he will do so in two years. “If the club remains as it is now and there’s no better alternative in two years, I will run,” he stated. However, he emphasized that he is not in favor of a vote of no confidence against Laporta because “institutional stability is key. A vote of no confidence only makes sense if red lines are crossed.”

The businessman expressed his frustration because “the diagnosis of the situation is not being explained to us properly.” He claimed that “Real Madrid has an advantage over us with Mbappé and the stadium,” which, according to his calculations, “will generate between 120 and 150 million extra that they can invest in players like Mbappé.” He also suggested that Barcelona will face “a hole of over 100 million,” emphasizing that, as with Dembélé, “whom we didn’t want to sell,” the story will repeat itself by “selling assets like De Jong or Araujo.”

Font admitted that the wage bill “has been reduced over three years,” but it took too long. “We were going at 200 kilometers per hour towards a wall, and now we’ve crashed.” The cause, he said, was a viability plan “that took too long to implement, resulting in 1 billion in operational losses.”

Asked about his call to rebuild Barça, he argued that it was time to turn the page. “The club needs to be professionalized, modernized with real control mechanisms.” This rebuilding aims to “protect the ownership model and compete against Madrid and the teams making signings that we should be able to make.”

Font stressed that there is “a decapitalization” of assets. “The departures of Alemany, Jordi Cruyff, Reverter… we have not been able to retain them. People in key decision-making positions have been replaced by friends and family.” He cited the presence of Alejandro Echevarría as an example: “He has neither a direct nor an executive position,” asking, “Is it normal for him to be involved in the sporting structure every day? I don’t think it’s normal. If he’s so capable, give him a position.”

He also talked about Real Madrid and Florentino. “We all know about the sociological madridismo. What doesn’t make sense is that when we have to choose between Messi and Florentino, we choose the Madrid president.” He then claimed, “Anas Laghrari (Florentino’s trusted man) is advising Barça,” stating that “in some circles, Florentino has said, ‘Who would have thought I’d be helping Barça?’ Well, yes, Florentino is helping Barça.”

Regarding President Laporta, he claimed that Laporta had never called him. “He won’t because I’m neither a friend nor a relative. But he knows I’m available to help Barça. A red line for him would be changing the club’s model, even if it were mixed like Bayern’s. “In the end, you’ll have a majority shareholder, and we’ll lose our ownership.” He believes it’s time to “create conditions for talent to come here. Having Guardiola at City is a spectacular failure.”

Regarding Xavi, his choice for the bench when he ran in the last elections, Font admitted that “the frustration with the results is shared, and we didn’t expect it,” but he also acknowledged that “sometimes we think we have a better squad than we do.” “We all expected Xavi to have performed better, but we’ll never know how he would have fared if Mateu and Jordi had stayed and if they had brought in the priority signings.”

On Xavi’s delayed departure, Font commented, “Yes, I see the team’s game. But what I’m saying is: be careful! Because if we replace Xavi with Flick and nothing changes within the club, the chances of it not working are high. Winning a league doesn’t guarantee success.”

He reiterated that Messi’s departure was “the big mistake, one of the most important in the club’s history. He was part of the solution, and we won’t be aware of the cost of his departure.” He ended by stating that “the club’s situation is more complex and dangerous than when Laporta returned to the club. But I’m optimistic because the club has immense potential and magnitude. Now, we need to start doing things right.”

He believes that Laporta “lacks self-criticism and looks for enemies outside. If you talk about judges, Real Madrid… surely many Barcelona fans will follow you, but things need to be done right from within and not have firefighter ideas like the own-brand issue. These are things I don’t understand and can’t explain.”