Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed that the club has a debt of 1.35 billion euros, an increase of 200 million euros from the figure reported in January.
Barça’s terrible problems off the pitch have been widely known for some time. Years of overpayments on salaries and transfer fees have finally caught up with the club, which has resulted in Lionel Messi not being able to extend his contract this summer.
? @JoanLaportaFCB: ❝Our salaries represent 103% of the club’s total income. That is 20-25% more than our competitors. ❞ pic.twitter.com/8e1pV3tBRX
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 16 August 2021
New signings Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia could also only be registered after Gerard Pique agreed to an eleven-hour pay cut before his team opened La Liga against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Barça won the match 4-2 with Pique opening, opening ironically to Depay’s free kick – which would not have even played if he had not sacrificed.
Off the field, the bad news continued on Monday with Laporta revealing the full extent of the club’s financial problems during a press conference. In addition to confirming that debt levels had risen further, he also acknowledged that Barcelona currently has a net worth of € 451 million.
Laporta blamed the terrible situation on former President Josep Maria Bartomeu’s door. Bartomeu recently wrote a letter to his successors explaining the decisions he made. Laporta dismissed it as “full of lies”.
“Previous board only ignored financial controls. Just like in Barçagate, other invoices were split up to avoid having to go through supervision as they should have done. Including Spain Barça [Camp Nou rebuild], ”He said (via Dermot Corrigan).
He also accused Bartomeu of associating club members and reserved special criticism for his handling of the funds they received by selling Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for over £ 200 million.
“I would like to remind Bartomeu of all the damage the Neymar deal did to Barça’s image. There were four open cases with Neymar, we thought best for Barça’s interests to resolve themselves and avoid more risks. “
It is not true that the club’s salary bill exploded to compete with the state clubs. It was wrong to spend 222 million euros from Neymar, in salaries and repayments. The transfer policy for the club was just bad. ”
Although the situation is dire, Laporta said he was hopeful of digging the club out of their financial hole. He revealed his confidence that Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba and Sergio Aguero would agree to pay cuts similar to the Piques and suggested that further cuts to the gaming budget would be required.
Players have a fixed salary and bonuses for achievements and trophies. Some like Pique have agreed on reductions. Others are considering postponing or lowering their bonuses. We are looking for solutions, to restructure the whole, the whole squad, he says.
“The squad has already reduced salaries due to COVID. Now we ask for a second effort, the first answer is surprise because no one likes to lower their salary. But given the situation, they are starting to understand and we trust that we can solve it as soon as possible with captains, then other players. ”