The FC Barcelona wanted to enter the league of clubs with a budget above 1,000 million euros for the first time in its history in the 2019-2020 season. A figure available only to NBA or NFL teams and some privileged European football entity. But the covid-19 health crisis has not only prevented that economic dream, but has turned the club into “a ship in a severe storm”, according to the words used by the club’s economic vice president, Jordi Moix. The current season will end with losses of 97 million euros.
For the first time in the last 10 years ‘red numbers’ will be registered. “This situation had not occurred since 2010. When Rosell joined the club, he came to the club with a patrimonial gap inherited from the previous stage “, Moix commented. The economic vice president of ‘can Barça’ has specified that on this occasion, the bad results are not attributable to bad management, but The effect that the pandemic has had on sports activities and particularly on football. These are extraordinary circumstances whose effect does not end, however, this year. It does not seem possible, at this time, that the 2020-2021 season ends with positive numbers “We have not yet been able to close the budget for expenses for the following season,” commented Moix. But the numbers are not very difficult to do based on the income budgets that the Club foresees: 791 million euros of income, which if compared with the expenses of this season (959 million euros) would yield an operating deficit of 168 million euros.
Stadium closed to the public
Expenditure forecasts are unknown, at the moment, given that the activity in the stadium is still closed to the public – the club estimates that as of February the spectators could return to the stands – and negotiations are being held with the players to reduce the wage bill, as has already been done in 2019: 42 million euros less, 6% of the total. However, the expenses will not be far from those registered this season, despite the departure of Suárez, Vidal and Rakitic, among players who have contributed to reducing payroll.
And the income will be diminishing, as it has already happened in the last year. Compared to the 1,047 million euros dreamed of (budgeted), Barça has raised 855 million, 18.3% less. And compared to an expense of 1,007 million, the balance has been the 959 million already mentioned, 4.7% less. In reality, the section that grows the most is that of the club’s debt, which has had to draw on financing lines to be able to manage the loss of cash. The indebtedness of the club has increased to 488 million euros in 2020, compared to 217 million in the previous year. However, Moix has emphasized that thanks to the management carried out, the entity has managed to generate a “patrimonial piggy bank” of 303 million of euros in 10 years, which allows it to face the current situation with a balance of 35 million euros.
It remains to be seen, if they will be enough to compensate for the possible losses that are generated this course, and avoid liability action. The club is talking to the Superior Council of sports (CSD) so that, in case of losses, the board of directors is not held liable. This situation affects four clubs that are public limited companies (Real Madrid, Barça, Osasuna and Bilbao). The request not to have to endorse the losses by the board has been made, Moix said. “Common sense says it’s not the fault of this board. We have not brought this pandemic or the seven plagues of Egypt. Each one is responsible for what it is, “he commented.
Moix recalled that barça is not the only club that goes through a difficult economic time, and recalled that the fall in income from the European leagues exceeds 4,000 million euros, ticket sales have fallen by 26%, while the wage bill has risen 7.2%. Clubs like Juventus have recorded losses of 71.4 million, and Manchester United has’ red numbers of 110 million. And it is this situation that generates the negative operating results, which in the case of Barça, have amounted to 100 million.