FC Barcelona fell this Thursday 3-2 against Athletic Club and was left out of the Copa del Rey. They had already been fired from the Super Cup, the Champions League and, with Real Madrid at 17 points in LaLiga, that is also off the radar.
In other conditions, coach Xavi would be on the verge of dismissal… if not that they had already fired him, that in the end Koeman, Setién and even Ernesto Valverde left for less. But everything is understanding and patience in a team that is said to be under construction, which is in the initial phase of its ‘refoundation’, which will continue hand in hand with a history as a player, who, worth saying, cannot make his spectacular track records as a player straighten out the results, now that he is the big boss.
And among other reasons, no one considers a timonazo either because there are no funds to do it, because everyone who leaves must do it for free, because the club’s finances have been in the red since last season, in which it was not even possible to retain LionelMessi.
What is Barcelona paying? Your bad business. Since the traumatic departure of Neymar, in 2017, there have been bad signings, Bartomeu’s ruinous investments and the waste that the pandemic claimed, all of which was the seed of the serious economic crisis that we are experiencing today.
And in those businesses there is a special chapter for incorporations, exaggerated and expensive, that have gone without giving results. The bun of those bad practices is called Ousmane Dembelé, who has just declared war on the club to go out for free in June. The scandal of the threat made by the club not to let him play for the entire semester was fulfilled precisely in this match against Athletic for the Copa del Rey, in which the confrontation broke out.
Xavi says that he did not include it because he does not see it compromised, which fits into a sporting decision, but the Frenchman’s lawyers understand that this could be workplace harassment and the issue could end up in lawsuits before FIFA, which would harm both parties: the club would force him to pay the entirety of his contract until the end and even expose him to an expensive fine, the player could even close the doors on other teams, which could consider him a conflictive player and give up his talent.
That is why in the end they could agree that the player be transferred to a club that pays his salary, with which the Catalans would at least alleviate the wage bill, since there was no renewal and the investment of 135 million euros will come to nothing. It was a fortune for a total of 34 goals in four and a half years, quite a waste. Yes, there were many injuries that in the end are not the fault of anyone, but he continues to hurt the checkbook, anyway.
And in the midst of this media show, a detail does not go unnoticed: Dembelé is one of several ruinous businesses, among which Coutinho and Griezmann stand out. The first cost 160 million and the second 120 million. The Frenchman scored 35 goals in 102 games and the Brazilian went on loan to Aston Villa with 106 games, 26 goals and 13 assists. If the three are added, it is 415 million euros for 95 goals. All a waste of money.
And that’s not to mention the impact on the wage bill, since Dembelé earns 10 million euros per season plus bonuses (he would have added up to 20 million gross); Griezmann had an agreement that increased his salary every year and when he left it was 18 million euros plus bonuses (he would have billed up to 30 million gross); and Coutinho would have total income at the beginning of his contract for 22 million euros, but he has just left in exchange for 8 million per year, which is paid in full by Aston Villa.
They ended up dating to save money after it cost a fortune. And all these inheritances are only now being paid, so seeing the effect on sports results is almost an inevitable consequence.