Barcelona will not say sorry for wanting to control 'own destiny', vows Laporta amid European Super League fallout

Joan Laporta BarcelonaGetty

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has vowed that the club will not apologise to UEFA for their part in the European Super League, adding that the Blaugrana see no reason to be sorry for wanting control "of our own destiny".

The Catalan giants remain one of the few holdouts of the failed project that would have seen a dozen of the game's biggest clubs effectively form a ringfenced continental competition for larger financial gain.

While multiple founding members have subsequently backtracked, Barca have not - and Laporta, elected to a second term at Camp Nou this year, says that they will not seek to make amends for their part as long as he remains at the helm while adding that a vote from members on their participation is no longer required given the circumstances.

What has been said?

"We spoke with the clubs [involved] and said we liked [the proposals], but that we needed them to accept that our members would have to approve entry at the next assembly," the 58-year-old told the club's general assembly.

"It was logical to have that vote before June 30. But now, as the format doesn't exist, I won't ask you to vote. But the project is alive, I insist.

"We're still trying to enter into dialogue with UEFA. We won't apologise for trying to organise a competition. We won't say sorry to UEFA for wanting to be the owners of our own destiny. At least not while I am president."

Barca set for Champions League return amid legal battles

Of the ESL's dozen founding members, the nine who walked back their commitment to it have already faced fines from UEFA, but the sanctions for Barca and fellow holdouts Real Madrid and Juventus remain up in the air.

It is reported that the sport's governing body would like to ban them from continental competition such as the Champions League, though they are unable to do so due to a court ruling prohibiting such action.

"UEFA threatened us with fines and with kicking us out of the Champions League," Laporta added. "Time has proven us right. Now they have cancelled [suspended] the disciplinary process and registered us for next season's Champions League.

"We're doing this because we love football and because right now the game is in a complicated situation. The state-owned clubs can make much more attractive offers than us and they keep on investing."

The bigger picture

While they may remain embroiled in off-field drama, Barca will hope to refocus matters on the field as they seek to build on Ronald Koeman's first year in charge.

Though they were unable to claim another top-flight crown in La Liga, victory in the Copa del Rey ensured silverware at Camp Nou this term as well as another top-four finish.

In addition, Lionel Messi looks set to walk back on his own desire to leave the club as issued last summer, with the Argentine tipped to sign a new deal and remain at his long-term home.

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