Barcelona’s economic vice-president: “You have to take your hat off to Florentino Perez”

18 Sep 2021

Eduard Romeu, Barcelona’s economic vice-president, has praised the way in which Real Madrid president Florentino Perez runs the club.

While Barcelona’s worrisome financial situation has been much discussed, Real Madrid are in far better shape and have aspirations of signing Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland next summer.

“It is possible that they could sign Mbappe and Haaland. Real Madrid are a big club and they are a very strong club,” Romeu said on El Partidazo de COPE.

“If we had done our due diligence in recent years, we would be in the same situation. The way Florentino Perez is running the club, you have to take your hat off to him. On an economic and business level, nobody is going to take advantage of Mr. Perez.

“I have great admiration for him on a business level and on a personal level he has been very gracious every time we have met. I can only give him words of praise.”

Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona came as a result of the club’s poor financial mismanagement under the previous board, but Romeu admits that LaLiga president Javier Tebas offered the Catalan club an ultimatum that they simply could not accept in the form of the payment from CVC Capital Partners.

“In the end, Mr. Tebas has done the work for us regarding Messi. We had a problem called [Financial] Fair Play due to an inherited situation, but if we signed a document we could have a different understanding,” Romeu noted.

“In the end that was not possible because it was something that could not be signed because it compromised the solvency of the club and it was a 50-year mortgage for an exorbitant price. The fund invests two billion euros and turns it into 22 billion euros.

“For a club like Barcelona that means a financial cost of more than 13 percent and we have the option of financing ourselves for less than two percent. That operation was financially unviable.

“We would have loved Messi to stay, but we couldn’t accept it on those terms. The club is above anyone.

“Obviously the responsibility lies with the club, but we inherited a catastrophic situation and these are the consequences.”

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