La Liga's salary cap figures for the 2021/22 campaign are set to be officially published on Thursday, with FC Barcelona suffering a shocking €250m reduction to their wage budget from the 2020/21 season.
The Blaugrana endured a nightmare summer transfer window, losing captain and club legend Lionel Messi, while only managing to register free signings Eric Garcia, Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay in the final days of the window.
Gerard Pique also took a significant pay cut to allow Barça to register their new stars, and Antoine Griezmann was loaned back to Atletico Madrid in an attempt to lessen the financial strain.
And the reasoning behind those efforts has been unearthed by COPE, after the Spanish media outlet revealed that Barcelona's salary cap has been slashed by a whopping €250m since last season based on the club's income amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The figures for every La Liga club were released, showing that high-spending Barcelona now sit in seventh place in the list of salary caps, behind the likes of Villarreal, Real Sociedad and Athletic Club. That penalty has forced the Blaugrana to gut their club, as they went on a fire sale last summer.
Barça attempted to offload a number of first-team stars and squad players in the summer transfer window, selling Emerson Royal and Junior Firpo to the Premier League, while allowing the likes of Francisco Trincao, Miralem Pjanic and Griezmann to leave on loan.
They were also unable to register Messi in their squad, as they couldn't offer him a new contract upon the expiry of his old deal in July 2021. The club have subsequently made an incredible number of cut-backs in a desperate attempt to balance the books.
Real Madrid are allowed the highest wage budget for 2021/22, increasing from €473m to €739m, meaning Los Blancos can splash the cash on new arrivals and offer lucrative salaries.
At the bottom of the pile lie Valencia, who can spend only €30m on wages each year, once again being slashed from last year's maximum of €93m.