Joan Laporta returned to the presidency of Barcelona in March 2021 with the aim of restoring the optimism of a fanbase that had been anaesthetised by Josep Maria Bartomeu’s sluggish and wasteful management of the club.
As soon as he arrived, he was on the verge of pulling off the league and cup double, prevented by an unexpected slip-up at home against Granada in La Liga Santander.
Then, he betrayed his intuition not to continue with Ronald Koeman and carried that decision through to the Dutchman’s eventual dismissal, which gave way to the arrival of Xavi Hernandez.
In between, the president was at the centre of the thorny issue of the Super League with Juventus and Real Madrid, which is still at a dead end but which, according to its founders, will not be derailed pending the final judgement.
Now, this summer, Laporta and his team have activated so-called economic levers, selling off future assets for immediate cash.
If Barcelona have decided that the formula of the levers will allow them to sign players, renew optimism and compete at the highest level, what’s wrong with that?
Barcelona are the team to have signed the most players and the best players in the summer of 2022. They have reinforced all areas, signing a top defender in Jules Kounde and a world-class striker in Robert Lewandowski.
I am amazed at the perplexity and denial that these moves, which are completely legal, have provoked.
We all know that there is no leeway from LaLiga for any of its member clubs. If Barcelona are signing players then it’s because the strict economic rules of the competition allow them to do so. There can be no doubt about that.
For the Catalan club to mortgage its future or sell off rights is up to the members, who were called to the polls to have their say. So the levers are welcomed.