Barcelona is one of the biggest football clubs in the world, but it seems they are facing some serious financial troubles. According to recent reports, the Catalan giants must free up £ 178 million from their budget before they can even think about signing new players this summer.
That’s a lot of money, and it means that Barcelona will have to sell some of their players to comply with La Liga’s financial rules.
Barcelona’s Financial Issues
The club has been struggling financially for some time now, and last year they had to pull some “economic levers” to avert disaster. They signed some big-name players like Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Hector Bellerin, and Marcos Alonso, which has left them with debts estimated to be more than £1bn. To make matters worse, their failure in the Champions League has compounded their financial troubles.
Barcelona President’s Response
Barcelona president Joan Laporta sold a substantial chunk of the club’s broadcasting rights in June last year to alleviate some of the financial strain, but La Liga president Javier Tebas has continued to apply pressure on them.
The club was fined £705,000 for breaches of La Liga’s Financial Fair Play rules in January, and Tebas has now made it clear that the situation is serious.
“As of today, Barcelona doesn’t have any room in its budget to spend in the upcoming transfer window,” he said. “Barcelona has been involved in questionable behavior which has had an impact on La Liga, and we are acting accordingly. We have ruled that they can no longer sign more players.”
What Barcelona Needs to Do
To comply with La Liga’s financial rules, Barcelona needs to get rid of £178m in expenditures. Even then, they would only be able to spend 40% of that figure – £71.2m. That means the club needs to sell some of its players to make up for the shortfall.
The first place Barcelona will look for savings is with unwanted fringe players. They struggled to sell such players last summer, with Philippe Coutinho and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the only two they managed to move on.
However, loanees Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet, Alex Collado, Sergino Dest, and Hector Bellerin will be made available for permanent transfers to free up wage space.
What May Happen
Barcelona is also likely to sell more valuable first-team players, with Raphinha, Ferran Torres, and Frenkie de Jong being the top targets. Raphinha attracted serious interest from Arsenal and Chelsea before joining Barcelona last summer, and he is now valued at around £44m. Torres is now worth around £31m, with De Jong valued at £44m.
Despite their financial troubles, Barcelona is still a big club with a lot of talented players. Xavi, the club’s manager, will have to make some tough decisions, but he knows that he needs to improve his squad if they want to compete at the highest level.
It will be interesting to see which players he decides to sell, and how he will use the money to strengthen his team. One thing is for sure, though – Barcelona is a club that is always looking to win, no matter what the financial situation may be.