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Barcelona’s Economic VP on the club’s wage bill and finances: “We must continue like this”

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Eduard Romeu, the Economic Vice President of FC Barcelona, unveiled the financial report for the past year this morning, highlighting a remarkable profit of €304 million.

On the other hand, he also presented the budget for the current fiscal year, anticipating a total revenue of €859 million and an expected profit of €11 million. 

For now, these figures are what Barcelona have calculated and this is going to require approval from the Committee Assembly scheduled for the upcoming Saturday. 

Meanwhile, in his presentation on the financial report for the 2022/2023 season, Romeu provided insights into the factors behind the €304 million in profits, surpassing the initial budget by €30 million.

Quite notably, there was a substantial increase in expenses, rising from €1,065 million to €1,165 million.

“Having a good year in income, we wanted to liquidate backpacks so that starting this season we could balance the numbers. Hence this gap of one hundred million,” he said while explaining the discrepancy as quoted by SPORT.

The necessary expenses

While speaking about the gap of €100 million, Romeu pointed out that there lies a management expense package which is worth €255 million and other unnamed expenses are worth €171 million.

Eduard Romeu said there was an increase in expenses at FC Barcelona (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Within the category of miscellaneous expenses totalling €171 million, the breakdown includes €35 million designated for non-sporting amortizations and €58 million allocated for player losses following the departures of key figures such as Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique. 

Additionally, €37 million are earmarked for provisions, and another €8 million are dedicated to contributions made to foundations.

“Before the commission was within the sporting salary of the player who paid his agent, now we pay one part and another to the player following UEFA recommendations. The desire is for it to be 50% of the club. You pay less this way,” Romeu said.

Income from other sources

Regarding the club’s earnings, Romeu emphasized that the baseline figure is €855 million when not considering any external finances or levers. 

The reported total of €1,259 million are achieved through a combination of sources, with €400 million attributed to the sale of 49% of the League rights, and an additional €208 million stemming from the valuation of 51% ownership in Bridgeburg.

“We are satisfied with this operation, not with the sale of television rights, but we had no choice but to do it,” he said.

Furthermore, an additional revenue of €28 million was generated through ticket sales, coupled with an extra €19 million accrued from the commercial sector. 

Also, the team fell short of expectations by €25 million on average due to their premature exits in European competitions, and there was a deficit of €20 million in player signings following the departure of Griezmann.

There is some good news

Eduard Romeu talked about the possibility of singing Joao Felix in January (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Romeu also revealed that the finances of FC Barcelona are slowly improving with the debt reduced from €1,350 million to €1,200 million.

“We are not satisfied and the obsession is to put an end to it. The manual is very easy, increasing income and reducing expenses. 

The way we have the Espai Barça operation structured will allow us to do it. We will have €150-170 million left each season to do it,” he said while adding that the board’s intention is to refrain from employing additional levers. 

It is crucial to note that, absent the use of levers or the Bridgeburg operation, the losses would have amounted to €200 million.

The economic vice-president also touched upon the reduction in the wage bill, which has now reduced to €492 million from over €600 million.

“We have been able to put the plug in the drain and we must continue like this,” he stated.

Possible signings of Joao Felix

Lastly, Romeu also shed light on the possibility of Barcelona signing Joao Felix on a permanent transfer and the potential arrival of Vitor Roque in January.

“In winter, entries and exits are not contemplated, but we have always tried to please the technical team,” he said about Roque, insisting that the budget does not account for any alterations in the squad in the winter, although that could change with time.

“Joao Felix, I hope he has, we have to negotiate his hiring because he will want to say that he has triumphed,” he added. 

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