Pep’s pleas for peace ignored by Barça bosses

Like a Getafe fan club meeting, Pep Guardiola is a lonely voice crying out in the darkness.  A couple of weeks ago, the Barça boss pleaded for institutional peace at the Camp Nou between his current and former presidents – but Joan Laporta’s threat to take civil and legal action against Sandro Rosell and his buddies on the Barcelona board suggests that this appeal has fallen on deaf ears.

Laporta announced on Monday that he was seeking redress against the board and what he president sees as a hostile media organisation, Grupo Godó, owners of La Vanguardia and El Mundo Deportivo.

“They (the directors) have tried to create suspicion, build a lie in their own interest to put people clearly against everything we did,” declared conspiracy buff Laporta, currently facing legal action himself stemming from alleged losses and some overspending during his spell as the Camp Nou president.

AS’s Barcelona correspondent Santi Giménez perfectly sums up the Laporta v Rosell feud and has his own solution: “They're like insufferable children that fight all the time. They deserve to go to bed without dinner.” Knowing Laporta’s love of a good meal, that’s certainly a strong deterrent, if unlikely to happen any time soon.

Ironically – or possibly coincidentally, LLL is never too sure – the former Barcelona president was announcing legal action on the same day that he was in court on other business related to his Camp Nou kingship. Turkish agent Bayram Tutumlu is suing Laporta over what he claims are unpaid commissions owed by Laporta’s law firm for a bit of business with Uzbek club Bunyodkor.

Laporta admitted in court that a deal brought in €10m “consultancy services” for his firm and €3m for Barcelona. However, he denied that any such agreement was ever made with Tutumlu.

"The invoices to Zeromax were for different services and consultancies over a period of three years," testified Laporta. "I have never done a deal with Tutumlu. I met with him on two occasions, out of politeness. I had already been warned that he was an opportunist who liked intrigue and it is exactly what he did.

“We did a very good deal for five years for two friendlies – the second never took place – and a stadium.” The 2008 deal between Bunyodkor and Barça prompted Leo Messi, Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Samuel Eto’o and Cesc Fabregas to hold some training sessions in Uzbekistan.

Bunyodkor is nominally owned by Miradil Djalalov, who is the head of Zeromax, the Swiss-based company with which Laporta’s law firm were doing business. Laporta insists that the business and football sides were quite separate.

Not believing this for a second is Mundo Deportivo's JM Artells, who writes that “the supposed utilisation of the presidency of Barça to gain personal profit is one of the suspicions that Laporta could not avoid.”

The other bit of fluff and stuff floating around the Catalan capital is the predictably smug reaction from the survey published in Monday’s AS, claiming that Barcelona were the most popular club in Spain among la Liga’s fans – results that would no doubt have been dismissed as a crazed Madrid media conspiracy had another certain team topped the chart.

LA LIGA LOCA, Mon 10 Oct: Poll reveals deep divide in la Liga loyalties

“Guardiola’s Barça is the team in fashion for their spectacular football and titles won. Mourinho’s Madrid has become an unpopular team booed in a lot of grounds,” smirked Josep Maria Casanovas. Mundo Deportivo joined in the taunting, with Miguel Rico writing that “Madrid, as rich as they may be, live from day to day squandering the fortune of their much cared-for image.”

What Madrid needed in response to the poll results that also made their club the most unpopular was a true champion, brave of heart and pure of soul. And they got just this in the form of the majestic Tomás Roncero, writing in AS that “there’s another poll that could not be done. The one in every house, every bar, every shop, every train station, every old people’s home and students’ resident.”

The results of that would show overwhelming support, says Roncero, who proclaims that this group “form a silent army that is waiting and will fill the streets when the tenth European Cup comes.”

Tomás Roncero, LLL salutes you.

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