Barcelona Chief Joan Laporta: Espanyol Are Creating A Pantomime

Joan Laporta has denied that Barcelona want to cancel the traditional pre-match meal with Espanyol's directors and believes that the Javier Saviola saga should be forgotten.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has accused Espanyol of creating a farce ahead of the local derby at the weekend and believes it is because there is still a grudge held over Javier Saviola.

The Blaugrana supremo has denied charges allegedly coming from the Blanc i Blau that they would rather not hold the official pre-match meal for the directors.

After a calm appeared to have settled over the fixture in the last two seasons, Espanyol look to have stirred things up once again and Laporta is not happy.

"Espanyol are creating a pantomime that makes no sense," Sport quote him as saying.

"They are releasing information that is not true. We have always wanted to host the Espanyol directors for an official dinner."

Daniel Sanchez Llibre, Espanyol's president, was incensed when Barca appeared to stop Espanyol from signing Saviola in 2005, after the player had already stated that he would like to make the hop across town.

That caused a feud between the clubs that looked to have been forgotten, however, Laporta believes that it has been brought up again by his opposite number.

"He has been the president of Espanyol for some time and he has always used the excuse about Saviola," he explained.

"They say that we did not want to sell Saviola to Espanyol but what we did not want was for him to play for Espanyol and for us to pay him."

Lucas Brown,