FC Barcelona, a highly decorated club that has been dominating the European football circuit since the 1990’s has hit an all-time low. And this low isn’t owed to the team’s performance. Barcelona in fact have been exquisite on the field. It is the managerial mismanagements off the pitch which have grasped the eye balls of every football fan. This can eventually be owed to mismanagements right after the departure of marquee player Neymar Jr. So, let’s take a deep dive on how management hiatus, covid-19 and “Espai Barca” lead to Barca coming on to the verge of bankruptcy.
Management Hiatus: –
All of this was bought to notice of the fans by Spanish Daily El Mundo. El Mundo back in January claimed that Barcelona are in a total of 1.3 billion USD debt. In order to fill the void created by Brazilian sensation Neymar, Barcelona went on a role and bought several illustrious individuals. Coutinho, Vidal, De Jong, Griezmann, Dembele the list goes on and on. For bringing in these players Barca broke the bank to spend 501 million USD. However, most of the remittance was made available by taking short term loans. With Barca letting go off Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Vidal in a short span, the situation improved but the pay checks will be coming in after a while. Leo too has agreed for a pay cut but it doesn’t overshadow the fact that Barca still owe him 420 million USD in the next 4 years. The situation is so grim that the players didn’t receive their wages for the month of Jan on time!! For controlling the situation the players did agree for a 30% pay cut however this didn’t help the situation to the fullest.
From FCB Escola to CampNou tickets to general tourism Barcelona have lost around 113 million USD due to covid-19. No fans eventually means no ticket sales and this means that the Match Day income boils down to 0.
Espai Barca: –
930 million USD!! Yes, you read that right!! A whooping 930 million is taken by Barca from the American Bank Goldman Sachs for their project “Espai Barca”. This project was basically the brain child of Josep Maria Bartomeu and it was a revamp to keep it short. From a new Camp Nou to new scouting facilities and world class accommodations everything was in plan.
However, some senior officials have claimed that this loan amount itself was used to pay the wages of the players and how Espai Barca is gonna move forward is the big question!! This loan was agreed upon because Goldman has lower interest rates 3-4% and in case of a failure to repay, Goldman will take control of all the assets. This means that the Nou Camp, the existing offices and even the team players will belong to the corporate giant. Goldman in that case will have the right to look after the management of Barca.
To conclude, I would quote “Business is like a wave, full of crests and troughs”. This definitely seems to be one of the biggest trough that FCB are experiencing. But considering the legacy of this elite club we can never ignore the certainty that one managerial masterstroke can turn the tables and the Sun of Barca will rise and shine bright once again.