Joan Laporta is looking for leverage. Not to move the earth, like Archimedes, but to improve Barcelona’s financial position. Leverage is what consultancies now call economic injections to get out of trouble.
Laporta has his hands full being Florentino Pérez’s ally as he closes the door on the CVC-LaLiga agreement. He owes Florentino too many favours to move over to Javier Tebas’ side, so he is looking for ‘levers’ that he will put to a vote today.
José Luis Núñez arrived at Barça in a very difficult situation, with a debt of €777 million, equivalent to a one-year budget. His lever was the club members, who he asked for a year in advance, an appeal to which 95.3% responded.
One year later, 82% of the borrowers waived their loan repayments. With that, Núñez could relax. He also improved the sponsorship deals by changing the brand in each sector and charging them in advance. He even had the ambition to expand the Camp Nou with another tier that was paid for by the Banco de Occidente on the condition that all new subscribers to it made their transaction through that bank.
Different times, different ways. The Transition was quick and although Núñez was not exactly a nationalist, he did take advantage of the momentum of that period to get people to back Barça’s rebirth, in those years when Catalonia was eager to come strong in every area.
Today, Laporta is facing a culé deflation. The momentum is not the same, there is no need to dwell on it, just look at what happened against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League. Now, hand in hand with Florentino and blowing the embers of the unborn SuperLeague, Laporta has very different plans to those of Núñez. He has no room for anything else.