Wednesday, July 07, 2010

"Cash Rules Everything Around Me, C.R.E.A.M. get the money, dolla' dolla' bill y'all"

What the fuck is going on at FC Barcelona? It's like they've had the KLF round to set fire to any bundles of cash they might have. A €150 million loan has been taken out to pay players and other members of staff, who have not received their salaries for the month of June. Rosell has been quick to assert that the club is "not bankrupt" and that the membership need not worry. Of course, why would we? The club, having just had it's most successful two year period in it's history, can't pay it's staff. They're selling players (Chygrynskiy) at a huge loss just to get the cash flow going again (though quite honestly getting €15 million for Chygry after the season he's had is something of a coup). They have a bunch of players who they can't shift (Hleb, Henrique, and Cacares) and who are on massive wages. It's like Nunez is in charge again.

It's most definitely time to worry. Chief among the concerns is Mediapro. Having filed for bankruptcy some weeks ago, the prospect of them fulfilling their television deal with FCB (worth some €150 million per season) would seem slim indeed. More disturbingly, Rosell made pains to point out that the club, unlike oh Real Madrid, Barça only had a "verbal guarantee of payment" which is basically no guarantee at all "verbal contract mate, not worth the paper it's written on..."

Rosell has also said that the membership fee will not increase but quite honestly, even if it were to double it wouldn't come close to making a dent in the clubs troubled finances.

So what now? Real questions have to be asked of the previous administration as to how the club has found itself in this situation. The season before last, when Barça won La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League, profits were only €8.8 million, which seems absolutely ridiculous. Where has the money gone? I know there's been a significant investment in players and that contracts have been renegotiated and improved for the top tier (Messi, Xavi, Pique, Iniesta, Valdes) but still, players on big wages have been sold (Eto'o, Ronaldinho, Deco) and the squad is small compared to sides like Inter, Real or Chelsea. You gotta wonder. Bad times ahead I fear. And no Cesc on the horizon either.

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