At the eleventh hour on Tuesday, a day ahead of the deadline, new FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta raised the 124.6 million euro needed to provide the required financial guarantee to take over as president of Barça. The amount is equivalent to 15% of the club’s budget. Laporta managed to raise the cash after a frenetic search for big-pocketed backers who would help him meet the requirement, necessary to turn his election win on 7 March into reality.
At a low key Camp Nou swearing-in ceremony held on Wednesday evening attended by the likes of head coach Ronald Koeman, Gerard Pique and star striker and club captain Lionel Messi, Laporta spoke with conviction and passion outlining his determination to change the fortunes of the Catalan club.
Laporta committed to Koeman
Laporta’s speech switched from the humorous to the emotional when he recalled the memory of his now departed father, a passionate Barça fan. The aspects of the speech that will be of key interest to Culès was his commitment in overseeing the club to securing titles along with his vote of confidence to Dutch head coach Ronald Koeman.
The new president also outlined his commitment in ensuring Messi remains at Camp Nou: “I’m here to make decisions, and convincing Leo to stay will be a priority. We’ll do all we can to ensure you remain with us and am sure if the stands were full you would not want to leave and we’ll do all we can to convince you to stay”, (directed at Messi).