Bartomeu blasts transfer ban: Barcelona 'the victims of a great injustice'

The Blaugrana supremo held a press conference on Thursday to defend the Catalans after they were sanctioned for allegedly breaking rules regarding the signing of players under 18
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the club will fight to prove their innocence after they were handed a two-window transfer ban by Fifa on Wednesday.

Like Blaugrana vice-president Javier Faus, Bartomeu insisted the club had "done nothing wrong" in relation to the signing of young players from overseas and says the Catalans are gathering evidence against outside influences looking to damage their credibility.

"We're indignant," the Barca supremo stated at a press conference on Thursday. "We're victims of a great injustice and we would ask all of our members to support us in our fight because we haven't done anything wrong.

"We're going to fight this and we'll appeal within the 10-day period; if it is not accepted, an appeal will also be handed in to TAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport).

"Here at Barca we have La Masia. We are a club that pursues excellence. We are a club that sets standards to others around the world and Fifa know we do things in the right way - they are questioning a model that has been successful for 35 years."

Bartomeu declined to point the finger at Real Madrid, but claimed outside influences were looking to harm the Catalan club.

"We have done nothing wrong - we are just trying to build the best club in the world. But we do have the feeling that there are people trying to attack Barcelona and we are starting to accumulate some really telling evidence," he explained.

"There are strange things going on outside. There are people trying to bring down this club. We have the best club in the world and there are people clearly not very happy about that, who are trying to damage us.

"When we have proof, we will give names."

However, the 51-year-old then suggested that La Masia should be exempt from certain Fifa regulations and revealed that predecessor Sandro Rosell had requested some special conditions.

"He asked Fifa to make us exempt from certain regulations," he said. "Fifa have always praised us, so it's surprising they won't make an exception. We won't change our way of working at La Masia."

Bartomeu also claimed the club's transfer plans remain unchanged at the moment.

"We are planning for the summer as we would normally," he said. "We're confident of overturning the ban."

However, he admitted that the prospective arrival of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen - along with that of midfielder Alen Halilovic - is now up in the air, even though those two deals have been agreed.

"It's frozen," he said. "I don't know who will be our goalkeeper next season."