• Friday, Mar 31, 2023
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CEO Ferran: Barcelona were technically bankrupt in March

  • Published at 03:15 pm October 7th, 2021

The new board inherited debts of 1.35bn euros and a bloated first-team payroll as Joan Laporta returned for a second spell as Barcelona president

Barcelona chief executive Ferran Reverter said Wednesday the club was "technically bankrupt" when Joan Laporta took over as president in March, and would have been "dissolved" if it was a public limited company.

The Spanish giant's financial woes were laid bare in August when they were forced to allow Lionel Messi to join Paris Saint-Germain after admitting they could no longer afford to keep the six-time world player of the year.

The new board inherited debts of 1.35bn euros ($1.56bn) and a bloated first-team payroll as Laporta returned for a second spell as president following the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Reverter said this during a news conference in which he outlined the results of an audit carried out by accountancy group Deloitte.

Reverter explained that the club had "difficulties in paying salaries" due to "almost zero cash flow".

To tide the club over in the short term, officials took out a temporary loan of 80m euros ($92m) "to cover the treasury obligations for a period of 90 days", and refinanced a debt of 595m euros.

Barca have confirmed losses of 481m euros for last season, which was even higher than the club anticipated.

According to Reverter, the audit, which studied the club's finances from 2018/19 until March 2021, showed there had been "serious administrative deficiencies" and that directors "bought players by being disconnected from reality".

Bartomeu was forced to resign in October last year following mounting pressure from fans and his public falling-out with Messi over the Argentine's wish to leave the club.

Antoine Griezmann left to re-join Atletico Madrid on loan at the start of this season.

Between 2016 and 2020, Barca's wage bill soared by 61%, rising from 471m euros to 759m euros, Reverter added.

The total has since been slashed by 155m by the new management.

Reverter also pointed out the unusually high rates of commissions paid to intermediaries involved in player transfers of "between 20 and 30%".

Yet despite the club's financial struggles, Barca hope to finish this season with a profit of five million euros.

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