The debt of FC Barcelona amounts to about 2,000 million, and continues to grow. Since Joan Laporta was re-elected president, the new signings have financed themselves by selling assets in the form of audiovisual and digital rights, that is, giving up future income. The club is about to close financing from Goldman Sachs worth 1,500 million, with which it will be able to remodel its aging stadium, but it is only a matter of time before it is rescued and privatized, with which will cease to be one of the partners.
With the Negreira scandal, the disaster can become a catastrophe. If the accusations presented by the Prosecutor’s Office are proven, not only the former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu could end up in jail for corruption, unfair administration and document falsification, but the consequences for the club itself would be lethal. In addition to being deprived of playing in Europe for having infringed UEFA regulations, the punishment could be relegation to the second division.
It has been more than a month since the first information was known, and Laporta continues without giving the promised explanations, beyond a tweet taking refuge in victimhood. simon kuper in The complexity of Barça: the rise and fall of the club that built modern football explains the story of a club that did not know how to take advantage of the golden age that it lived between 1992 and 2015, and that fell into complacency and supremacism.
The excess of self-praise -how many times do we not hear that it was “the best club in the world”- weakened him, and the arrival of the pandemic found him very ill-prepared. For the expert Francesc Trillas, the problem lies in “the lack of assumption of responsibilities, not wanting to make decisions that are difficult to explain, in believing that illusion fixes everything, denigrating those who point out the defects, and lack of management talent“.
With the Negreira case, Barça plunges into a reputational crisis with incalculable consequences. Obviously, his national and international image is shattered, because the purchase of refereeing destroys football. Internally, confusion and discouragement seizes the members, as it reveals the frivolity and lack of professionalism with which the club has been managed, with your reiterated consent.
It is incredible that the social mass that re-elected Laporta I could trust again who has already ruined the club in his time as president to face an even more critical situation, and that he won with populist promises such as the return of Messi. The love for Barça and the socio-political circumstances in Spain have transformed it into something “more than a club” for many, but today it is the club of shame, with a very black future.