Johan Cruyff backs Laporta bid: Barcelona have lost their values

Former Barcelona player and coach Johan Cruyff has thrown his support behind Joan Laporta's presidential bid, adding that the club has lost its values under the current regime.

Laporta, who was Barcelona president from 2003-10, launched his campaign last Monday by saying current president Josep Maria Bartomeu's outgoing group had success on the field with the team they inherited, but had sullied its good name by agreeing sponsorship deals with Qatar and getting into legal trouble over the signing of Neymar.

Speaking on Wednesday, Cruyff agreed with the former president's stance.

"I am with Laporta, mostly because of the values," Cruyff told assembled media. "Barca has lost them and before anything else there should be principles, values. Money is secondary.

"Values like La Masia have been lost. Before it was a magical word, now that has disappeared.

"In addition, Barca has by a long way won the world prize for being caught up in judiciary issues and that cannot be. We must take this seriously.

"The drive by Barcelona to help the world with UNICEF was the most powerful drive in the world. With this initiative the club won acclaim in a social context. But now it isn't there."

Cruyff also cited Neymar as an example of the club's habit of making headlines for non-sporting reasons.

"Neymar is always in the eye of the hurricane for non-sporting reasons. Seven trials, La Masia doesn't exist, UNICEF doesn't exist.

"I'm not saying what they have to do, I'm saying that in 2010 there were certain values that are not there now."