In reality, if you will allow me to say it, it's Lionel Messi's fault. Messi, yes, because his giant status covers the reality at Barcelona in a number of areas. For example, in the academy and, by extension, its relationship with Camp Nou. The club have spent a long time ignoring the reality, with theory not adjusting to practice.
It's not acceptable to listen to the messages from president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whose mouth is filled with the famous discourse of "Barça DNA" and the "values of La Masia", and, at the same time, realise that it's been five years since anyone was promoted to the first team; to withness the awful policy of signing and loaning players for Barça B; and, finally, see that the club have been unable to stop young talent leaving because of an absence of opportunities.
That's the reality and it's been met with inconsistent excuses: bad generations, the FIFA ban, kids that leave for money... never have the club or directors had any responsibility.
The warnings have come from everywhere. From Laureano Ruiz, the man who introduced the current method in the club's academy in the early 1970s, to Johan Cruyff, the most important coach in the club's history, who changed the mentality and convinced everyone of the necessity to take on an idea.
During this last week, too, from Pep Guardiola, the club's most honoured manager, and from Xavi Hernandez, the man to play the most games in Barcelona shirt. Four wise men who know what they're talking about. Four? No, five. Because Messi spoke with SPORT.
He openly complained about the use of the academy -- or lack of use. His message was extraordinary as it was rare. Those that don't want to listen to Laureano, Cruyff, Guardiola or Xavi will maybe reflect on what Messi said. Because it's certain they won't look for nuance to discredit his words nor will they look for other interests to justify the unjustifiable.
The system doesn't work and it needs to be fixed because Barça have been a global reference with the ball and Cruyffismo and they've been just another club when they have taken other directions. And for those that are sceptical, you only have to look at the statistics to verify the reality at any given monet.
Bartomeu has been adventurous with professional football at the club -- Zubizarreta, Puyol, Soler, Braida, Robert, Segura, Abidal, Planes... -- but he's frozen with the academy. Will Messi's warnings serve to start mouth to mouth in an attempt to bring back to life a model before before it's too late?