By Adedapo Adesanya
Spanish sporting club, Barcelona, posted a loss of €97 million after-tax for the 2019/20 financial year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement on Monday, the Catalan giants said they had made revenue of €855 million, 14 per cent down compared to €990 million they posted in 2018/19 year, while their overall net debt has more than doubled to €488 million.
The club said €47 million of losses was due to lost matchday revenue, €35 million to reduced club shop sales and €18 million on stadium tours, with further losses expected until fans can return to stadiums in Spain.
The statement noted that the club was expecting a lower revenue for the 2020/21 financial year, projecting revenue of €791 million.
The players took a wage cut in order to help combat the deficit while football was suspended due to the coronavirus and managed to save €74 million in salaries thanks to a reduction agreement with players and coaching staff.
The club has also sold players who were on lucrative contracts, such as Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal, in the close season in a bid to get salary expenditure within La Liga guidelines, which directly relate to projected income.
The statement noted, “The club suffered financially from the consequences of games being played behind closed doors, as well as the total cancellation of the basketball Euro League, and hence there was a considerable loss of income.
“The lack of tourists and visitors to the city of Barcelona due to the reductions and limitations applied to international tourism also meant far fewer visitors to Barca’s premises, meaning major losses in terms of such areas as visitors to the Camp Nou Experience and the sale of products in official stores.”
Barcelona, coming off its first season without a title since 2007-08, was not able to add a striker to boost its squad. The Catalan club was negotiating with Memphis Depay of Lyon but couldn’t seal the deal. The transfer reportedly depended on Ousmane Dembélé accepting a move to Manchester United, but the Frenchman stayed in Spain as the transfer deadline closed.
Barcelona had promised changes to the first team after the humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League in August.
After three games so far, the club is fifth on the La Liga Santander table for the season (two wins, one draw) and it is expected to begin its European champions league tournament journey against Ferencravos TC of Hungary on October 20 before the anticipated clash against Juventus which will see its captain Lionel Messi face long time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
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