Financial issues have been becoming a plague more and more for football clubs across the world in recent years. For the normal fan, it isn’t always clear how difficult exactly it is to provide adequate management of a B League club or even a smaller one, let alone secure the financial, organizational, and structural well-being of a world-class team. The most recent example for a club with financial issues we can provide is the Catalonian giants FC Barcelona.
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How did it come to this and will Xavi Hernandez be the savior?
FC Barcelona is regarded as the club with the biggest financial debt in European football right now. The gross debt of the club is currently estimated at around 1.4 billion euros. Not million euros. Billion! What happened? How did it come to this? How did the club that was the absolute dominator in European football just a few years ago become a shadow of its former self?
Poor management and very bad financial decisions are the best answer we can provide. Ever since the 2014/2015 season, Barcelona FC has been the top European spender with 1.08 billion euros just slightly higher than Manchester City. It all started the season before that when Barcelona gave the record 88 million euros on the Brazilian magician Neymar who was one of the very few transfers who actually was worth it, along with the 81 million costing Luis Suarez on the next season where the club started plunging down financially with another 166 million euros on transfers.
In the next two seasons, Barcelona spent a total of 174 million euros on football players who were clearly not FC Barcelona material. All those huge expenses and very little income from transfers led the club management to believe that the 222 million euros from Neymar’s departure to PSG in 2017/2018 season could lead to a better financial position for the club. And that would have given them a breath of fresh air had they not spent the colossal 375 mil. € on the biggest disappointments for the club – Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
Huge expenses continued in the next 3 seasons in search of quality replacements for Neymar and Barcelona FC’s financial troubles deepened even more with a total of 556 million euro expenditures on football players who disappointed the fans.
The Culés didn’t enjoy Ronald Kuman’s football results but they have to know that he started a battle that is much more important – the financial survival of the club. He is now sacked and club legend Xavi Hernandez will have to take matters into his own hands.
With the financial debt getting bigger and bigger newly-appointed coach Xavi Hernandez will have to make some difficult decisions. Number one of which will have to be releasing the older players who don’t perform on the required European levels but have huge salaries which is a heavy burden for the club.
Xavi Hernandez will face not only sporting judgment but club management and fans will go after him for his fiscal results as well. He can’t afford to spend big on the transfer window and he will mainly rely on La Masia talents. Will the gross debt be reduced by these transfer measures? Would the club have to search for new business partnerships? And will Xavi Hernandez find the right solution? We will have our answers soon enough.