The staggering figures behind Barcelona’s financial crisis as Messi and new signings left in limbo

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Football Espana

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Barcelona find themselves in the midst of a financial crisis, and an interesting study on the club’s finances has revealed just how difficult a situation the Catalan giants face.

At this point, we already know that Barca need to reduce their salary bill by around €200million to register their four new signings, as well as Lionel Messi‘s new contract.

But according to Swiss Ramble, their current wages were the highest in Europe at last count, which was last year, outspending second place Manchester City by €42million per year, a trait that does not board well in the year when La Liga cut the Blaugrana’s salary cap by €187million.

Barca are in the midst of significant drops in revenue, including commercial revenue, and their operating loss of €173million was the fourth highest in Europe last season.

Player amortisation has been one of the buzzwords of the Barcelona financial crisis, the term signifying how a cost of a player is spread across the length of their contract.

And when it comes to that area, Barca have the highest cost in Europe, with amortisation costs of €174million last season.

That total is a big concern for the chiefs of the Catalan club, who know they face huge losses even if they allow players to leave for free with Miralem Pjanic listed as an example by the report.

According to Swiss Ramble, Barca would have €64million remaining on Pjanic’s deal through amortisation, even if they allowed the midfielder to leave for free.

That goes some way in explaining why Barca cannot simply bite the bullet and release some of their unwanted big earners.

The pandemic has been blamed multiple times by Barcelona chiefs for the current financial situation, but overspending appears to have been the main cause.

Barcelona’s €960million spending total across the last three years puts them well ahead when it comes to biggest gross spending in Europe, Juventus in second with €801million. Though, Manchester City and Manchester United lead when it comes to net spend.

Barca’s gross transfer debt now stands at €323million as a result of their spending, which again is the most in Europe, ahead of Atletico Madrid’s €316million.

The Catalan club’s debt total of €1.2billion is second only to Tottenham, who took out a giant loan to fund a new state of the art stadium, but there is an important factor to keep in mind.

As much as €731million of Barca’s debt is due in the next 12 months, making their short-term debt by far the most in Europe, ahead of Atletico’s €432million.

One of the biggest tasks Joan Laporta and the Barca chiefs have is to find a way to restructure that debt to enable to club to pay it over a longer term, and June’s €525million credit deal with Goldman Sachs will certainly help.

Laporta and Barca remain optimistic they can navigate the choppy waters the club now finds itself in, while also reducing the salary enough to register the four new signings and Messi.

But this clearly sums up just how much of a mess Barca have found themselves in, and how the blaming of the pandemic for all of these issues was severely misplaced.

You can see the full thread from Swiss Ramble below.

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