Javier Tebas warns Barcelona that economic levers won't help next season

Javier Tebas has urged Barcelona to reduce their wage bill
Javier Tebas has urged Barcelona to reduce their wage bill / Aldara Zarraoa/GettyImages

La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned Barcelona to cut their wage bill because the economic levers that have provided a financial lifeline this season will be no good to them next season.

Having gone through a squad overhaul in the summer, Barça were left needing to raise considerable funds in order to register their various new signings and contract renewals as a result of their heavily restricted spending power under La Liga’s finance rules.

Economic ‘lever’ became a buzz word surrounding the club during the summer. Each time they triggered another lever, it would signal fresh injection of cash by selling off stakes in future earnings from things such as TV rights or merchandise licensing.

Barça eventually did register all of their player deals with La Liga. Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto were all registered in time for the season opener in August, although Jules Kounde had to wait a little longer.

The Catalans then also added Marcos Alonso and Hector Bellerin to the squad in September.

"If they fall in the Champions League, they will have less income but they will stop paying bonuses. That will not change much," Tebas said, via Mundo Deportivo.

"But the levers that have served them this season will not for the next one," the league chief added. "They have to reduce salary en-masse. They cannot walk [paying] more than €500m [in wages]. Because, if not, next season we will invoke the 1/4 rule for them again."

La Liga’s salary cap is calculated for each club each season by subtracting non-sporting expenses and any debt repayment from revenue – it is Barcelona’s enormous debt in excess of €1bn that has completely strangled their salary cap over the last couple of years.

The 1/4 rule only allows clubs to subsequently spend 25% of savings or gains, with the other 75% intended to service other existing liabilities. For example, a €100m sale would only give Barça €25m in their pocket to actually spend. Until this year, it had been altered to 1/3 to help clubs cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. But normal rules resume in 2023.