THE BROKE CLUB
Nobody thought that FC Barcelona, the Catalan giants, who once astonished the world with their blissful football, would face such a financial state. The Messi-Barcelona romance, which the world thought would only end when he hung up his boots, ended in a much more tragic way. Every aspect of Barcelona has degraded from what it was once proclaimed to be. But when people started to think that Barcelona had lost their spark, that’s when they decided to surprise everybody. In the past few weeks, Barcelona signed Frank Kessié, Andreas Christensen, Raphina, and Robert Lewandowski, and renewed Dembélé and Araújo. The world seems to be in awe of how the "broken club" is pulling such strings. This raises a question that Zeeshan asked in his latest YouTube video, "Is Laporta doing the same thing that Bartomeu did?"
So how is Barcelona trying to face the debt? For starters, Barcelona has sold a tenth of its television rights for the next 25 years to the American investment firm Sixth Street for 207.5 million euros. They also intend to sell an additional 15% of the television rights. And, the next financial lever would be the sale of 49.9% of 'Barça Licensing and Merchandising' (BLM), which would raise income by nearly 200 million euros. Solutions like these may seem risky, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
The wage cut by veterans is also helping Barcelona to reduce its wage cap. The wage cap has been a massive problem for Barcelona. Barcelona’s wage cap was 480 million euros in 2020, and in the next 20/21 season it went to 98 million euros, and currently, Barcelona has a wage cap of -144 million euros. Covid also played a big part in damaging the club, alongside Josep Maria Bartomeu. The former president's providing unreasonable contracts to players caused Barcelona to have a poor wage structure. As a result, we spend only 2.5 million for every 10 million we earn. For those who don’t know about what a wage cap is, Zeeshan has provided us with the perfect definition for it: "It is the amount defined by the leagues after analyzing the club’s audit accounts that they are allowed to spend on the first team." Barcelona would have to include all players' wages inside this wage cap or else the players wouldn’t be registered, and that could be one of the biggest embarrassments the club could face. It is unfathomable to think that Lewandowski could not be registered after signing.
Barcelona has to maintain these conditions to ensure the smooth sailing of the club. The disruption in the wage cap is the reason why Barcelona has to sell Frenkie De Jong. This is a sensible transfer since his transfer could bring in 115 million euros. Their management is trying to bring in money from every possible source, which includes the Spotify deal that brings in 70 million euros per year for 4 years, which cost us renaming our stadium to Spotify Camp Nou. Another way Barcelona saved wages is by saving the wages of ex-players such as Greizmann and Coutino. Even after this, the most important financial step for Barcelona is the activation of financial levers. The activation of all financial levers can bring up to 900 million euros. Even if the final financial lever fails, Barcelona would still be able to generate 600 million euros. One piece of good news is that thanks to the sale of 10% television rights, Barcelona has been able to show a profit, which was not the case in the previous two fiscal years. Javier Tebas, the president of LaLiga, has said that for Barcelona to register players, they have to show 500 million euros. Currently, Barcelona has a mass salary of 560 million euros and they are trying to cut it short to 400 million. Even if Barcelona couldn’t make it under the required conditions, the LaLiga included a flexibility clause in the wage cap due to the pandemic situation, which could help Barcelona. Many netizens have criticized Barcelona for spending money during a financial crisis. From my perspective, I can only say that the people working behind Barcelona’s current situation are more than eligible to handle these scenarios. Whatever happens, a club like Barcelona wouldn’t cease to exist. That outcome is out of the question for clubs like Manchester United or Barcelona. There is a reason why Old Trafford is called "The Theatre of Dreams". The legacy of these clubs will protect them from deterioration. As Zeeshan said, "We cannot live in a world where there is no Barcelona."