The effects of the health crisis are likely to shake FC Barcelona for a long time. In an interview he gave to Catalan media Mundo Deportivo, Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted that his club had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and that he had suffered a terrible loss of earnings this season. “Since March 14 (Editor’s note: date of the start of the three months of confinement in Spain) we hardly perceived anything, explains the Barcelona president. We have a shortfall of about $ 200 million. We had to close the shops and the museum, there was no ticket office. We refund the portion of the subscription corresponding to matches that have not been played (Editor’s note: with the public). »
To face the crisis, the club had however, very quickly, requested and obtained that the players of its various sections (football, basketball in particular) reduce their wages and had resorted to partial unemployment for the other employees. Lionel Messi, as a good captain, had announced that the locker room had agreed to lower his salary by … 70% to allow other employees to keep all of their income. Obviously, these measures will not have been sufficient.
A budget reduced by 30%
The club expected to exceed € 1 billion in turnover for the first time this season and reach € 1.1 billion at the end of the 2020-2021 season. Forecasts devastated by the pandemic and now obsolete. The turnover should ultimately be “30% less”, according to Josep Maria Bartomeu.
“If someone thinks that the pandemic has no effect on Barça, he is wrong, loose the leader. It affects the big European clubs and Barça, which is the European club that earns the most money, is the most affected. “
These words confirm that the summer transfer window should be very calm this season on the side of Catalonia. There will therefore be no Neymar soap opera and the priority will rather be to keep his gems starting with Lionel Messi or the young 17-year-old prodigy Ansu Fati whose departure clause could be 400 million euros.
In addition, the holding of the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League between Barcelona and Naples is increasingly threatened due to a worrying resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Catalonia.