Barcelona might be attempting to come out of their worst financial crisis in modern times, but they are doing so via the financial management route less travelled. According to Marca, the Blaugrana have spent more than anyone this summer.
Following a year in which Barcelona’s debts rose to €1.3bn and two transfer windows in which they struggled to register players, many are wondering how they can afford it all. However most of their issues with registering players were problems not of cash flow, rather of meeting La Liga’s rules for financial fair play.
Having restructured their debt and more recently sold some of their future earnings from TV rights in a bid to bring in short-term cash and fund a remodelling of the squad.
That remodelling has come to pass. Following the free signings of Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie, Barcelona have brought in Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski. The two deals, €55m (+€10m) and €45m (+€5m), make Barcelona the team that have spent the most this transfer window, amounting to €115m.
Just behind them follow the riches of the Premier League, namely Manchester City (€108m) and Leeds United (€105m). London sides Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham follow, with Borussia Dortmund the next team on the leaderboard in seventh (€86m). Narrowly behind them, are Liverpool and Real Madrid (€80m), whose entire spend is down to Aurelien Tchouameni.
These figures, more than anything show the widening gap between the Premier League and the rest of the world. Barcelona’s spend is a false sign of health, as they move assets in order to compete in this transfer window, but it seems unlikely Barcelona can keep up this rate of spending on a regular basis. Equally the next highest spend in La Liga is Real Sociedad, having paid €25m for Mohamed-Ali Cho and Brais Mendez, showing that the gap in Spain remains a chasm too.