Friday, September 22, 2023

Victim of its poor results, this legendary European club no longer has enough to pay its stars

One of the most iconic football clubs in the world today finds itself in a very precarious financial situation. Victim of still sluggish performances on the field, falling income and above all accumulating debts, this legendary club simply no longer has the means to pay its stars.

La Liga, the Spanish football league, recently informed all first and second division clubs of their wage bill limit, based on this summer’s transfers and all of each club’s income and expenses. This budget cap is valid until February, when it will be updated to take into account the winter transfer window. In the meantime, one club saw its budget cut by more than half, from 648.8 million authorized expenses to only 270 million: FC Barcelona.

The Blaugrana club, which has a rank to maintain and an international standing to maintain, is still living beyond its means: the real cost of the team’s salaries far exceeds the 270 million euros allocated. The current payroll would amount to 404 million euros annually, according to the Spanish media Relevo. If no solution is found to generate additional income quickly, the club could end the season with a deficit of 134 million euros. This would further increase Barça’s debt and announce an even more severe budgetary restriction for the 2024/25 season.

A player makes a salary sacrifice for the club

The leaders of FC Barcelona, ​​however, took the measure of the emergency this summer: in addition to drastic budget cuts, the club managed to offload certain players whose salaries were too cumbersome. Among the most important, Busquets, Jordi Alba, Piqué, Lenglet, Kessié and the Frenchman Dembélé have notably found greener pastures, generating in the process a little more than 100 million in transfer income for Barça. Unfortunately, even with these efforts, the club’s finances are still struggling, with debts piling up that the club is unable to pay off.

In their defense, Barcelona leaders cited a delay in payment of 60 million euros regarding a deal reached in the summer of 2022, which should have been paid on June 15. A substantial shortfall which immediately weighs down the club’s accounts. Barça therefore had to activate a new budgetary lever, by concluding an agreement with an anonymous Cypriot investor and the Libero Football Finance fund. This agreement, announced publicly, was to cover the missing 60 million. A first payment of 20 million euros was planned in the short term, then a second of 40 million from August 29. This money has not arrived either.

FC Barcelona seems condemned to further reduce its lifestyle, even if it means being less efficient on the pitch. Fortunately, the club can still count on its popularity to attract great players at a lower cost, such as striker João Félix, who agreed to cut his salary in half to play for the Blaugrana jersey. While he received 6 million euros at Atletico, he would have agreed to only receive 3 million in Catalonia.


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