Economically, Barcelona lives on another planet

It’s not entirely clear what precisely is going on in the brains of Barcelona’s decision-makers, but what’s easier to gauge is the widespread surprise at how a club shouldering ten-figure debt performs such. what.

Ahead of us is a breakthrough season for Barcelona, ​​with the Catalans spending lavishly on players in the transfer market. The Blaugrana have already landed the star signings of Robert Lewandowski, along with Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Anders Christensen for over €100m ($102m) in total, despite Kessie and Christensen joining for free. That’s not even mentioning high wage costs and the possibility that asset Frenkie de Jong will stay after weeks of transfer speculation. Nor the prospect of new recruits.

If the additions fail to help Barcelona compete and win the main prizes, then president Joan Laporta and the board will have to answer further questions. Heavy investment brings higher pressure, especially with debt issue.

Debt, however, is not the ultimate problem. In theory, Barcelona could promise but suspend debt repayments in the future while shelling out each transfer window. What is more worrying is the club’s difficulty in attracting essential revenue if the team fails to unseat Real Madrid as the best team in La Liga and struggles to become a force in the Champions League again. . Spending big is a high-stakes approach, and only one Laporta and sporting director Mateu Alemany look set to embrace it. Other indebted super clubs would be more cautious, cutting costs and growing on the pitch year on year.

Barcelona have sold the rights to their stadium brand to Spotify and are considering further rights sales to raise funds for new players to reverse their fortunes. The problem with this is that it only goes so far. If next season doesn’t go as hoped, the club could continue to sell more of itself – such as TV rights and merchandise management – in future campaigns to fund more investment. If this does not bear fruit, the club will not have the same autonomy to create new flows of money because more of its operating shares will go to other entities. He would dig an even deeper hole for himself.

The decision to increase the cash injections indicates why Barcelona have blocked CVC’s money to look for business elsewhere. Opposed to the idea alongside Real and Athletic Club, the money – endorsed by La Liga – could have bolstered his spending strategy going forward. Believing he could do more, he looked for alternatives, opting to sell more media rights to Sixth Street last week. He plays his own game.

Meanwhile, there are rumors to suggest that Barcelona’s spending isn’t over yet, with Sevilla’s high-priced Jules Kounde now linked, although Chelsea will be his likely destination for a while. Considering what happened before, it’s hard to rule anything out, although there are conflicting reports on which side is in pole position for his signing.

The club are already committed and need the best team possible after falling well short of Real – their next pre-season opponents in Vegas – last time out in La Liga. Still, signing more players won’t solve everything. Teams across Europe often flounder after signing in droves, as players need time to fall asleep and adapt to a new style of play. It’s the ultimate challenge for Xavi as he prepares a team set to kick off soon, with the American clásico a good test ahead of the games that matter most, starting with Real Sociedad in less than a month.

Whatever the fallout, it’s telling that Barcelona are playing their rivals in Vegas. Matches between the two will occur more frequently outside of Spain, with Super Cup competitions now taking place in Saudi Arabia. Barcelona intend to receive and spend whatever they can, maintaining their commercial value but knowing that, if the next campaign doesn’t go as planned, their resources to compete at the top will run out.

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