Gerard Piqué’s withdrawal does not make Barça poor

BarcelonaGerard Piqué and Joan Laporta met a few months ago at Camp Nou. It was a bitter day for both of them. How bitter was the conversation between the central and Xavi Hernández, at the end of the year. After gradually losing prominence in the starting team, a few days ago what had been speculated for a long time was consummated: that the defender was leaving Barça. An emotional farewell for the footballer – on the grass of the stadium and with fans who cheered him on – which contrasts with the coldness that was experienced and is still being experienced in the offices. The pictures, the compliments and the kind words served to make up for a relationship that had deteriorated but that, from a pragmatic point of view, no one wanted to end with broken dishes in public. It’s been a week since the farewell of Piqué the footballer. But there is still work to be done: completing the termination of the contract. And it is not an easy task.

The separation of Piqué and Barça brings more headaches than you could imagine. Unofficially, he retired from the Sadar after seeing the red card for rebuking the referee, and has already turned a page from his Blaugrana stage thanks to his personal projects, such as the creation of an amateur 7-a-side soccer league other ex-football players and streamers. But legally and contractually he continues to be a Barça player and, as the noble offices admit, the release has not yet been made. “As long as it appears on the Barça and League websites as a player, it will not have been canceled yet,” they add.

It may seem simple, because broadly the footballer leaves with a year and a half of contract to fulfill, but that does not mean that he will give up the 80 million – more than 50 this season alone – that he had agreed upon in total. He will stop making money, just as he will no longer be tied to the club once all the paperwork is signed. Now, there’s a lot of fine print. Variable clauses, loyalty rewards and above all many deferrals to pay. A mixture of accounting and treasury, which, in retrospect, the sports area is very dependent on. Because this dance of numbers must end up translating into a saving in the salary cost of the staff. That is, the famous one fair play financial And the ability of Barça to be able to strengthen itself in this winter market will depend on this money that is generated.

Barça will save less money than they thought with Gerard Piqué

According to ARA, the savings will be much lower than initially expected in the noble offices of the Camp Nou. Partly because of the player’s contract change in 2021, which advanced The world and that he changed concepts and payment terms of his agreement with the club, which he had signed in 2020 just before former president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board resigned en bloc. The final figure will be around 5 million euros, which is what Barça will actually generate from fair play. In other words, Piqué’s departure will give Mateu Alemany 5 million oxygen to be able to register short-term signings. Negotiations, however, are not yet completely closed.

At a financial, treasury and accounting level, Piqué’s departure will involve higher savings figures, because all the millions signed by the footballer will be added and he will not end up earning. But the salary cap regulations are complex and are measured by other parameters, not just what is paid or not paid to a footballer. Therefore, the options of being able to strengthen in the winter remain minimal, unless there is another exit in the month of January. “We are realistic with what is there,” they admit from the dressing room.

Mateu Alemany, the football director; Jordi Cruyff, the technical secretary, and Xavi Hernández, the coach, have already met to discuss Barça’s options in the winter market, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. Also with Joan Laporta, who is planning a trip to Colombia with the Foundation. The competition for the World Cup stops, and while the franchise players are concentrating with the respective selections, it is a good time for the offices to advance the work that is usually concentrated around Christmas. Although, with the current situation, large movements cannot be foreseen.

Memphis and Dembélé, possible options to leave Barça in the winter

The only ones who could defuse the situation are two players: Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembélé. The former’s contract ends in the summer and could be revalued if he does a good World Cup. Initially it was a piece that attracted Xavi, but the decision to prioritize playing in Qatar before playing with Barça has made things very clear. With Dembélé, the offices admit that selling him would be a good deal and that, if he does well at the World Cup, offers may arrive in January. However, sportingly nothing has changed and Xavi continues to want him in his team.

Thus, the options that Barça signs are low. One possibility would be to rescue the bank guarantee that Laporta and treasurer Ferran Olivé presented in the summer to enroll Kounde and that was withdrawn shortly after, although this option is not foreseen at the moment. Basically because, unlike the situation in which the club found itself last winter, this Barça is better balanced in terms of the squad, is leading the League and is not suffering to enter the next Champions League.

And as far as Piqué is concerned, saving his salary won’t have much impact this season, but it will next season. Without his file, nor that of Griezmann – already sold – nor that of Busquets – whose contract ends in the summer –, the club has already guaranteed a notable increase in the salary limit. In the summer there will be movements. And important



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