BARCELONA

Premier League our chief rival, says Barcelona supremo

Talking to the BBC, Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted: "Premier League teams will have an incredible financial situation from now on and we are worried."

Premier League our chief rival, says Barcelona supremo
AFP

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted his concern at the growing financial strength of the Premier League in an interview with the BBC.

The English top flight last year signed a record 6.9-billion-euro domestic TV rights package beginning in 2016-17.

"Our rivals are the Premier League, they are the big adversaries," Bartomeu told the broadcaster. "Premier League teams will have an incredible financial situation from now on and we are worried."

And he continued: "We have to do our best to increase our revenues and our financial situation to make the talent of our teams stay with us."

However, Bartomeu remains confident of the lure of turning out for Los Azulgranas. "None of our players said they want to leave," he said.

"Most get better economical offers, but our players are not in Barcelona for the money... They are there because of the football and the fans' commitment."

The Camp Nou chief also discussed legendary former Barcelona player and coach Pep Guardiola, who is to take over at Manchester City in the summer, when he departs current employers Bayern Munich.

"Pep will do well at any club," he explained. "He has very good ideas for football. The Premier League will have the advantage of having one of the best coaches in the world."

And Bartomeu was also fulsome in his praise of Barça's fearsome attacking trio of Leo Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar.

"Right now, we are happy because we have the best players in the world," he declared. "Together, this trident is incredible. The fans of Barcelona have never seen players do this."