Barça debt hits 1.35B euros as club adjusts to post-Messi life

Barcelona, Spain, Aug 16 (EFE).- FC Barcelona has debts totalling 1.35 billion euros ($1.6B) and its economic situation is “worrying,” the club’s president Joan Laporta confirmed Monday, a week after the Catalan giants had to let go of star player Lionel Messi due to financial woes.

Laporta said the club had a negative net worth of 451 million euros and that player salaries accounted for 103% of Barça’s revenues.

“The economic (…) situation is very worrying and the financial situation is dramatic,” he said.

The club’s payroll of 617 million euros was 25-30% higher than its competitors while the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was 91 million euros, Laporta said.

He was scathing of the previous Barcelona board led by his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu, saying there had been a “modus operandi” to bypass internal checks.

Laporta described Bartomeu’s defense of his legacy in a recent letter as “full of lies.”

Barcelona’s economic struggles not only forced Messi out early but mean other veterans like Gerard Pique have agreed to lower their salaries so the club can onboard the likes of Memphis Depay.

Things were happier on the pitch during Barça’s season opener against Real Sociedad, which the Catalan side won 4-2 in front of a home crowd.EFE


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