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It’s not just Bartomeu’s legacy that is driving up the salary cost of Barça’s squad

BarcelonaSergi Roberto will sign his new contract with Barça at the end of this week. After two postponed appointments to stamp the signature in the Barça offices with the executive president Joan Laporta, the versatile footballer from Reus will sign a minimum deal until June 30, 2023. He will receive almost 60% less than what he agreed with the directed by Josep Maria Bartomeu. In other words, if you earn almost 10 million euros gross per year, you will end up pocketing just over 4.

Roberto, who months ago declined a downward renewal that would have generated fair play to operate in the winter market, it will continue at the Camp Nou at the insistence of Xavi Hernández, its main guarantor. On the other hand, if it had been for Barça’s football director, Mateu Alemany, the effort to ensure its continuity would not have been made. Of course, although it does not mean any savings in the calculation of the famous salary cap – the new contract must be registered as if it were a signing -, his will be the first 100% real cut that will sign a captain of Barça in the last year. Because last summer neither Gerard Piqué, nor Sergio Busquets, nor Jordi Alba made any great sacrifice beyond accepting a deferral of payments of between 60% and 70%. The only waiver they made was with the easy variables. By 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, they had already taken part in a reduction and another deferral.

From July 1, the club will have to start paying the postponements agreed with three of the captains, who last summer, already with Messi at PSG, were used to sign signings such as Eric Garcia. With Piqué, for example, the backpack exceeds 50 million gross in the 2022/23 season alone (ends in 2024). Barça will also have to take on the increase in Aubameyang’s contract, who arrived free on the last day of the winter market and accepted a symbolic salary to be able to play at the Camp Nou. Now the Gabonese will see his emoluments fired in compensation for the initial effort. The increase in the wage bill also affects contracts such as the one in Memphis, growing in relation to the first year of validity. In fact, the salary of the Dutchman next year is one of the main obstacles for him to be transferred this summer: there are no clubs willing to match him and, apart from that, they want to pay a good pinch. In the package of uploads there are also concepts associated with the latest renovations that closed Josep Maria Bartomeu before resigning, such as those of Ter Stegen or Lenglet.

All this means that, originally, the salary mass calculated by Barça for the 22/23 financial year is around 560 million, according to Eduard Romeu, the entity’s economic vice-president. That is 90 million more than was included for this concept in the budget 21/22 and an exorbitant figure in a context in which the control of the expenditure is imposed. That is why the board of directors aims to achieve salary gestations worth about 160 million in parallel with the negotiation of the famous “levers”, such as the partial sale of BLM or television rights. In Romeu’s forecast there is no longer Dembélé, with a foot out of the club, but Araujo’s new conditions, the new contract that the young Gavi and the signings of Kessié and Christensen have to sign. The discarded Braithwaite, Umtiti, Mingueza or Pjanic are also included in the calculations they make in both the economic and sports areas.

The club’s intentions have so far been met with reluctance on the part of most footballers. Some of them don’t want to go out, even though they already know from Xavi’s mouth that they won’t have minutes. The captains do count for the coaches, but they also don’t quite understand why they are being urged to lose purchasing power while the club is working to sign stars like Robert Lewandowski, who don’t charge very little. “It will be very difficult for us to agree,” the agent of one of the players with the contract affected told ARA.

The League limits the generation of savings

In addition, there is another twist that plays against Barça when it comes to generating fair play with salary gestures, as the League limits the impact of deferrals and rebates on the registration of new signings with players who have previously already generated savings. If a player has already spaced or cut already agreed amounts, as is the case with the captains, the body chaired by Javier Tebas does not accept a second gesture to build the same margin and only recognizes, if any, the positive difference. The same goes for the ceded. If a footballer has already gone on loan once to release a salary, the measure is no longer applied if there is a second exit (sale or transfer) to build the same margin: only the spread counts.

As a result, Barça, which is over fair play, should focus on players who have not yet passed the tube to generate new savings. And if some of these players do not cooperate, the club has 90 million provisioned to answer to the courts in case of unilateral terminations. On the other hand, the cuts being pursued with the captains are mainly to wipe out the negative net worth.

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