FC Barcelona has been termed ‘technically bankrupt’ by a prominent Catalan journalist. The Blaugrana are suffering in debts that was exceeding €1 billion. They had to pull various ‘economic levers’ last summer to make new signings. It included the sale of future television rights revenue and portions in their media production company, Barca Studios.
Financial fair play issues still haunting Barca
Players brought in by Barcelona before of the 2022/2023 season, such as Robert Lewandowski, enabled the Blaugrana win their first La Liga title in four years and their first Spanish top flight triumph under head coach Xavi Hernandez. However, a year later, Barcelona is still battling to get their financial affairs in order. They must demonstrate to LaLiga that they can bring in new players and register contracts through a viability plan.
The plan got a green light on last Tuesday, but it was too late to prevent Lionel Messi from joining Inter Milan. Even with the green light, Barcelona must still adhere to the 40% rule. That implies means they are restricted to spending €4 million for every €10 million brought in by still-required player sales and improvements in the need to cut €200 million from the wage bill. Another concern is Xavi’s contract extension. Cadena SER states that the manager and club are “far apart” on reaching a deal. Xavi reportedly wants €12 million net per season and a total of €30 million gross for himself and his staff.
Ramon Besa says Barcelona is “in a state of technical bankruptcy”
The matter was further debated by a group of journalists on the same show that this information appeared El Larguero, with the highly regarded Ramon Besa from El Pais providing an analysis on the claimed deadlock in negotiations.
“I know that Xavi made an effort when he signed with Barca. I do not know what [financial] conditions there are and if the amounts now are compensatory because he has been one of the coaches who has charged less even though winning the league,” Besa said.
Besa claims that “I don’t know if it’s a lot or a little [that Xavi is asking for], because I don’t know the background”
He then added that Barcelona is “in a state of technical bankruptcy,” which they are dealing with “as best they can”. His statements likely caused a reaction from the media and Culers worldwide.
Besa did not elaborate, although he is a well-known and well-informed member of the press.
Though Barcelona was never officially declared bankrupt, even at the height of their financial difficulties. Former chief executive Ferran Reverter stated in 2021 that if the club had been a public limited company, it would have been “dissolved” following what he called the club’s “disastrous” administration by previous president Josep Bartomeu.
Joan Laporta blames former Barca president Josep Bartomeu for their financial ruin
After commissioning Deloitte to conduct a Financial Due Diligence audit, Barca claimed in a statement that year that the “new Board of Directors and its new executive structure encountered an economic and financial situation marked by negative equity and in a situation of technical bankruptcy” while taking over the leadership. Joan Laporta told CBS in 2022 that the club “had to get out of hospital” when he took ownership.
“A year ago, it was practically Chapter 11. We had to work very hard to revert the financials and avoid bankruptcy. I can say with pride that we did it. One year later, we are in positive equity. That’s very important. This season, we have €1 billion in revenues and €124 million ($133 million) in profits. That means we are getting better and better,” Laporta said.
If the date its 2021/2022 equivalent was released is something to go by, Barca’s annual report for 2022/2023 should be released around June 30. This will allow us to assess where Barca now stand financially and whether there is anything serious behind Besa’s statements.
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