Ronald Koeman was forced to answer questions about the club’s dire financial situation.

Teams are suffering financially because of Covid-19

Ronald Koeman met with the media on Wednesday night, ahead of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey last-16 tie against Rayo Vallecano. Yet, he was forced to answer questions about the club’s dire financial situation. Reports emerged on Monday that Barcelona’s total debt is €1.173 billion and short-term debt of €730 million, and the Barcelona coach admitted that these are challenging times for the club. “Teams are suffering financially because of COVID-19,” Koeman said in a pre-match press conference on Tuesday. “Barcelona also suffers from a lack of tourism. All clubs could have pretty bad numbers financially right now. Not just here. I have not seen the players hit too hard by this issue. We all helped the club with a pay cut.” There were reports that the Barcelona team’s pay has not been on time, but Koeman was unaware of this.

Lionel Messi is a key player for many reasons

“I don’t know if that’s true. I’ll have to ask,” he confirmed. “Until then, I cannot answer this question.” Barcelona can welcome Lionel Messi back after his two-game ban, and while it is unclear if he will start against Rayo at Vallecas, the Dutch coach is delighted to have him back. “I don’t think he is out for revenge or anything like that because of the suspension,” Koeman said. “Messi is a key player for many reasons. Hopefully, we win games because of his quality.” Ronald Araujo has been one of Barcelona’s standout players in recent months, and Koeman acknowledged the match could be an excellent time to relax. “He showed that we could be comfortable with him as a centre-back.”

“If we think he needs to rest, he will. We use those who are okay. We won’t take risks with people who aren’t at 100 per cent.” Both Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid are already knocked out of the Copa del Rey, so this is an excellent opportunity for Barcelona to raise some silverware. “The point is not that Madrid and Athleti are not here,” stated Koeman. “There are still strong teams in the competition. It can be advantageous for them as they can only concentrate on the LaLiga. I prefer to play every three days because that means you are in all three competitions.”