There has been a lot of talk lately about the economic crisis going on at Barcelona, but for expert on sports law Toni Roca the sporting crisis that it results in could be equally lethal.
Roca cites two basic criteria that are most important. One is not having overdue debts with footballers, other clubs or administrations on a fiscal or social level, and the other is that you have to prove you don’t spend more money than you earn.
Barcelona currently meet neither of this criteria, and by some distance. If they continue like this, he maintains, UEFA won’t grant them a license and they could be banned from playing in the Champions League.
Despite the gravity of the situation, however, Roca isn’t pessimistic. He concedes that the figures are alarming but is aware that Barcelona have plenty of assets that could be sold to reduce the debt, chief among them footballers.
The club will also have to lower its wage bill, part of a grim short-term outlook for the board that comes in when the new president is elected on 7 March. Things are complicated even further by the fact that it’s so difficult to increase income during a pandemic.
For this, Roca believes that shifting capital away from the sporting department of the club is the only solution to preserve it, and that will undoubtedly affect sporting performance. That could lead to Barcelona becoming “the Spanish Milan” as the club have to “dispense with its main players and start from scratch.”