Catalan police raided FC Barcelona Clubhouse on Monday following investigations on financial issues, and multiple arrests were made including former president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Bartomeu was among many official FC Barcelona representatives that were arrested following an in-depth investigation into the club’s finances.
Bartomeu was since released, but current manager Ronald Koeman has said that the arrests and manner in which it was done is bad for the club’s image. Barcelona has been in turmoil over the last two years and Bartomeu was forced to resign in October 2020.
The departure of Neymar, the poor activity in the transfer market, and the lack of consistency on the pitch are just scraping the surface of issues that have embroiled the Spanish giants.
FC Barcelona in Turmoil
The investigation is thought to relate to the ‘Barçagate‘ scandal in 2020 when the club denied hiring a firm to attack their own players on social media.
Multiple players had falling outs with the club and management, including the huge fallout between Lionel Messi and former president Bartomeu that ended with Messi handing in a transfer request.
New elections for FC Barcelona president are expected to be held this Sunday and elected hopefuls intend on bringing stability to the club as well as securing the contract of superstar Lionel Messi.
Onfield, Barça have been poor despite Messi’s incredible form and Ronald Koeman will be under serious pressure should they fail to win anything, and lose out on Messi over the summer transfer window.
What Has Gone Wrong at FC Barcelona?
FC Barcelona is often lauded as one of Europe’s Elite and most successful clubs ever. Recently though, trophies haven’t been added to this illustrious club with their last win coming in 2019. They have been particularly poor in Europe against other elite clubs in the UEFA Champions League and haven’t made it to a final since their win in the 2014/15 season.
The mold runs deeper than just poor performances in crucial games and their ridiculous transfer activity of late has surprised and shocked many. The transfer of elite striker Luis Suarez to rivals Atletico Madrid and the swap deal that saw Arthur and Miralem Pjanić change clubs have particularly puzzled many.
A lot of youngsters have been brought into the first team which is one positive as the club aims to utilize their La Masía academy that once was the envy of Europe. La Masía has produced incredible talent over the years but not many have broken into the first team until recently.
The familiarity of Ronald Koeman and the club is positive and fans would want him to get the entire structure well oiled and ready to start rolling again. Whatever happens during Sunday’s elections, the club is expected to change drastically and La Masía might be called upon more often now, as Barca seems to be having serious financial issues.
FC Barcelona is on the “verge of bankruptcy,” according to a report from the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Recent financial reports show that the club made a loss of $117 million in 2020 and stands in $1.4 billion in debt. This is almost unbelievable for a club that ranks so high in the UEFA coefficiency rankings, and the revenue that the club usually brings in by player shirts, match attendances and competition wins.
Their poor performances and lack of trophies haven’t helped one bit and have been forced into selling players to avoid high wage costs- a big problem considering that Lionel Messi’s salary is rumored to be around $35 million a year. Considering his age, it might be time for the club to say goodbye to their legend, icon, and GOAT, and rebuild around younger players like Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati.
FC Barcelona is fighting hard to stay amongst Europe’s elite but the recent pandemic hasn’t been kind to any club. La Liga recently requested that the club also lower its players’ wages as the promotion has taken a massive financial hit without any fans in attendance to bring in revenue.
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