Josep Maria Bartomeu has attempted to appease disgruntled Barcelona fans by praising the club’s good start to the new season and the efforts of the summer signings.
A summer of discontent for Barca fans saw new boss Ernesto Valverde bring in just four new signings – Paulinho, Gerard Deulofeu, Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo.
Fans of the club plus former players such as Xavi Hernandez have called on a change to be made behind the scenes, claiming current president Bartomeu has ignored the famed La Masia academy by loaning such players as Sergi Samper out and failed to bring in ‘Barca-like’ players.
Barca, who have started the season with four wins out of four – sit comfortably top of the La Liga table and Bartomeu has praised their start to the season and Valverde’s impact as boss.
“We’re embarking on a new era with him and we have a lot of faith in his abilities,” Bartomeu told an interview with TV3.
“He is intelligent and strongly believes in Barcelona and our style, he manages the games and so far he has shown why we chose him.
“The players are really happy with him and he’s earned the respect and gratitude of all the club’s fans in the space of a few weeks.
“Everything is going well so far in La Liga and in the Champions League, as a team we are growing and we will continue to grow.”
Having allowed Neymar to leave the club for Paris Saint Germain this summer, Bartomeu came under pressure to bring in new players and he has been quick to praise two of his new signings that came under criticism.
“Paulinho? He was the midfielder we needed – a player with experience, a leader with the Brazilian national team…he will add a lot to our team.
“Deulofeu? He has returned as a better player and now he can bring us what he has learnt and how he has developed.”
Further to a proposed vote of no confidence ran by former candidate Benedito, signatures were collected before the 5-0 derby win over Espanyol and the Champions League victory over Juventus last week.
One of those signatures was former president Joan Laporta, who has been particularly vocal in his displeasure of the club’s handling under Bartomeu.
Laporta – club president between 2003 and 2010, tweeted: “As a socio, I am the 15,142nd person to sign the #VotodeCensura2017.”