Barcelona might have gained the LaLiga title on Sunday, however their excellent home marketing campaign has been considerably overshadowed by turmoil off the pitch together with deepening monetary issues and a refereeing scandal that might drag on for years.
Spanish prosecutors in March filed a grievance over alleged funds Barcelona produced from 2001 to 2018 totalling 7.3 million euros ($8 million) to companies owned by former refereeing official Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. A Barcelona court docket has agreed to tackle the case.
Additionally in March, European soccer’s governing physique UEFA opened its personal formal investigation into the membership, trying into the identical funds.
The membership has denied any wrongdoing, saying that it paid an exterior marketing consultant who equipped it with “technical studies associated to skilled refereeing”, one thing many golf equipment do.
However Enriquez Negreira was the vice-president of the refereeing committee of the Spanish Soccer Affiliation – one of many highest refereeing officers within the nation – from 1993 to 2018, masking the whole interval involved.
Nonetheless the case might play out it has dealt a large blow to the membership’s picture, and will proceed to take action because the authorized course of and UEFA’s separate probe drag on.
And it comes at a time when Barcelona are already going through enormous accounting issues associated to their huge wage invoice, to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the membership’s 1.6 billion-euro renovation venture.
Restricted by LaLiga’s Monetary Honest Play (FFP) guidelines, Barca had been unable to re-sign membership nice Lionel Messi, who left as a free agent for Paris St Germain in the summertime of 2021.
In response to LaLiga, Barca are nonetheless about 200 million euros over the cap and stay unable to register new contracts signed months in the past with defender Ronald Araujo and midfielder Gavi, key gamers whose future is unsure except the membership finds a method to match them into its finances.
Crashing out of European competitors early this season dealt one other blow to the membership’s funds, that are so fragile the board has pulled a number of levers together with promoting stakes in its TV rights and media divisions to attempt to stability the books.
The membership may even go away its iconic however outdated Camp Nou stadium for the following few seasons because it begins its vastly costly renovation venture.
On this season’s finances, Barcelona’s board boldly predicted that the crew would attain the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and herald loads of associated earnings.
As a substitute, they crashed out on the group stage of Europe’s high membership competitors and had been then knocked out of the Europa League by Manchester United.
That piled the stress on coach Xavi Hernández to win the league – one other finances prediction – as Barca’s final method to restrict the injury to their 2022-23 earnings.
Whereas the followers will rightly have fun Barcelona’s romp to the LaLiga title with 4 video games to spare, contained in the membership’s excessive places of work there’s nonetheless a lot to fret about.
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