Laporta: Barca do not want to share TV cash

BARCELONA - Barcelona are unwilling to accept a system of sharing television revenue among La Liga clubs as it would weaken their ability to compete with European rivals, president Joan Laporta said on Wednesday.

Barca and Real Madrid dominate in Spain in part because they each have TV contracts worth around 120 million euros a year, around half the total pot for the 20 clubs in the top flight.

Spain's professional league (LFP) essentially backs the introduction of collective bargaining but recognises that persuading Barca and Real to accept it would be difficult.

"I don't want to damage the interests of Barcelona Football Club, because we have to compete with teams in other countries," Laporta said in an interview with Reuters Television at his office next to the Nou Camp stadium.

"In England, we are talking about 2 billion euros for Premier League rights so we have to compete against clubs that are making more money than us," he added.

"But if there is a change in the system we will face that. I'm open to look for other systems to balance what every club represents in this business. I'm open to discuss other possibilities to make money (for) all of us."

Laporta denied a Spanish radio report this week that said the European champions had an agreement with Cesc Fabregas for the Arsenal captain to move back to the club, where he played as a teenager, for next season.

"I respect Arsenal too much to talk about players that are playing for Arsenal now," Laporta told Reuters.

"In this case, we have no agreement with any player that is not playing for Barcelona right now," he added.

"In case we were interested in a player, we would talk directly with the club. There are FIFA rules that we have to respect and there is a question of the way we work."

SMART, CAPABLE

Laporta is coming to the end of his second term as Barca president and an election will be held to find his replacement after the end of the season, probably in June.

He said he was throwing his weight behind the candidacy of Alfons Godall, one of the club's vice presidents, as he was the best person to take the club on to new heights.

"I defend this (Barca) model and support the candidate that will defend this model," Laporta said.

"His colleagues in the candidacy, in my opinion, are smart and capable of improving this model and this candidate is Alfons Godall, my vice president."

Laporta added he was proud to have persuaded coach Pep Guardiola, who led Barca to an unprecedented six trophies in 2009, to stay on for one more season to June 2011.

He said he understood the 39-year-old's decision not to sign a new contract until after the presidential elections and he has thrashed out the details with the new incumbent.

"This is logical because he would like to know who the new president is but at least he is committed for one more year," Laporta said.

"We shook hands and this is the best way and nicest way to reach an agreement."