With much of the World Cup sapping my interest in futbol, I've taken a bit of a breather. A bunch of stuff has been happening at FCB, some transfers, new contracts signed, enormous amounts of money lost and still no Cesc.
Let's start at the bottom, because that's where we are folks, or at least I hope we are. An audit of the clubs accounts, carried out by Deloitte has uncovered a €77.1 million loss for the 2009/10 season. Yes, that's right, the most recent one. The one where they won La Liga and made it to the Champions League semi-finals. That one. I can scarcely comprehend how the club finds itself in this position. Their debt currently stands at €442 (!) million. No wonder the club have been talking up the youth team of late, they're going to be playing for the first team soon when more players are sold just to keep the lights on. Titi has already made a brand new start of it in Old New York and it seems very likely that he'll be joined by Rafa Marquez, who's looking at signing a four year deal with the 'bulls.
Joining them by the door marked 'Exit' is Brasilian defender Henrique who's being loaned out (yet again) to Racing Santander. Interestingly though, he was named in a very experimental Brasil squad today by their new coach, Mano Menezes. Good for him eh?
So is there any positive news from the edge of the abyss? Well there has been some. Pep Guardiola has signed a contract extension meaning he'll remain on the bench for at least another year. Let's hope he doesn't mind getting paid in magic beans or replica shirts.
Also signing on the dotted line was Andreu Fontas, extending until 2012. In the lead up to this, Fontas had agreed terms with West Ham but the club persuaded him to stay. I like what I've seen of him at Barça Atletic/ B and with Marquez and Chygy leaving I would hope he'll at least play some Copa Del Rey games this coming season.
So what else? Txiki Begiristain has been replaced as Technical Secretary by Zubi. One of the finest golkeepers ever to play for Barça, winning four Liga titles in a row with the 'Dream Team' (in addition to two at Bilbao), Zubizarreta played over three-hundred times for the blaugrana. He'll be joined by another ex-player, Guillermo Amor, who will act as Technical Director of the youth set-up. Txiki meanwhile, is apparently wanted by Chelsea, well so says Sport anyway.
Finally, Adriano. No not that one. Former Sevilla defender Adriano Correia has arrived on a four year deal from the Andalucian club. An excellent player, who will likely feature on the left side of defense, he's been pretty consistent at Sevilla these past six seasons and a good addition to the squad, which, while not quite at Portsmouth levels, is still only twenty-two players and is likely to get smaller.