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Barcelona in trouble to repay 900 million euros in debt

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Barcelona’s financial struggles over the past 12 months are well documented, but a report in Spain claimed La Blaugrana were in debt to the tune of € 900million (£ 804million).

The Catalan side has made no secret of how the COVID-19 epidemic has hurt them financially, with the lack of income from ticket sales leaving Barcelona unable to balance its unfathomable spending.

Ronald koeman
Barcelona struggle with lack of fans | Soccrates Images / Getty Images

Club officials spent the best part of 2020 negotiating with the players to try to get them to agree to defer their salaries to help soften the blow, and after some messy legal disputes, a deal was finally reached in November. .

Barcelona were clearly desperate to find a solution, and if a report from La Vanguardia is to be believed, it’s not hard to see why. The club’s reckless spending over the past few years has left them in debt of € 900million, of which € 420million has to be repaid “in the short term”.

Sources familiar with the situation have reportedly confirmed that Barcelona are already planning to renegotiate with their creditors after agreeing that there is no way to repay this type of money in the near future.

FC Barcelona present new player Pedro Gonzalez Lopez - 'Pedri'
Josep Maria Bartomeu supervised unsustainable spending | Quality sports images / Getty Images

It will be up to the new president, who will be elected on Jan. 24, to find a way to help the club deal with such ridiculous debts, and player payrolls are expected to be targeted.

The Camp Nou first team earns a combined 170 million euros per season, and the club have already agreed to clauses that will see that salary budget increase by 45 million euros per year until 2025 – an unmanageable growth rate in the current situation.

Financial matters are nothing new for Barcelona, ​​who have been accused of making decisions without considering the long-term impact. One example given is the € 39m loyalty bonus promised to Lionel Messi in 2017 which has been postponed time and time again and is only paid out last summer, after Messi expressed his desire to leave the club. .

Lionel messi
Barcelona delayed payment of Messi’s loyalty bonus | Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

High salaries and promises, coupled with costly signings like Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann, have seen Barcelona’s financial situation spiral out of control, and urgent decisions now need to be made on how € 420m can be found within the next 12 months. .

A potential solution under consideration is to grant another 800 million euro loan to the fund held Espai Barca – the renovation project at Camp Nou – and then use the income generated to pay off debts. Absolutely a smart move.

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