Salaries tie hands and feet to a club that will sell Todibo, Junior and Konrad and that has given the letter of freedom to Matheus Fernandes
In summer 2019, Barcelona led the LaLiga salary limit ranking with 671 million euros. What does that mean? That in the 2019-20 season, the club could invest those 671 million in the salaries of the male first team, the subsidiary, the technical staff, the annual amortizations for the signings of footballers and the commissions of the agents in the transfers. By then, Barça had just closed the financial year with 990 million euros of income, the highest in the history of world football. But despite having the highest income, the wage bill was close to the limit recommended by the institutions: the club used 68% of its income to pay salaries. He had already alerted on several occasions Javier Faus, former economic vice president in the stages of Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu until 2015. “We are at a spending limit that we must control”, he reiterated in the 2013 and 2014 assemblies. But no one paid any attention to him.
The exorbitant signings, the upward renewals of footballers and the economic management that stressed the difference between income and expenses They caused the expansion of the coronavirus to cause a disaster of overwhelming dimensions. Turnover plummeted, debt increased exponentially to exceed 1,000 million euros and the club operates without funds and with expenses that exceed income. The entity is in technical bankruptcy. “Salaries are 110% compared to income”, admitted Joan Laporta in his first press conference as the new president. Of those 671 million euros, in March the salary limit set by LaLiga fell to 348 million, although the team did not comply with the regulations and exceeded the limit by far. Now, saving is mandatory for Barcelona. Before being able to sign, the Catalan club has to sell and cut salaries. Even before I can announce the renewal of Lionel Messi, which ends the contract this Wednesday, June 30.
Renewing the Argentine is not an easy task. The footballer wants to stay, but his salary has to fit in the new salary limit that LaLiga will impose this next July and that will be inferior even to March. To be able to renew Messi, the club has to achieve transfer multiple players to generate income and to release wage bill. Something that has already started to do with the sales of Junior Firpo al Leeds United of Marcelo Bielsa for 15 million euros, from Konrad de la Fuente at the Olympique de Marseille for 3 million and from Jean-Claire Todibo to Nice for 8.5 million. In total, Barça will be able to invest 6.6 million in its workforce of these 26.5 admitted, 25%, as explained by President Laporta.
But the club can not only get rid of footballers without minutes and with relatively affordable salaries. Barcelona need a good amount of transfer income and must manage to save on some of the highest salaries in the squad. There they go Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho, Martin Braithwaite y Miralem Pjanic, which do not count for Ronald Koeman, but also other names like Antoine Griezmann that, with the arrivals of ‘Kun’ Agüero and Memphis Depay, the recovery of Ansu Fati, the impossibility of transferring Ousmane Dembélé and the will to incorporate a new striker, see how your salary can become an immediate solution to alleviate economic tensions. Barça has no room for maneuver: without exits there are no entrances. And Messi ends contract in 24 hours.