Indebted to the neck and struggling even to find money to register the contracts of their new players, Barcelona promoted a real liquidation of its squad in the recently closed transfer window. And, with that, registered the biggest profit in its history in a single edition of Mercado da Bola.
In the balance between the amounts spent with reinforcements and received with sales and loans from players, the Catalan club managed to put in its coffers something around 60 million euros (R$ 366.5 million).
Historically one of the biggest buyers on the planet, the culé team had not achieved such a surplus of trade balance even when it sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, in 2017, in the biggest deal in football history.
Before the current season, Barça’s biggest single-window profit was recorded last year, when the club raised €27.8 million more than it spent on trade in athletes.
The decision to seek a surplus Ball Market and to radically reduce Barcelona’s payroll is part of the economic strategy devised by President Joan Laporta to try to lift the club out of its biggest financial crisis of all time.
The Catalans have an accumulated debt of 1.3 billion euros (R$7.9 billion). In the next 12 months alone, they will have to spend 553 million euros (R$ 3.4 billion) more than their revenue forecast.
It was this high indebtedness that prevented Lionel Messi from staying. The Argentinian star left for Paris Saint-Germain after the Spanish La Liga’s financial fair play policy blocked the registration of his new contract because he considered that he was breaking the payroll released to Barça this season.
The club was only able to sign up its new players, such as Sergio Agüero and Memphis Depay, because some of the culé squad leaders, such as defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets and left-back Jordi Alba, agreed to reduce their salaries, freeing up a little budget for reinforcements.
But, in addition to the help given by their biggest stars, Barcelona also “cut in the flesh” to save money. And the best example of this is taking a heavy toll on Antoine Griezmann.
The French star, hired for 120 million euros (BRL 732.1 million) two years ago and owner of one of the highest salaries of the cast, was freed to play for a season at Atlético de Madrid, who will have to pay ” only” 40 million euros (R$ 244 million) if you want to keep the player after that period.
Another unusual situation experienced by Barça in this window involves right-back Emerson Royal. The Brazilian was hired from Betis on June 2nd. Less than three months later, at the close of Mercado da Bola, he ended up negotiating with Tottenham. With this buy and sell, the club earned 11 million euros (R$ 67.1 million).
But not all this willingness to sell allowed the team led by Ronald Koeman to get rid of all the “bombs” it had on hand. Defender Samuel Umtiti and midfielder Miralem Pjanic, for example, would be released at no cost if any team were willing to pay their salaries. Brazilian Philippe Coutinho and Frenchman Ousmane Dembélé would also be negotiated if there was any proposal that was even minimally interesting.
But they didn’t appear interested in making these deals, and they all remain on the Dutch coach’s roster and on the Catalan payroll.
Even with Messi’s departure and the modest investment in reinforcements, Barça is having a good start to the season. The Catalan club scored seven points in the first three rounds of the Espanyol (wins over Real Sociedad and Getafe, plus a draw against Athletic Bilbao) and is one of the six teams that share the lead in the competition.
After the FIFA Date and the commitments of the teams for the qualifiers for the World Cup-2022, the Catalans will face the first major challenge of 2021/2022, the match against Sevilla, away from home, on September 11th.
Three days later, the team debuts against Bayern Munich, at home, in the European Champions League. A member of Group E, he will also face Benfica and Dynamo Kiev in the most famous interclub tournament on the planet.
Barcelona Investments 2021/2022
Emerson Royal (LD, BRA, Betis): 14 million euros
Abde Ezzalzouli (MA, MAR, Hercules): 2 million euros
Yusuf Demir (MA, AUT, Rapid Vienna): €500,000 per loan
Barcelona 2021/2022 Billing
Emerson Royal (LD, BRA, Tottenham): 25 million euros
Ilaix Moriba (M, ESP, RB Leipzig): 16 million euros
Junior Firpo (LE, ESP, Leeds United): 15 million euros
Jean-Clair Todibo (Z, FRA, Nice): 8.5 million euros
Carles Aleñá (M, ESP, Getafe): €5 million
Sergio Akieme (LE, GEQ, Almería): 3.5 million euros
Konrad de la Fuente (MA, USA, Olympique de Marseille): €3.5 million
Rey Manaj (A, ALB, Spezia): €300,000 per loan