In just a few months Barcelona collapsed. The Spanish team has lost its star player, Lionel Messiand announced a debt of 1.3 billion euros, according to Joan Laporta, the president of the club. These situations put Barcelona in check.
With the departure of Messi for PSG, Barcelona are estimated to have lost millions of euros in commercial revenue, ticket sales, shirt sales and merchandising. For the 2021-22 season, the Cules had an underperforming squad, a disgruntled fan base and millions in debt.
Club officials had to release players and loan others out to bring in new players. The arrival of Xavi Hernandez as the first team coach helped a lot, the team improved their performance and the fans regained their enthusiasm. But the debt still exists, however, Barcelona management solved part of the problem.
Barcelona and its economy
When La Liga calculates new wage limits for its clubs at the end of this month, Barcelona no longer find yourself in the negative. But despite this impending good news, there are still great challenges ahead.
Twice a year the league set salary caps for each club. There is a complicated calculation that subtracts projected expenses for non-football costs from projected income. For example, if a club is going to earn €100,000 but has to pay off €50,000 in debt or pay non-football staff, then its salary cap is €50,000. Losses from previous years should also be taken into account.
Barcelona’s limit has been set at €97,000,000but the club itself said the previous board’s losses were not 228 million euros but €481 million. This is why La Liga has set its salary cap at -€144 million. After May, this the number will return above zero. This means that Barcelona are already in a better position than last year and the club’s finances have tightened a bit.
The number will no longer be negative as La Liga have changed the rules so that any pandemic-related loss can now be spread over five years. The club’s sponsorship agreement with Spotify for around 280 million euros over five years also help. That doesn’t mean Barcelona aren’t in debt yet.
Does this mean Barcelona will be able to sign high-quality players in the next transfer window?
In February, Barcelona said the wage bill had been reduced by €159,000,000 but that it was still 40% more than its rivals. The Cules wage bill was close to €900,000,000 at the end of last season. Messi, Philippe Coutinho and other players leaving the club were a help but not the solution to the problem.
Barcelona still have to sign players who don’t have a high salary to balance its expenses. Club officials are also considering offering progressive offersthat players earn more money in the last years of their contract and that their salary gradually increases.
When will Barcelona be one of the most powerful teams in the world again?
Last year, then general manager Ferran Inverterwho left the club, said the finances would be settled in five years, so it would be 2026. But Barcelona don’t have to wait for the years to pass and nothing more.
To return to a stable economy in 2026, the club must qualify for the Champions League each season and reach the final stages of other championships.
But to achieve this, Barcelona will need to invest in quality players. Managers will have their work cut out: building a quality team, which runs good campaigns and attracts sponsors, but not spending a lot of money to build that top team. Time will tell us on whether Barcelona will be one of the best teams in the world again by 2026.