Bartomeu said the Premier League is Barcelona’s biggest rival

Who is Bartomeu ? Josep Maria Bartomeu is the current president of Barcelona Football Club. He took the role in 2014, following the resignation of Sandro Rosell. Yesterday, Bartomeu told BBC that the Premier League is a greater threat to Barcelona than traditional rivals Real Madrid. The 20 top-flight teams in English football will share £5.136bn for live domestic TV coverage from next season, with even the bottom club getting £99m. That financial power concerns Bartomeu. “Premier League teams will have an incredible financial situation from now on and we are worried,” he told BBC sports editor Dan Roan.

 

In the latest Deloitte’s Football Money League – a list of the highest earning clubs around the world – Real Madrid (£439m) and Barcelona (£426m) are first and second respectively. Manchester United (£395m) are third but look set to jump into first next year amid expectations they will become the first British club to earn more than £500m in a single year. United’s rise demonstrates the growing might of the Premier League, which has 17 clubs in the Football Money League’s top 30. Bartomeu, who admits the Premier League is the “best football competition” because it has “the most interest for fans” and “most revenues, says La Liga clubs to address the imbalance. “We have to do our best to increase our revenues and our financial situation to make the talent of our teams stay with us,” he said. “That is why I am so worried and we are working on this. We want to keep the talent at home.”

 

Despite the Premier League’s financial muscle, Bartomeu still believes in the pulling power of his club. “None of our players said they want to leave,” he said. “Most get better economical offers, but our players are not in Barcelona for the money… they are there because of the football and the fans’ commitment.” Barcelona claimed their fifth Champions League crown last season, but what would happen if they didn’t qualify for the competition? Bartomeu thinks the top clubs should be given special entry if they somehow miss out. “Sometimes, for the interest of football, why not give wildcards like in tennis?” he says. “Sometimes the top players don’t qualify and are given wildcards. This can happen in football. “Sometimes clubs have a bad season and it is a big punishment to not play in the Champions League. “We need a stronger Champions League and more and more interest for the football fans and to make it more competitive.”

 

Source : BBC News