Josep Maria Bartomeu gave an interview to Sport in Japan, in between meetings, ahead of the Club World Cup final on Sunday. Here are the key quotes from the chat.
A sustainable Barcelona: “We have to earn a lot of money to be able to compete with the top European sides. That’s the big challenge for Barça. Our objective for six years in charge is that the club becomes sustainable. In football it already is; we won the treble and didn’t lose money. However many more trebles we win thebetter, but we have to achieve it in the other sections of the club. For example, basketball costs us betweeen 24 and 25 million a year – we have to earn more money so the section can keep being competitive.”
Club World Cup money: “In these times FIFA only pay 4.5m to the winner of the Club World Cup, which seems insufficient to me. This is something we have to talk about with Blatter’s replacement.”
Qatar sponsorship: “The stats say 40 per cent are in favour of Qatar Airways sponsorship, 40 per cent against and 20 have no opinion, but Qatar Airways is a prestigeous company and valued across the world. They’ve also helped us get the team we’ve got. Don’t forget that clubs like Real Madrid go crazy for Qatar, because they would pay much more than they are currently getting.”
January transfers: “The coach and technical team want a striker. If we get someone on loan it will be with the right to buy them after. We’ll also have Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, two great players. We will sign four or five players for Barcelona B in January, mainly strikers.”
Neymar: “I’ve been speaking with the father of Neymar in the past few days, but what Barcelona have done is bring forward that Neymar is earning less than he deserves and offered to start new contract talks. I’m convinced that in the coming months we’ll arrive at an agreement. The Brazilian represents Barcelona’s future.”
Messi and Neymar: “With Messi, Barcelona is No 1 on the planet and with Neymar we have continuity and the future is safe. My desire is that Barcelona are admired across the world, a global club.”