There was a time in the world of football where the duo of Joan Laporta and Pep Guardiola as president and head coach of Barcelona immediately spelt trouble for everyone else in the same sphere of the sport. Laporta trusted Guardiola to lead the charge of Barça into the new era back in 2009, but it looks like we will not see much of the same this time when a new president is elected.
In conversation with La Vanguardia, Laporta spoke about his time at Barcelona, hailing Pep Guardiola as a phenomenon: “Pep Guardiola is a phenomenon that we won’t see again. I think it is unique and unrepeatable. But look where football is going now. Without giving up our principles, there are young managers that combine science with imagination. There are teams that are going very well.”
Laporta is very well experienced in this category, and knew to not mention anyone specifically, even though he has been linked to Julian Nageslamnn in the past. When asked which young coaches he was pointing towards, he said, “Without saying names, youth managers have talent. They must be considered because they can work based on our philosophy.”
Nagelsmann is certainly among the most exciting coaches across the continent and can be the leading candidate to take Barcelona forward, but right now Ronald Koeman seems to have gotten a grip at the job, slowly but surely. He mentioned the Dutchman in his interview as well, saying, “It is pretty clear that if Koeman keeps getting good results he will continue.”
Laporta mentioned several other things in his interview, like the attempt to keep Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba at the club till the end of their tenures. He also dropped hints about Carles Puyol, Xavi, and Andres Iniesta joining his project, and seemed very confident that several top agents across the footballing hemisphere are excited for his return.
However, he did not mention Guardiola returning to Barcelona, despite claiming that Guardiola may return to the club in the future, in an interview with SPORT.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas talks summer transfers and fan return to stadiums
In a conference held by ADEA Forum (Association of managers and executives of Aragon) in Zaragoza, Javier Tebas spoke on a wide range of topics surrounding La Liga.
Mostly, the La Liga president spoke regarding the league’s bounce back from the pandemic and some potential plans for the league to restore public crowds. He also discussed the losses incurred, the summer transfers, among other things.
The Condition of La Liga
Tebas started the conference by claiming that the situation for the Spanish league is comparatively better than other leagues.
Speaking on this, he said, “The situation is worrying, but not so much. I think that of this pandemic the Spanish League is the one that is going to turn out less badly compared to the others.”
He then spoke about the losses incurred in Spanish football, with the net loss amounting to €1 billion by the 30th of September.
On the losses, Tebas said, “Of this billion, 750 have been financed by banks or investment funds, the latter the majority based in London, and the rest have been done by the clubs pulling their cash.”
Additionally, he mentioned that it was big clubs that were affected stronger than the smaller clubs, due to the huge loss of income from the lack of crowds, among other profitable economic activities that clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona enjoy above others.
A return for crowds to stadiums
When speaking on a return of crowds to stadiums, the La Liga chief seemed tremendously confident in their ability to host crowds as early as tomorrow. He claimed that they would have to run at between 20% to 30% capacity; nonetheless, the Spaniard was confident that teams would be more than capable of hosting crowds very soon.
Speaking on the same, he said, “There is a working group for the return [of fans] to the stadiums. I hope that in the last league games we can see the public in a proportional amount.”
Upcoming transfer window
Speaking on the summer transfer window, the president claimed that there will indeed be a lower amount of transfers as there were in the previous window. Tebas said, “They have already been lower in winter. There may be occasional and exceptional operations, but globally it will decrease. There will be exchanges of players. It’s going to be lower than last year.”
Accordingly, clubs are going to have to dig into their academy reserves more and more as the global and financial situations amend over time.