The economic effects of the pandemic will condition the present and the future of FC Barcelona during a period that varies between two and four years. The bleeding of millions will have its translation in the next budgets set by the directive, corresponding to the 2020-21 season, and which must be approved in a membership assembly next October.
If the pre-epidemic estimates put the income for the next financial year at around 1,100 million euros, the current objective reduction substantially that aspiration in 300 million euros, placing it at around 800. The brutal decrease in income produced between March 14, the beginning of confinement, and June 30, the final date of the year, calculated at around 200 million, imposes austerity as the only way out during the next season . The uncertainty, represented in all its harshness by a Camp Nou that will remain empty until no one knows when, forces the Blaugrana directive to put on the handbrake and contain all possible spending, including some that were taken for granted.
Bartomeu has ordered to stop the signing of Lautaro, there will be no major purchases if there are no sales before
President Josep Maria Bartomeu has given orders in this regard. One of the most striking has been to freeze the operation that should bring the Argentine Lautaro to Barcelona after a negotiation with Inter Milan that was progressing slowly but surely. This transfer will no longer occur if before the technical secretariat fails to sell to a footballer, or group of footballers, who provide the necessary liquidity.
After the sale of Arthur, which was more for financial than sports reasons, the board hopes to place players like Coutinho or Braithwaite on the market, with a special predilection for the Premier, although the list of candidates is broader. Even Griezmann, although officially stated otherwise, has not been able to evade occupying part of the showcase. The only way to bring Neymar back is in fact to include the Frenchman in a hypothetical transaction with PSG.
The window of the summer market, which this year will exceptionally open on August 4 and not close until October 5, will allow the board to see the enlarged picture of the situation (purchases, sales and final salary) until last moment before setting budgets.
The fall in income for the 2019-20 financial year can skyrocket to 200 million euros
In addition to paralyzing investment spending, Barcelona has been reducing costs for months as a means to compensate for the lack of income to thus offset losses that could range between 80 and 100 million in the 2019-20 academic year. They are trying to reduce the diameter of the hole based on decisions, some conflicting. For example, with the controversial salary cut for professional players, the application of an ERTE to employees or the revision of contracts with some of the club’s suppliers.
The referendum remains undated and no major works will be held at the stadium this summer either
Why is the incidence of losses so great at a club like Barça? As for other smaller clubs, the income from television rights can reach 90 percent of the total budget, in Barcelona, and in other large ones in Europe, it only covers 25 percent. The rest of the games come from essential concepts such as ticketing, the operation of the stadium facilities and its surroundings (catering, VIP boxes, rental of spaces for companies …), as well as the sale of products in official stores. or visits to the Museum. The absence of tourism has hit Barcelona hard. One day in July of last year up to 10,000 visitors could pass through the Museum, yesterday only 100 did.
The Museum is receiving about 100 visits a day when last year they reached 10,000
Although the board and its executive body have accelerated the implementation of online commerce, the creation of Barça studies and other projects encompassed in digital strategy, the truth is that the impact on the treasury is still devastating. And the debt, growing. Aware of the difficulties that the clubs are going through, LaLiga has suggested that this season they present two accounting closings, one general and the other exclusive that includes only the harmful effects of the coronavirus.
The pandemic has finished knocking out the normal evolution of Espai Barça, a cursed project that awaits the holding of a second referendum before the Blaugrana social mass to bless its new financing. It is an 800 million macro loan that would be financed by the Goldman Sachs group and that Barça would return for years with the operation of the new stadium once it is completed, an odyssey that is increasingly distant. While the integral reform of the Bernabeu is going from strength to strength, Barcelona will not be able to do major works this summer at the Camp Nou as planned. Without the partner’s yes there is no loan approval, and without money there are no cranes.
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