Why has Barcelona failed to register its summer signings? We explain your financial dilemma before the start of LaLiga

Barça hoped that the sale of television rights and a shareholding in Barça Studios would increase this limit enough to allow them to operate in a 1:1 ratio and register all their signings.

This summer, the Barcelona has introduced players practically every week. The month of July began with the unveiling ceremonies of Frank Kessie and Andreas Christensen, two players signed through free transfers. then came raphinha coming from LeedsUnited, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich Y Jules Koundé of Seville, for a total transfer cost of more than €150 million. Various sources have indicated ESPN that more signings could come. It is expected that the left side of the Chelsea Alonso I arrived at Camp Nou; while the steering wheel Manchester City Bernard Silva it’s still a goal, albeit slightly more unattainable at this point.

The president of Barca Joan Laporta he has fulfilled his promise to support the coach Xavi Hernandez, putting together a competitive squad capable of competing on all fronts; although this has raised questions about the actual expenditure of the Barca. Own laporta described the situation of Barca as “in vegetative life” last year, with gross debt totaling €1.3 billion. Last June, Laporta indicated that the club remained in the intensive care unit. Less than a month later, he signed Lewandowski for €45 million and declared that the club was “out of hospital”, causing the manager of the Bayern Julian Nagelsmann wonder out loud: “The only club that has no money, but buys all the players it wants. I do not know how he does it. It’s crazy.”

It is not difficult to understand where the resources come from so that the Barca make such investments. By selling 25% of its national television rights to investment firm Sixth Street for 25 years and 24.5% of its in-house production company Barca Studios to Socios.com, have raised more than €600 million. Likewise, it recently signed a new sponsorship contract with the music platform Spotify and last year, the club took a €500 million loan from the investment bank Goldman Sachs to restructure your debt payments.

Therefore, there is money; even though it comes at a cost, in the form of reduced future income and mounting long-term debt. Anyway, getting money this summer was not the worst problem for the Barca. As was the case when Leo Messi left the club last year, the problem lies in the registration of new players within the Financial Fair Play rules of The league. With the new campaign ready to start this Saturday, none of Barça’s signings has been able to be registered with the Spanish circuit.

(Editor’s note: This page will be updated as the situation in the Barcelona this week)

Why can’t Barça register players?

It is likely that the financial regulations of The league be the strictest among Big Five of Europe. Each Spanish team has a spending limit that sets the maximum amount you can spend on your first team in terms of players and passes. the cost of Lewandowski on the books, for example, it would be his salary plus €12.5 million, since his transfer is amortized over the course of his four-year contract.

Put in the simplest possible terms, this limit is essentially an estimate of how much the club can afford, based on its income versus expenses and debt. This figure is also applied before making transfers, so if a club does not meet the criteria established by The league, you cannot register new players. This is the situation in which the Barca a few days before his season debut, in which he will play at home against Vallecano Ray.

Spending caps change all the time; however, by the end of last season, Barça’s limit was €144 million (prior to the pandemic, it was €600 million), being the only negative limit in Spain, caused by the losses recorded during the previous campaign, which exceeded €400 million. Meanwhile, Barça’s wage bill (including amortization payments) remains at a figure close to €500 million. Although they are outside their limit, LaLiga only allows them to spend a fraction of what they earn from salary savings realized through player reductions or departures, and on transfers. The ratio has been 1 to 2, 1 to 3, and 1 to 4 at different times in the past year, with the most frequent being 1 to 4, meaning they can only invest 25% of what they earn or save.

The Barca expected that the sale of television rights and a shareholding in Barca Studios will increase said limit enough to allow them to operate in a ratio of 1 to 1 and register all their signings. In the past week, The league He informed them that they have not yet reached that proportion and as a result, they still cannot register all their brand new signings.

A source linked to The league indicated to ESPN That this doesn’t mean they can’t sign some signings, although that would depend on the cost and mix of players (For example, less cap space is required to sign Christensen what to Lewandowski). Barça would prefer not to have to give the appearance of prioritizing registrations, if it can avoid it.

Which players are affected?

Few days left until the Barca receive Rayo Vallecano in the Camp Nou to play their first game of the season, none of the five summer signings (Lewandowski, Raphinha, Christensen, Koundé or Kessie) has been registered with LaLiga. Also, the Blaugrana club has not been able to register the new contracts of Ousmane Dembele Y Sergio Robert. Consequently, these seven players are currently not eligible to play for Barça, despite their participation in the pre-season.

What do you need to do to sign up players?

In a nutshell: the Barca must sell more assets. The sale of television rights (which brings them an estimated 5% of the club’s annual income of approximately €40 million, based on the most recent figures), was made in two packages, each referred to by Laporta as “financial leverage”. ”. The sale of 24.5% of Barca Studios it was the third lever. Now, sources linked to the club and LaLiga confirmed to ESPN that a fourth lever is required to enable the Barca for him to register the seven players. It is then expected that this week the sale of another 24.5% of the shares of Barca Studios.

However, some sources suggest that won’t be enough either and the club will continue to fall short when it comes to trying to sign them all up. Therefore, the club continues to work to finalize exits (it has been warned Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite Y memphis depay looking for new clubs to play in) and salary reductions. Discussions continue with Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquetsamong others, to find a solution.

Additionally, the club has said in public that midfielder Frenkie de Jong, the object of interest on the part of the Man Utd Y Chelsea, you must reduce his salary if he does not leave the club. Getting €85m for the Dutch midfielder’s transfer would solve a lot of problems; however, sources indicate that the player remains firm in his idea of ​​staying. All this is a repetition of what happened last summer, when Pique, Busquets and Jordi Alba adjusted their salaries to allow for enrollments of Memphis, Eric Garcia and Sergio “Kun” Aguero.

It is worth remembering that last summer’s solution also came at the last minute. The adjustment made by Pique allowed the Barcelona enroll to Garcia Y memphis on Saturday, August 14, just 24 hours before their first match of the campaign, in which they beat the Real society. In any case, they had to wait until the day before the end of the summer transfer market for the reductions in Sunrise Y Busquets entered into force, so that the club could confirm the registration of the “kun” in view of The league.

What is the schedule? Are there deadlines?

Technically, Barça has until the end of the transfer market (August 31) to register players against The league; however, this Saturday’s season debut is marked in red. All five signings have played an active role in the pre-season, along with Dembele Y Sergio Robert. Nobody wants to be the player (or players) who were left without being registered for the match against the Ray of this weekend.

The Barca requires the necessary paperwork to activate the fourth lever, which is not yet official, so that it can be approved as soon as possible; however, players can be registered up to the day of the match.

And if they can’t sign up players before the weekend, what happens?

This is when the situation gets more complicated. Barça has until the end of the transfer market to register; although it could happen that several players and agents will be unhappy if they do not solve the problem before that date. Afterwards, we are not certain about the inclusion of tentative escape clauses in the contracts of said players. Considering that Barça’s financial problems are known to all, a source linked to the football industry affirms that it would be irresponsible if the agents involved had not negotiated clauses that contemplate the scenario in which their clients remain unregistered.

Additionally, ESPN reported this Wednesday that the two players signed as free agents (Kessie and Christensen) could invoke a contractual clause allowing them to search for new clubs if they are not signed up before this weekend’s debut against Vallecano Ray. Sources indicate that, at this time, neither have plans to invoke such a clause in their respective contracts.

We must reiterate that laporta continues to convey confidence that everyone will be enrolled. Otherwise there are several options on the table, such as invoking possible escape clauses, transfers or spending the next five months sitting in the stands until the opening of the transfer market in January.

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