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Bartomeu: Barca’s image has been damaged

luis-suarez-barcelonaBarcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted that some of the incidents involving the club may have harmed its image.

Mundo Deportivo reports an interview with Bartomeu published in the Times in which he reflects on the past 12 months at Camp Nou.

Bartomeu ascended to the Presidency midway through last season when Sandro Rosell resigned in the wake of the Neymar affair.

The Neymar case was one to which Bartomeu referred when acknowledging a bad year for the club’s public image.

“We learned a lot this past year. A lot of the things that have happened have not been positive, but in a sense it has been good, because they tell us what we should do in the future,” Bartomeu said.

“I do not believe that our position [in world football] was affected on the field. Any team may spend a year without winning a trophy. That’s football.

“Some subjects might have been able to damage our image off-field

“The Issue with FIFA and young players, the issue of Neymar…perhaps our image has suffered from these things.

“But when there are problems, we must learn from them, and this is what we have done.”

Expanding on the Neymar transfer, Bartomeu insisted Barca have outlined the complete terms of the deal in a way no other club would have.

“Some believe that we were not transparent. But because a partner asked us for the total amount of the transfer, we were completely transparent,” he continued.

“No other club in the world has to do that, or does it.”

Barca have this summer courted further controversy with the signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool, buying the Uruguayan at a time he is banned for four months from all football for biting Giorgio Chiellini.

But Bartomeu claimed Barca didn’t consider that aspect of Suarez’s character when deciding to push ahead with his arrival.

“His reputation did not influence our thinking, no way,” Bartomeu argued.

“The club will help Suarez in everything we can to retrieve the correct way to play.

“He knows he was wrong and that’s why he apologized. Everyone knows he did something wrong.

“For us, that’s enough. We want him to play as he played at Liverpool.”