FC Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has thrown his support behind Joan Laporta’s presidential bid, blasting that the club has lost its values under the current presidency of Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Former FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed he will run in next montha s presidential election, when he will be one of favourites to take the top job at the Spanish and European champions alongside Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Laporta, who famously appointed Pep Guardiola as his manager in 2008, joins Josep Maria Bartomeu, Toni Freixa, Agust Benedito, Jordi MajA? and Jordi Farr as candidates for the election.
Bartomeu resigned as president recently to declare his candidacy in the election which was called a year earlier with fans voicing their concerns on the way the club was being run following the departure of sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta. The former FC Barcelona and Spain goalkeeper paid the price for a FIFA ban on signings for two windows over a breach of rules on the transfer of foreign Under-18 players.
Bartomeu stepped up from vice-presidency to take over from Sandro Rosell who had stepped down following accusation of tax frauds over the Neymar deal.
Laporta launched his campaign last Monday by accusing the current president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s outgoing group achieving success on the field with the team they inherited, and destroting Barcelona’s good name by agreeing sponsorship deals with Qatar and getting into legal trouble over the signing of Neymar.
Speaking on Wednesday, Cruyff agreed with the former president’s accusation on Bartomeu.
“I am with Laporta, mostly because of the values,” Cruyff told assembled media. “Barca has lost them and before anything else there should be principles, values. Money is secondary.”
“Values like La Masia have been lost. Before it was a magical word, now that has disappeared.”
“In addition, Barca has by a long way won the world prize for being caught up in judiciary issues and that cannot be. We must take this seriously.”
“The drive by Barcelona to help the world with UNICEF was the most powerful drive in the world. With this initiative the club won acclaim in a social context. But now it isn’t there.”
Laporta is thought to be very close to Cruyff, whom he cites as his idot.
Cruyff went onto add that the club has become habitual of making headlines for non-sporting reasons, citing example of the Neymar saga.
“Neymar is always in the eye of the hurricane for non-sporting reasons. Seven trials, La Masia doesn’t exist, UNICEF doesn’t exist.
“I’m not saying what they have to do, I’m saying that in 2010 there were certain values that are not there now.”
Blows are being exchanged with election due on 18th July. Let us know who do you think will win.