Barcelona facing Champions League exit – which may lead to further financial trouble at the club

By FPL360


€153m spent on new players 

Barcelona’s aspirations for getting back to the top of European football were met by the cold, harsh reality of the Champions League on Wednesday evening, when a galvanised Inter Milan side arrived at the Camp Nou and duly spoiled the part for Xavi and his high-flying La Liga side. A 3-3 draw, thanks to Simone Inzaghi’s side coming from behind and then bagging a late third goal through Robin Gosens, now means that their Spanish opponents are all but out of the competition at the first hurdle. 

The Spanish giants now rely on Inter to slip up against Viktoria Plzen – a side that have failed to win a single point and have conceded 16 goals from their first four games – and to beat an impressive Bayern Munich side to have any hope of getting out of their group. However, dropping into the Europa League now looks far more likely. Which is a terrible testament to Barcelona’s inability to turn a huge summer spending spree into success on and off the pitch. 

Forest in top 5 – Transfer spending in the summer of 2022

12 Arsenal – Spending: €132.1m

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Last updated: September 1, 2022

11 Newcastle – Spending: €136.0m

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10 Wolves – Spending: €136.6m

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9 Bayern Munich – Spending: €137.5m

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8 Manchester City – Spending: €139.5m

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7 PSG – Spending: €147.5m

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6 Barcelona – Spending: €153.0m

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5 Nottingham Forest – Spending: €162.0m

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4 Tottenham – Spending: €169.9m

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3 West Ham – Spending: €182.0m

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2 Manchester United – Spending: €238.0m

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1 Chelsea – Spending: €282.0m

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Poor results have serious implications for Barca – on and off the pitch

Indeed, Barca’s entire game plan for the forthcoming season seemed to depend upon the club signing ready-made stars and using these players to win success in domestic and European competitions. This involved spending no less than €153 million on some of Europe’s most sought-after stars, such as Raphinha, Jules Koundé, Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessié and Robert Lewandowski. Only five clubs spent more money on new players in the summer. ‘

However, up-front transfer fees are only half the total cost that Barca have now burdened themselves with. According to the Athletic, the total money spent on salaries and amortised transfer fees in the 2021/22 season stood at an eye-watering €518m, but this season’s budget has increased even further by 27% to €656m, in no small part due to deferred wages needing paid and expensive, senior stars still being on the club’s wage bill. Not to mention a total of €108m in unpaid transfer fees still owed, going as far back as Philippe Coutinho’s move from Liverpool in 2018. 

As such, Barca have been forced to get creative with their revenue streams and decided to pull a number of “economic levers” in the summer which earned the club a reported €600m, including the sale of 10% of the club’s future incoming from La Liga TV rights for an up-front fee of €267m. However, as the club’s financial vice-president Eduardo Romeu admitted last week, that “without the income from the ‘levers’ last year we would have lost €106 million, and this year (the loss would be) €210m.”

Indeed, the club has all but exhausted its options to increase revenue and was relying on sporting success to go someway to making up the shortfall, both in terms of prize money and TV revenue from success in domestic and European competitions, as well as the increased exposure of Barca being perceived as being back among the continent’s top clubs. Now that Xavi’s side have fallen at the first hurdle in the Champions League, it remains to be seen what kind of financial ramifications that has on the club’s precarious bank balance. 




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