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06.04.2008 17:49

Laporta asks for belief in the team

Vanessa Forns

While speaking at the Supporters’ Clubs conference in Hospitalet de Llobregat, Joan Laporta took the opportunity to ask all Barça fans to maintain their support of the team in their fight for league and Champions League honours.

The president, who was speaking at the XXXI World Supporters’ Clubs Conference in Hospitalet, directed his comments not only at the supporters present at the conferences but at Barça fans in general. He asked them not to be influenced by external criticism: “Criticism is acceptable, and if it comes from Barça fans, then more so. But sometimes it comes from hypocrites who say they are for Barça but they are not. It also comes from those who place their own economic and personal interests above those of the club. Don’t fall into the trap! We’re not that bad!” he exclaimed.

In his speech, the president reviewed many aspects of the club, both of an economic nature as well as the sporting and social situations.

Economic situation

QM3D4029.jpgOn this point, Joan Laporta gave a summary of the main economic points of the club in the first half of the season. In his summary he pointed out that the economic situation was quite healthy, the club having made a profit of 9.4 million euro, putting FC Barcelona among the top three clubs in the world with the most investment.

And more importantly: “This situation gives us independence. That is to say that our economic situation will not influence our sporting policy. In other words, the current squad and any new signings will not be based on the economic necessities of the club. The club’s healthy economic situation gives us sporting independence”. In short, “all the figures are positive and put the club in a great position”.

Sporting situation

Despite admitting that at the moment “we are not in the position we would like”, the president reminded everyone that: “We are still alive in the league and more so in the Champions League, and we won’t throw in the towel in either competition”. Though not wanting to use it as an excuse, Joan Laporta also referred to the number of injuries as a factor in the club’s progress.

Joan Laporta asked for all those supporters present to help the players: “You have the same obligations as us. I ask you to support and help the club”.

Talking about their elimination from the Cup at the hands of Valencia, Laporta reminded everyone that before that game Barça had knocked out teams of the calibre of Seville and Villarreal. At the same time he regretted that they were unable to kill the game off in the first leg in the Nou Camp . “We lost a cup in a semi-final in which we were better than Valencia. It’s can’t be possible”, he said.

QM3D4069.jpgTo finish, Laporta focused on the Champions League, a competition in which Barça excelled in the league phase and last sixteen, and in which they are very well positioned in the quarter-finals against Schalke 04. It is for this precise situation that he doesn’t understand “this tendency to take away from the results we’ve got, because this attitude hurts us and damages us. To be a champion club we need self-esteem and humility. And to be united together with the same aims. Don’t let the details distract us in the decisive moments”. He added: “Don’t be afraid of losing but look forward to winning because fear paralyses while hope gives strength to overcome”.

General situation of the club

Joan Laporta said the general state of the club was “excellent”. On the social side of things the club currently has over 160,000 members, which is “extraordinary”. He said that FC Barcelona was “a socially responsible club”, referring to their agreement with UNICEF as one of the numerous activities that are being carried out through the Foundation.

In his opinion, the first team is motivated by “the attraction of our understanding of how football should be played”. We have a style that is recognised and admired around the world. ‘More than a club’ is also understood as a way of approaching football that is very much ours”, he added.

Ending his speech, the president said that in the world of football “what counts is the present and future, as well as the desire to face it”.
Laporta asks for belief in the team

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Gala lunch after Convention
Following the close of the convention there was a gala lunch which was attended by representatives of the club and all the supporters present. Seated at the president’s table were the young players Pedrito and Víctor Sánchez. Also present to perform was singer Mónica Green.

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