Barca CEO says ESL was a move against state-backed clubs to find a better money model

October 7 – FC Barcelona have formally reported their mammoth loss of €481 million for the 2020-21 season, with CEO Ferran Reverter going on the record saying that the Catalans backed the breakaway Super League as their life raft to a more sustainable financial model in the long run. 

The club’s revenues dropped by €224 million (-26%) to €631 million, while expenses snowballed to reach a record figure of €1,136 million (+ 19%). Barcelona had forecast a profit of €1 million, but that turned into a massive loss after tax that the club attributed to “both falling revenues and the inability to contain spending”.

The club’s net financial debt skyrocketed by a staggering €514 million – from €159 million in the summer of 2018 to €673 million in March 2021.

At a news conference, Reverter (pictured) didn’t sugarcoat his club’s situation. He said: “The new board of directors and its new executive structure encountered an economic and financial situation marked by negative equity and in a situation of technical bankruptcy if it was a PLC, [the club] would have been dissolved.”

Earlier this year, Joan Laporta succeeded Josep Bartomeu as chairman at Camp Nou. The club’s debts stand at around €1.35 billion and Barcelona were forced to slash their wage bill due to La Liga’s strict financial control and regulations. It ultimately led to Lionel Messi’s departure to Paris Saint-Germain. This season, Barcelona’s wage bill cannot exceed €98 million.

But Reverter, strangely, argued that the breakaway Super League plans that prompted a revolt across the football pyramid in spring were intended to bring a sustainable model to the European game. Barcelona’s position was also a response to state-owned clubs dominating the European club game with unlimited financial resources.

“For us the Super League was about creating a more attractive competition-oriented around the issue of FFP. We have to make a deep reflection on what happened this summer,” said Reverter.

“UEFA is opening the door for clubs to inject money and the spending ratios are going wild. Along with LaLiga, we believe in a more sustainable model. If UEFA keeps going down this path it will favour the state clubs while damaging Barca’s brand.”

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