Barcelona chief government Ferran Reverter has mentioned the membership would have been “dissolved” in April if it was a public restricted firm (PLC) after being taken to the brink of chapter by the earlier board.
Reverter branded former president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s operating of the membership as “disastrous,” accusing him and his administrators of signing gamers they might not afford, providing inflated wages and paying cash to journalists.
Bartomeu resigned amid rising discontent amongst supporters in October 2020 and was finally replaced by Joan Laporta in March following a delayed election course of because of the pandemic.
After Laporta’s board seemed deeper into the membership’s accounts, Reverter revealed the complete extent of the membership’s monetary woes in a information convention at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
“After we got here on this March, we discovered a membership that was technically bankrupt; if it was a PLC, [the club] would have been dissolved,” Reverter mentioned.
“There was no money movement and we had difficulties paying salaries. Debt and future liabilities amounted to €1.35 billion and there was an pressing want for refinancing.”
Reverter mentioned it had been tough to hold out due diligence as a result of the earlier board had deleted emails each 90 days and used private computer systems at occasions, too, making it laborious to trace every thing that had gone on behind the scenes.
He additionally detailed how “deteriorated coaching amenities” and “a Camp Nou in a precarious state of affairs” wanted speedy upgrades after Laporta was elected earlier this 12 months.
Nonetheless, he mentioned the majority of Barca’s monetary issues are all the way down to overspending on gamers and wages.
“Between 2016 and 2020, there was a 61% improve within the payroll, which is similar as Juventus‘ total payroll, brought on by new signings and participant renewals,” Reverter mentioned.
“The signings had been made at excessive costs and by signing contracts that included new remuneration ideas comparable to loyalty bonuses and end-of-contract premiums that improve future spending.
“If the identical squad had been saved on this season, the payroll would have amounted to €835 million, 108% over recurring income. Furthermore, these operations have resulted in important and strange intermediation prices in earlier years.”
Reverter went one step additional, criticising the membership for signing gamers they might not afford.
“They did not contemplate if they might pay for the gamers,” he added. “[Antoine] Griezmann was signed in a rush. They realised they might not pay for him and ended up needing €85m in credit score to do the deal.”
A forensic analysis research has been commissioned with the purpose of detecting different potential irregularities within the earlier administration of the membership, together with whether or not funds made to journalists had been justifiable.
Reverter additionally performed down the results of the coronavirus, saying that, even with out the influence of the pandemic, Barca would nonetheless have registered losses of €390m for the 2020-21 season. The membership’s precise losses have totalled €481m.
Due to this fact, Barca have needed to make sacrifices this summer time to ensure the membership’s future. Big earners Lionel Messi and Griezmann both left the club, whereas different gamers agreed to pay cuts, with €155m coming off the wage invoice in complete.
The Catalan membership additionally took out a line of credit score with Goldman Sachs value over €500m, repayable over 10 years with 1.98% curiosity.
These measures, together with the deadline day transfers of Emerson Royal and Ilaix Moriba, imply the membership at the moment are able the place they will renew a few of their proficient children, comparable to winger Ansu Fati and midfielder Pedri, and even contemplate making signings in January.
“We’re not over the hill but and we nonetheless want to scale back outgoings, however we are able to signal and renew [players],” Reverter mentioned.
“The contract renewals of Pedri and Ansu are heading in the right direction and participant exits [at the end of August] generated greater than €20m per LaLiga’s Honest Play guidelines, so we are able to signal if we contemplate it obligatory.”
Reverter hopes by subsequent summer time the membership might be in a considerably stronger place within the switch market.
Pressed on Messi’s exit, Reverter mentioned it was solely from July, when the due diligence course of started, that the complete extent of the membership’s cash issues grew to become obvious and that Messi “couldn’t wait till Aug. 31” to know whether or not the membership may afford to register his new contract with LaLiga.
With out Messi, Reverter performed down fears over a loss in income with sponsors because the membership negotiate a number of key contracts, together with a brand new shirt sponsor, saying the “Barca model stays sturdy” and assuring the membership anticipate to “improve earnings” transferring ahead.