Former Barcelona President Blasts Club in Candid Interview: 'It's Being Destroyed From Within'
The former president of Barcelona, Joan Laporta, has slammed the way his beloved club is being run following his tenure, in a candid and lengthy interview.
Laporta oversaw tremendous success during his reign at the Nou Camp between 2003 and 2010, which was a great response to the trophyless period of 1999-2004.
Most of the success was delivered by Pep Guardiola, who was made manager in 2008, and a historic treble was achieved in the 2008/09 season.
Those were the good old days at Barca, and while the club have generally dominated domestically since Laporta's tenure came to an end in 2010, he believes he left behind the 'best Barca in history', and that the Sandro Rosell and Josep Bartomeu eras have destroyed the club from within.
In an extended interview with Goal, conducted by Ben Hayward, Laporta explained: "Their only interest was to discredit us. Because we left them the best Barca in history. Seven years have gone by and they have maintained a lie in order to discredit me and to do their thing with Qatar.
"It’s very difficult to have any feeling with Bartomeu. Because he is a person who, with his attitude, he has Barca kidnapped with intoxication, with lies… and on top of that he is a president who is facing charges, so in that respect he isn’t very trustworthy."
Laporta is keen to stress his influence on the club's famed youth academy La Masia, and claims that the pair that succeeded him as president have failed to prioritise its abundance of talent within.
He added: "I wanted to show that there was another model for running the club that did not involve Qatar, that does not destroy La Masia, that doesn’t mean going to the [transfer] market and signing players at any price… that there’s a club that can have Unicef on its shirt, that can be based on the system of play that was invented by Johan Cruyff, that strengthens La Masia.
"That is the model of the club that we built and that this lot, that are still in the board today, have taken to destroying."