Never mind Real Madrid, it’s the likes of Arsenal and the two Manchester teams that worry Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu, and that worry is set to increase as Arsenal and the other teams in the English Premiership start to reap the rewards of a new £5.14 billion television deal agreed back in February.
This comes on the heel of our recent report suggesting that Barcelona were going to try and get Gunners right-back Hector Bellerin to return to the Nou Camp, when in fact it could be the other way round, as some of the nouveau riche Premiership clubs look to Barcelona’s famous La Masia de Can Planes for their future stars.
“Our rival is the Premier League. It is not a specific club, it is the strength of the Premier League itself,” Bartomeu explained in an interview with the Financial Times.
“The 16-year-olds constantly receive offers from the Premier League that are very tempting. Every year there are some who go.”
Despite being worried that the Premiership teams will alter the balance of European football, Bartomeu is adamant that Barcelona has the financial might to hang on to their biggest stars.
“There are no other clubs in the world, whether in football or in other sports, that think ahead more than one or two seasons, but here at Barca we do,” he added.
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The new television agreement is certainly a game-changer when it comes to European football, and we can only hope that the wealthy owners like Stan Kroenke and the Glazer family will reinvest the new money into the club and not use it for their own personal enjoyment.