The crisis in Barcelona does not end with the resignation of Josep María Bartomeu and his Board. It is far from coming to an end and the management board that has caught the helm of the BlueGrana club until the election has already proved it. Carles Tusquets,the man at the head of the Catalan entity at the moment, warned at his appearance this week of the problems that had been encountered.
“Our main concern is economic. The pandemic is affecting Barcelona especially. The club depends on tourism and now there is no. We have to pick up the ideas from the previous board to remedy the evils that affect us,” Tusquets said. It has not taken many days to know that behind his words there was a strong unease in the face of the necessary cuts in the wages of the players.
For weeks there has been talk of the second pay cut that Barca was going to undertake in its first team and subsidiary. Economic difficulties were known, but not that you were in a deadline situation with a date marked in red on the calendar: November 5. Barca needs to achieve a wage cut of 190 million euros by that date.
Barca has to undertake a 30% reduction in the salaries of its footballers. There is no other if you do not want to face the testitura of not being able to pay your wages to players and workers from January, which would lead the entity to a creditor contest.
With Bartomeu there was a wall in terms of negotiations and that is that his Board wanted to carry out the rebate without talking to the players themselves. That created discomfort in the dressing room and the rejection of some footballers, who had already accepted last March a 70% reduction in their salaries due to the coronavirus crisis that now forces a descent. The gap between directive – costumes caused the matter to be lengthened, unresolved yet and a week from the end date.
The formula that Barca would use is that used by Bartomeu in the cases of Piqué, Ter Stegen, Lenglet and Frenkie De Jong. That is, the postponement of player payouts in a formula that has already been used with the recent renewals of the players mentioned above. With the rest they already negotiate the lawyers of the club in search of economic salvation or, rather, a respite.
Despite the previous disagreements and anger of some, Barca’s footballers are working to save the club’s accounts and it would be normal for the deal to be announced next week for the sale. Meetings between lawyers from both parties have already started cordially and with the players willing to listen to the proposals.
The matter has been caught up over the past month, but even if an agreement is reached, it could be a double-edged sword if it is then not fixed in time. Barca is a club with a very high wage mass and, although it reduced it last summer with departures such as those of Suarez, Rakitic or Vidal, that postponement of payments must be undertaken at some point and right now any forecast is an unknown in the current health and economic situation.
Nor should we forget one of the situations that most concern in Can Barca, which is the departure of Leo Messi. And not just sports. The Argentine’s farewell, if confirmed in the summer of 2021, when he ends contract, would become an extra expense for the club, which would have to disburse a millionaire bonus by the end of the contractual agreement with his big star.
Bartomeu’s resignation has brought with him tense calm. The locker room is happy for the departure of the president and his board, but it is now in its hands to save the club’s accounts in the short term, which threatens a creditor contest if 190 million is not achieved. And then? There are nothing but unknowns in a club that has worked on the fly and can see your sporting project buried in the background despite the arrival of a new tenant. For the latter, we will have to wait in early 2021.