Barcelona in Danger of Bankruptcy Unless Club Can Reduce Wage Bill

Oct 31, 2020, 10:45 AM GMT
Barcelona make much of their money from tourism - including the popular stadium tour | JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

Barcelona are in danger of going bankrupt if they cannot reduce their wage bill by €190m by 5 November, with salary negotiations already underway.

The club's finances have been substantially hit following the coronavirus pandemic due to the tourism industry making up a large part of Barcelona's income.

FC Barcelona v Elche CF - Joan Gamper Trophy
The coronavirus pandemic has affected Barcelona's financial situation | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

According to Spanish radio station RAC1 [via Marca], negotiations commenced on Friday between lawyers representing the club and players in a bid to reduce the wage bill once again.

The players have to agree a 30% salary reduction by Thursday 5 November in order to trim the wage bill by €190m or the club will be at risk of being declared bankrupt in January.

The current Lionel Messi situation is a further cause for financial concern. The Barcelona's talisman's contract expires in 2021, and according to reports in Italy, he is tabling hefty demands before committing to renew - including the signing of Inter forward Lautaro Martinez

Marca add that even if Messi does not extend his stay at Barcelona, this will cause further financial strain as the club will be obliged to pay him a bonus for reaching the end of his contract.

Lionel Messi
Messi wanted out of Barcelona during the summer | Pool/Getty Images

Managing Committee president Carles Tusquets is currently in charge at the club following last week's resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and he explained why Barcelona were struggling financially.

“Our main concern is the cub's finances," Tusquets said. "The pandemic has affected Barcelona particularly hard. The club depends on tourism and now, all of that income has been lost.

"The situation is not very comfortable, we have to take on the ideas of the previous board to find a way of addressing the problems we are facing."

Barca's first team squad agreed to 70% wage cuts while football was suspended back in March. Since then, however, the club again asked the players to take a second pay cut as they looked to deal with their mounting debt - but the squad ruled this out.

Barcelona's economic situation was laid bare during the transfer window after they completed a Financial Fair Play motivated swap deal for Juventus' Miralem Pjanic, with Arthur Melo - six years his junior - going in the opposite direction.