Barcelona in Serious Financial Trouble: Messi May Be on the Way Out
FC Barcelona’s financial troubles and debt are nothing new in the soccer/football world. The Catalan club’s battle with wages and payments, among other things, is well documented. Earlier this month, Barcelona president Joan Laporta secured a €500 million loan from Goldman Sachs, of which 20% was used to help cover outstanding payments due to various players at the club. But beyond the statistical measures, Barcelona is struggling to make room for their talisman Lionel Messi.
As COVID-19 exacerbated many clubs’ financial woes, Barcelona couldn’t escape the trouble either. The club is reportedly €1.173 billion in debt, according to El Mundo, with the loan helping offset some of that.
Today, La Liga president Javier Tebas alerted the Spanish giants that they may have to release Messi if they don’t reduce their wage bill, according to ESPN. The Messi-Barcelona negotiations are a separate issue entirely, but rumors have swirled surrounding a potential 10 year, $293 million deal that has the Argentinian staying for another couple of years at the club before coming to the United States and the MLS. It’s an exciting proposition, but frankly, in the club’s current state of affairs, it isn’t so cut and dry.
The deal expires in the coming weeks, and the decades long relationship between Messi and Barcelona could be coming to an end. Regardless of the optimism surrounding a potential deal, the reality is that the club has to make cuts in order to pay the 33-year-old’s handsome wage.
“Barcelona have exceeded their wage cap,” Tebas said on Monday. “I hope they can keep Messi, but to do so, they will have to make cuts elsewhere.”VIA Mundo Deportivo; mundodeportivo.com
I’ve already said it, but seeing a Barcelona game without the Argentinian would certainly be a strange thing to behold. I’ve lived on this planet for 19 years, and in my time, I don’t remember seeing a game where Messi wasn’t in red and blue stripes for the Catalan club. But it may be coming to an end if Laporta and Barca finally put the club first. As great and ridiculously gifted as Messi is, the time is soon arriving where the hefty fee that the Spanish giants once paid for the Argentinian is too much for the club to shoulder.
Should they decide to keep Messi at the club and reduce the significant wage gap, a host of moves are in order. Players like Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti have to be offloaded. Moving youngsters like Ansu Fati, Pedri, and Riqui Puig may also be in the cards. And players like Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite, among others, may get the short end of the stick. Oh, and it might be a good idea to stop buying players.
Regardless of what moves Barcelona makes, one fact remains: Laporta and company have a massive decision to make regarding their club’s best player and future success at Camp Nou. And they need to do it quickly.
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