With wages rising for the club’s stars, several high-priced signs that did not affect the pitch, and the ‘Espai Barça’ Camp Nou redevelopment project, some predicted financial troubles.
Barca affected by the coronavirus crisis worse than other clubs
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said no club had been hit worse by the coronavirus crisis than Barcelona – but he says the club’s debt levels are still healthy. With wages rising for the club’s stars, several high-priced signs that did not affect the pitch, and the ‘Espai Barça’ Camp Nou redevelopment project, some predicted financial troubles. President Bartomeu hopes to project a calm message, although he had an absolute warning about the effects of Covid-19 on football. “We saw a pandemic around the world and said it was going to be a tough summer with swap deals, and this is what is happening,” Bartomeu told reporters. “Since March 14, we have not earned a euro. We missed out on €200 million.
The club used ERTE
“We’ve recovered a lot by cutting wages and using ERTE’s (Temporary Employment Regulation File, with the government paying 70 percent of wages).” We had to close the shops and the museum. There were no ticket sales. We have refunded money for tickets to matches that fans were unable to attend. €200 million is a big blow. This pandemic will have consequences within two to three seasons,” he added. “No one should think that everything will be fixed by next season.” Bartomeu wanted to emphasize that Barça is not feeling the effects of the economic downturn from the virus. “In our strategic plan, we planned to earn €1.1 billion, and now we will bring 30% less because of Covid,” he said.
“I say this because if anyone thinks that the pandemic is not affecting Barça, they are wrong. It affects the big European clubs, and Barça is the European club that makes the most money and is the most affected.” But when asked about the club’s poor financial health, Bartomeu was defensive. “It’s not true,” he said that we had a higher income level than other big clubs, but on March 14, everything suspended, and we had to adjust to the new situation. And even with the losses, we will continue to be the leader in revenue. The club’s debt level is not very high. When the audit is completed in mid-August, economic vice President Jordi Moix will explain it, and we will see that we are on the average debt level.”