Barcelona has released the club’s annual financial report, revealing considerable debt stemming from the coronavirus pandemic as well as the club’s big-money transfers in recent seasons. In the release, Barcelona revealed debt reaching €1.2 billion (£1.1b/$1.5b), along with the short-term debt of roughly €730m (£648m/$886m).
The club’s biggest area of spending is its wage bill, an area of spending that represents 74 percent of the club’s income. It’s a situation that, according to sources consulted by Ghanabet, is quite worrying at the club, which has led to the negotiations to defer salaries since the outbreak of the pandemic.
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Barca also owes a total of €126m (£112m/$153m) to other clubs, stemming from several transfer deals that the club has conducted in recent years. The club still owes €29m (£26m/$35m) to Liverpool for the signing of Philippe Coutinho, €16m (£14m/$19m) to Ajax for Frenkie de Jong, and nearly €10m (£9m/$12m) to Bordeaux for Malcolm, with each requiring payments by June 30.
In addition, payments are due stemming from the deals to sign Arthur, which requires payment of €21m (£18m/$25m) to Gremio, and Arturo Vidal, which sees nearly €11 million (£10m/$13m) owed to Bayern. Vidal and Arthur, like Malcom, are not at the club anymore.
Helping offset that are several transfers that Barca is still owed money on themselves, including Zenit’s move for Malcom, Getafe‘s signing of Marc Cucurella, and Roma‘s deal for Carles Perez, with that number totaling €46m (£41m/$56m).
One further transfer-related payment is one owed to Atletico Madrid, stemming from the Antoine Griezmann deal. As part of that deal, Barca struck a bargain to pay Atleti €10m for what is listed as “preferential rights” on its balance sheet, with that alluding to a deal that would see the Catalan club have the rights to match offers for Atletico Madrid players.
Barcelona ended the club’s 2019-20 campaign with net debt of €488m (£434m/$593m), and the club has been negotiating a delay of those payments with its creditors, pointing to the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the club’s finances
The club hopes to delay those payments until at least June 30 of this year. Some creditors have accepted that deferral, while the club remains in negotiations with several others over their payment schedule. Barca was hoping to be able to rely on the return of fans this season, with ticket sales expected to be a big part of the club’s financial bounce-back.
The return of fans was expected to make the club €56m (£50m/$68m) this campaign, with the club expecting a capacity of 25% in February and 50% from May onwards. However, with no date in sight for the return of fans to Camp Nou, it appears that plan will not come to fruition, robbing the club of a major potential revenue stream.