Barcelona"s blame is greater than €1 billion. Forget bringing earlier Neymar, they can"t also afford Eric Garcia

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Eric Garcia to be "all tied up," lock said, but somehow he escaped. "Garcia: OK," Barcelona said. "Garcia: now," lock said. "Garcia: done," castle said. A little bit like they had actually said, "Neymar: OK," "Neymar: now," and "Neymar: done." The Brazilian had been coming pretty lot every day for months, appropriate up to the day as soon as he didn"t. And also then, lock said, he was still coming. The window shut, however they didn"t shut up; they carried on regardless.

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They"d said Lautaro Martinez was coming, too. You can have noticed the he didn"t, either. They had said the choice was in between Neymar and also Lautaro, as soon as the reality was the Barcelona didn"t have any type of choice, and they didn"t have actually either the them. They didn"t even have Memphis Depay. And also so it went, over and also over and also over again. This main it was Garcia, but it was likewise David Alaba. It was Jose Gaya and Marcos Alonso. They to be "candidates," castle said.

Which to be at least true: candidates for your front pages.

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Reading the Catalan sports records El Mundo Deportivo and Sport this mainly -- and last week, and also the main before, and the weeks and also months before that -- that was simple to it is in reminded of one more moment"s illumination native the an excellent philosopher of our age, the man who foresaw everything. "This," Homer Simpson speak Lisa, sit at the kitchen table, the morning"s "US the A Today" in his hands, "is the only paper in America that"s not afraid come tell the truth: that everything"s simply fine."

This week, Marca splashed your front web page with a declaration of Barcelona"s financial situation, the punning headline roughly translating together "bottomless pit." An economic black hole had actually opened up. Barcelona"s instance was, that said, "dramatic." There to be a "haemorrhage," a "crisis."

Ah, part said, fine of course: that"s Marca, the life embodiment the what Pep Guardiola referred to as the "Madrid milk board" -- media accused of gift at the behest of actual Madrid and, especially, their president, Florentino Perez. Marca, castle suspected, were acquisition the possibility to dance on Barcelona"s grave. To do it the end to it is in a tomb in the very first place, in fact.

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They probably had a point. Suffer tells everyone that. It"s worth noting that virtually every one of Europe"s large clubs have substantial debts at the moment. The pandemic has actually hit anyone hard. It"s additionally true that couple of were swift to note the numbers coming from genuine Madrid. If Barcelona"s full debt is €1.173 billion and also their net blame €488 million, Madrid"s is €901m and €355m, respectively. Hardly tiny change, either.

But the figures, quietly and also unexpectedly exit this week, are not part invention. They room Barcelona"s own. And, well, look at the number again: €1.173 billion.

Everyone knew that Barcelona"s financial instance was bad; it"s been reported repeatedly. Whatever that has happened in the past year or therefore -- yes, also pre-pandemic -- has actually pointed in ~ it. But seeing that in black and also white was still quite shocking, and think about it: the fact that it inhabited a front web page in Madrid however not in Barcelona is quite shocking, too. Together was seeing it played out over the potential signing of Garcia.

And that"s the other thing to note here: every those headlines, every those stories, all those huge names supposedly on their means -- don"t make the failure of thinking that every those are purely invented by the media, of reasoning it"s no what they were told or the it"s what people want come hear, however much the advice grows to grab them and also shout: You. Can"t. Sign.

Barcelona"s dire financial situation threatens the club"s on-field future.Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesEverything"s not simply fine: end a billion euros in debt; wages bookkeeping for 74% that the budget; a momentary debt of €720m; €186m in amortisations; a €488m lose in 2019-20; the need, somehow, to raise virtually €200m this summer alone; a negative working funding of €602m; a long list of players to be paid for.

That perform of players, by the way, makes for grim reading: €40m top top Philippe Coutinho, €48 ~ above Frenkie de Jong, €9.8m top top Francisco Trincao, €52m ~ above Miralem Pjanic (who only came together an plot of financial engineering in the first place), €8m top top Arthur (the guy they sold while signing Pjanic, completely to lug the books in line), €6m ~ above Emerson (who hasn"t even arrived yet), €10.14m top top Malcolm (who"s been and also gone). Lock still owe Bayern Munich because that Arturo Vidal and also Eibar because that Marc Cucurella, and also on that goes.

Yes, they"re owed €46m by other clubs also -- although imagine if they default -- yet they owe €126m.

This week, Carlos Tusquets -- the interim president who doesn"t seem too keen top top the "interim" little -- claimed that he was in favour that signing Garcia now. Ronald Koeman is, too. And also so Tusquets called the presidential candidates -- Victor Font, Toni Freixa and also Joan Laporta, through the club"s presidential election developing on march 7 -- to obtain their OK prior to going ahead, because the financial case does not permit them to take decisions prefer this lightly. (In truth, Tusquets shouldn"t be taking them in ~ all.)

A fight played out. Font said yes, Freixa stated sign him now but for following season once he will be free, Laporta stated no. Tusquets and Laporta exchanged accusatory letters, the latter already annoyed that elections had been postponed indigenous their initially scheduled Jan. 24 date. But beyond that over there is something an extremely basic:

Garcia"s expense is €3m, to add potentially another €3m in add-ons. The would expense Barcelona just €230,000 in this year"s budget, Tusquets insisted. However it now looks like it won"t happen.

Strip far the other elements -- whether this president must sign anyone, exactly how he can propose a deal that postpones payments as soon as that"s component of what has actually put lock in this chaos in the very first place, the understanding of every of the candidates, why castle would invest what can amount come €6m for 6 months on a 20-year-old defender they"re walking to get anyway -- and also this is the bottom line: Barcelona cannot just sign a player because that €230,000.

The new president will have to restructure the debts. He may have to seek brand-new ones for short-lived stability. They will go -- again -- come banks and also investment funds. This summer, castle will need to sell -- much more headlines -- and also sell big. And yet if there"s one thing that makes selling hard, it"s having to offer -- and everyone discovering it. It have the right to be difficult enough saving on wages, allow alone do money back. They have been here before.

As one agent placed it critical summer, "If i was a big European club, I"d wait until the deadline for Barcelona"s accounts and also then do a laughably little bid for their players; they"d have almost no an option and might bite." Nelson Semedo increased €40m, that is true, however Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, louis Suarez, all of them left; Barcelona made simply €1.5m increase front. Coutinho didn"t walk at all. No one did Lionel Messi. Economically, that doing so would have actually suited them, Tusquets admitted.

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They"ll shot again through Coutinho. Antoine Griezmann, too, possibly Ousmane Dembele. Anyone castle can, in short. Yet while the good news is the top quality of the new generation -- any type of club would certainly love to have actually De Jong, Pedri, Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo, Sergino Dest -- that won"t it is in easy. And signing players will be even harder. Simply as it to be last year: no Lautaro, no Depay, no Neymar.

As Messi put it: "How room they going come pay because that him?" How deserve to you buy Neymar when also €230,000 provides you think twice? How poor must points be?