Explaining the financial and front office turmoil at Barcelona

Yahoo Sports

Barcelona are top of the suspended Liga table, in line for a potential third successive league title, they remain in the suspended Champions League, and at the start of the season, they announced record revenues of €1 billion.

But all this hides the fact that the Bluagrana find themselves in complete chaos due to poor financial management, bad front-office decision making, and a civil war breaking out between players and the board.

Many of the issues stem from club president Josep Bartomeu, who initially upset Leo Messi and other players last summer, by failing to bring Neymar back to the club.

As a result of poor squad planning, the club were forced to make a highly controversial emergency signing of Martin Braithewaite when Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele suffered long-term injuries.

Braithewaite cost €18m, his club Leganes were unable to replace him and he’ll likely not stay in Catalunya beyond the season.

Before that shambles, the board fired manager Ernesto Valverde while Barca were top of the league. It was a protracted and messy affair, and it transpired that the club didn’t really have a replacement lined up, with several candidates turning down the role.

Bartomeu was hit by scandal once again when it was alleged he had hired a PR company to clean up his image on social media, while disparaging his enemies, which included Barca players Messi and Gerard Pique!

This is now known as “BarcaGate”.

Star player Messi has been upset by the board several other times this season, including the moment when he clapped back at former teammate Eric Abidal, when he accused the squad for being at fault for Valverde’s sacking.

More recently, Messi has taken to his personal instagram to address the poorly handled 70% pay-cut the squad have taken, which he felt cast the players in a bad light.

The Barca soap opera took another turn last week when six of Bartomeu’s board members resigned  over Barcagate, and a general feeling of mismanagement at the club.

Despite their huge revenues, Barca find themselves in a precarious situation right now, due to lost stadium revenues and badly handled transfer activity.

Even with the 70% player salary cuts Barca have now furloughed non-playing staff, suggesting they are in greater financial peril than other elite level clubs.

To conclude, it’s a complete mess at front office level in Barcelona, which has led to unrest in the locker room.

Bartomeu is ineligible to stand in the next Barcelona elections, and his successor will certainly have their work cut out to recover from this ongoing crisis.

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