Joan Laporta’s return to Barça is a life-saving event for the club. We are literally going back to 2003, when he found the club in a similar state following years of poor management. Only 40 at the time he first took over, he is now an experienced specialist determined to bring back all that the club lost during the past decade.
First of all, let us take a look at his first stint at the club. Laporta inherited Joan Gaspart’s place as club president and found Barça in complete disarray. It all started with Josep Lluis Nuñez, Barcelona president from 1978 to 2000. Although he did have some success, his management was so self-centralized that he left the club with financial and sporting troubles rather than proper heritage. Joan Gaspart, vice-president during Nuñez’s stint, took over but barely changed anything to the better. He was quick to resign, leaving the club in a massive – for that time’s standards – debt of 150 million as well as institutional and sporting troubles.
Now we come to Laporta’s time. His first task was to balance the finances, which he did by getting rid of star players and reducing others’ salaries. Next, he hired a young and innovative coach in Frank Rijkaard. Although the Dutchman’s career wasn’t extraordinary, he did guide the club to a Champions League trophy. Furthermore, he was instrumental in developing youth. Later, Laporta appointed Pep Guardiola, which proved to be one of the greatest moves of all time. Not to mention that he stabilized and enhanced the club’s popularity ranks.
These are only a few of Joan Laporta’s moves concerning the first team. But it’s certain that Laporta knows how to handle the club. Even though our current situation is something unique, he has the charisma that few possess.