Joan Laporta reveals he only found out about Ronald Koeman’s abrupt press-conference statement ‘at the last minute’… as the Barcelona chief admits his ‘patience is limited’ with the manager
- Joan Laporta has spoken out on Ronald Koeman’s abrupt press conference
- Koeman read from a script and refused to take any questions on Wednesday
- Barcelona chief says he only found out about Koeman’s plan at the last minute
- Laporta admits his ‘patience is limited’ as the tension between the two rises
Joan Laporta has revealed that he only found out about Ronald Koeman’s plan to read a prepared statement in his Wednesday press conference ‘at the last minute’ – and admitted that his patience is running thin.
An under-pressure Koeman refused to answer any reporters’ questions in the pre-match media briefing, instead choosing to read a three-minute statement where he asked for ‘support in these difficult times’.
The Dutchman’s job has been the subject of much speculation following Barcelona’s slow start to the season, which has included a 3-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League before only managing a draw against Granada at the Nou Camp that left the Catalan side eighth in LaLiga.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta (pictured) reveals he only found out about Ronald Koeman’s press-conference statement at ‘the last minute’
It has seen Koeman face difficult questions regarding his future at the club in recent weeks, leaving him to take extrodinary action on Wednesday.
And while Laporta respects Koeman’s way in handling the situation, the Barca chief says he only found out about the desperate move shortly before.
‘We found out at the last minute that he wanted to make a statement and, well, he’s obliged to attend press conferences and he’s free to respond or speak as he wishes,’ Laporta told Sport.
‘We respect the coach’s decision, but we and the captains found out a bit before.’
An under-fire Koeman read out a long statement in his press conference begging for support
After finishing reading from his sheet of paper, Koeman left without taking media questions
When asked if his patience was limited, Laporta simply responded: ‘Yes, of course.’
Laporta also discussed the club’s poor form, which saw the club lose to Bayern Munich before drawing with Granada.
‘Well, we’re in a difficult moment and I think that we should have a lot of serenity and wait for a good result tomorrow against Cadiz, because that’s what interests us, situations which you overcome with results,’ Laporta insisted.
‘We will move forward and keep fighting. We’ll get the ball on the ground, what’s important is that tomorrow we play well.’
Wednesday represented another strange chapter in Barcelona’s recent history and one that could have ramifications for Koeman’s already rocky relationship with the board.
Koeman (pictured on Wednesday) is under pressure after Barcelona’s poor start this season
Koeman was appointed by the club’s previous president Josep Maria Bartomeu last summer but the re-election of Joan Laporta in March was always likely to prompt a change of direction at the Nou Camp.
His relationship with Laporta has become more strained after he criticised the president in an interview with Dutch media, saying he “says too much”.
Laporta has released two videos in the past week on social media addressing fans on the team’s predicament and also asking for them to be patient while the club deals with its colossal debt, which led to Lionel Messi leaving this summer to join Paris Saint-Germain.
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