alleges cash problems and that the bank does not endorse it

24/11/2020 05:00

Ahead of

More economic problems for FC Barcelona. In the midst of the financial crisis due to the coronavirus hit, the Treasury has imposed a millionaire penalty to the Blaugrana entity.

The Central Delegation of Large Taxpayers of the Tax Agency claims almost nine million euros in withholdings for income from work / professional (January 2012-June 2015) not paid, to which adds a fine of another 14 million euros for this question: 23 million euros total.

This sanction was ratified by the Central Administrative Economic Court just before the summer, but the football club appealed to the National Court to have the payment suspended. The Catalan team has managed to get the contentious-administrative chamber of the high court to postpone this disbursement after alleging the damages and “its difficult repair” of the immediate payment of the same.

Former FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.  (EFE)Former FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.  (EFE)
Former FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. (EFE)

In order to defer the payment of taxes and achieve oxygen thanks to this precautionary measure, FC Barcelona highlights before the magistrates “the exceptional situation of the covid-19 pandemic, which has generated a substantial reduction in your income, by carrying out its activity in one of the sectors most affected by the economic crisis derived from the health crisis (public entertainment), which justifies, in its opinion, the adoption of exceptional measures “.

On the one hand, Barça alludes to the decrease in the market value of your players: “Covid-19 has not only affected the club’s income and expenses, but has also temporarily devalued your most precious intangible, that is, the value of its staff “, reads the judicial order consulted by El Confidencial.

“The compromised situation of the treasury and the refusal of various financial institutions to grant it a guarantee do not preclude providing a guarantee”

On the other hand, the team that today leads a management committee after the resignation of its former president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, highlights that the “significant decrease in its income has been reflected in the financial situation of the FCB”, and adds: “The decrease of the income and substantial maintenance of the FCB operating expenses [más de 16 millones de euros mensuales de media en el último semestre] have resulted in a pressing decrease in your result, which would prevent it from facing the amounts derived from the settlement and sanctioning agreements “.

For all the foregoing, the court that judges the case understands this precautionary measure to be appropriate, which was opposed by the State Bar. However, the magistrates do not grant him partial dispensation from guarantee that Barça also asked for. “The compromised situation of the club’s treasury, as well as the refusal of various financial entities to grant you a guarantee, it does not exclude the provision of a guarantee in any other of the forms admitted by law to respond, where appropriate, to the amount of the penalty “, explains the National Court.

Crisis at all levels

FC Barcelona is experiencing one of the worst crises in its history. To the economic problems must be added its difficult institutional situation (without a board in the absence of elections) and the bad sporting moment that the club is experiencing, twelfth in La Liga after only one victory in the last six games and with its franchise player, Lionel Messi, increasingly disenchanted.

As this media has advanced, the club barely has 30 million of its own funds to face its complicated day-to-day life, which places it increasingly close to bankruptcy (former suspension of payments). Against this background, the interim board led by Carles Tusquets He is trying to agree to a salary cut with his staff of 190 million euros, which would allow him to stay alive. Hence, the sanction imposed by the Treasury comes at the worst moment for the club, whose current financial crisis considers “conjunctural and exceptional”.

Agustin Marco

For this reason, Carles Tusquets, the current president of the management committee that presides over the club after the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu, has asked the players for a salary cut of close to 40%

This is not the first time that the club or its stars have had problems with the treasury. One of the tax controversies that persecute him comes from the tax treatment of agents and intermediaries who participate in the signings of footballers.

The Treasury detected that these agents billed the club for services rendered in the multimillion dollar transactions of football stars. However, since 2015, the Treasury has applied a criterion in which it understands that intermediaries do not provide these services to the club but to the player in question whom they represent.

This differentiation means that the agent’s fees have to be paid by the footballer, so if he wants to pass them on to the team, he has to do so by raising his income and later liquidating the services with the representative. TO tax effects, this represents a substantial change, since it goes from the agent billing the club with 21% VAT to the footballer paying a marginal rate of 52%.


Barça only has 30 million to avoid bankruptcy

18/11/2020 05:00

Ahead of

Javier Tebas, president of the Professional Football League (LFP), named this Tuesday the bankruptcy as a possibility for the clubs of the First and Second Division to solve the financial problems derived from covid-19. In the presentation of the salary limits of the 40 teams of the two main competitions, the Spanish soccer president cited the Barça as the Barça entity with the most critical situation, which is why it required the current management board to “take the bull by the horns.”

According to official sources, the institution barely has equity of 30 million, Therefore, if the season closes with losses similar to the previous one, it would enter into bankruptcy. Something unusual in the centenary Spanish club, which would be doomed to sell assets or become a public limited company to balance its assets. The first option would mean decapitalizing the squad, which would mean giving up competing at the highest level, both in the local league and in Europe. “These types of clubs”, also referring to the Real Madrid, “They would have to mark a year of transition, you cannot be competing for the same thing,” Tebas said.

Agustin Marco

The Barça entity, after reducing the salary of its players, has started talks with banks to obtain liquidity and with suppliers to delay the payment of charges

The second option is to go from a club whose owners are the partners, as currently, to become a public limited company, whose owners would be those who had the shares in their name. This is the case with all members of the League, except Real Madrid, Athletic Club de Bilbao, Club Atlético Osasuna and Barça itself, that just a decade ago avoided becoming public limited companies thanks to their good financial management.

For this reason, Carles Tusquets, the current president of the management committee that presides over the club after the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu, has asked the players for a salary cut of close to 40% to prevent the entity from ending the 2020-2021 season again with losses similar to the one previous campaign, which ended with 97 million red numbers. These handicaps, caused by the drop in income due to the pandemic, have reduced equity from 130 million to just 30 million. If the current course ended with similar figures, the club would go into dissolution, so it would have to recapitalize with some of the options listed above.

Tusquets, a Barça historical, who was already treasurer with Josep Lluís Núñez, has raised with the players the “adaptation” of salaries to lower the salary mass, which this year cannot exceed 382.11 million by order of the LFP. This limit represents a cut of 274 million compared to the 656.42 million of the previous season, in which the club saw its income plummet by 200 million due to the effects of covid-19.

Fermín de la Calle

The fall in income this season triggers the wage bill to 80% and Bartomeu needs to activate emergency measures to lower it

The entity earns about 150 million per year for the membership fees, the tickets to the Camp Nou and the operation of the boxes, money that this year will not be able to count on, since the ban on entering the sports facilities continues. Furthermore, given the current health situation, the public is not expected to be able to return to the stadiums until next season, according to Tebas, despite the fact that Barça had included in the 2020-2021 budget that at least 25% of the capacity could be covered from February, and up to 50% in May. The club had estimated a profit of one million euros for this season, so any downward deviation would lead it to approach the bankruptcy.

Tusquets wants the staff to accept the salary cut in exchange for extending the contracts, so officially it would not be a reduction. But, in case they do not sign, the current president will approve next Monday in a unilateral this decrease in the millionaire salaries of its stars. A measure that, according to financial sources, would mean that footballers could leave the club immediately, as Barça broke the conditions agreed in their contracts. FC Barcelona denies this possibility, stating that the reduction in salaries would be motivated by an extreme situation beyond the ordinary management of the club. But legal sources of First Division footballers of the highest level point out that this situation is very likely.

January, key month

The entity will make a final decision next Monday, because it does not have liquidity to deal with the ordinary invoices of the suppliers, to whom it pays more than 120 days, far exceeding the government limit of 60 days. But the date that worries the club and the creditors is January, since at that moment he has to pay about half of the chips of the contracts of his ‘cracks’, to those who pay a symbolic monthly salary, but to those who earn their contracts in the middle and at the end of the season. In January, the club will need about 200 million to meet current salaries.

Barça, which in June got credit policies for around 100 million euros with State guarantees through the ICO, like Real Madrid, it has already considered creating small companies to bring shareholders into divisions such as museum management or the store network. But any decision should be made by the new president who comes out of the elections on January 24, at which time he will have to face a large part of the player’s file.


The strange case of Matheus, a signing of Abidal that has little level for Koeman

12/11/2020 05:00Updated: 11/12/2020 08:25

In Barcelona they still remember Eric Abidal. It is not exactly praise that the former technical secretary of the club receives after a management in which he had too many open fronts, controversies and confrontations with a dressing room that withdrew his confidence. Messi, especially. They still remember Abidal for the strange signing he made, on the last day of the winter market (January 31, 2020), with the incorporation of Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernándes. A footballer who does not want Ronald Koeman because he considers that he does not have the level to compete in the first team.

Is a mystery what happens with Matheus Fernándes. But if something is clear, it is that Eric Abidal’s clinical eye played a trick on him when he went to see him in October 2019 for a Palmeiras training session. They had tipped him off. And it was not just any person. He received a call from Barcelona’s former head of recruiting young talents, André Cury, to take note of some of the Brazilian club’s players. Abidal did not hit in the election. He chose Matheus Fernández and recommended the signing to Josep María Bartomeu with the conviction that they had discovered the Brazilian Busquets.

Ulises Sánchez-Flor

It is difficult for the French coach to recognize that there are players who worsen collective performance and make firmer decisions, even if they are painful.

Barcelona decided to pay 7 million euros and agree to another 3 million in variables to get this signing. Matheus, 22, has a contract until 2025 and a release clause of 300 million euros. The first decision, upon arriving in Spain mid-season, is to have an adaptation process in Valladolid. They convinced Ronaldo to make a hole for him in the squad. He left on loan and played very little with Sergio González. Only three games and two of them were already when the Valladolid team was assured of permanence. Sergio, the coach, had doubts. In Valladolid they do not give a complete analysis of what type of footballer they are, although they are clear that it is not Busquets nor does it seem that it can be. He plays as a defensive pivot, has a lanky appearance (1.83 m) and is not characterized by his power or explosiveness.

It has the number ’19’

Valladolid returned him to Barcelona and in the preseason, in the first training sessions with Ronald Koeman, the Dutch coach communicated to Ramon Planes, the new technical secretary of the club, who I saw the Brazilian green. He was generous in his analysis. The best thing was that he had a second assignment to continue his training and have more minutes in another team.

The surprising thing is that the club did not introduce Matheus Fernándes as a new incorporation, as was done with Pedri and Trincao. In mid-September, the Brazilian pivot suffered an injury (elongation in the biceps femoris of the right thigh), which further complicated his departure. Ramón Planes has done everything possible to find a team. Until the last day of the summer market he tried to get it out. It has been impossible.

Nobody has noticed Matheus Fernándes and the Barcelona they had to stay with him, give him a number (the number 19) and its corresponding federative file. But they didn’t introduce him to society. In this lonely and strange way he stayed in the first team, against Koeman’s will, and without any future in Barcelona. Because those who have seen him play, the little that has been possible, say that he has no Barça level.

Matheus Fernándes in an exercise in training with Barça.  (@_matheusf) Matheus Fernándes in an exercise in training with Barça.  (@_matheusf)
Matheus Fernándes in an exercise in training with Barça. (@_matheusf)

Matheus Fernandes has been training for a month, but Koeman does not give his arm to twist. He has not included him in the calls and the last time he referred to this situation, the Dutchman was clear: “We are working with him and he has to improve aspects to play. He has in front of Busquets, De Jong, Pjanic and what he has to do is work every day ”. Ronald Koeman has preferred, in case of emergency, to call for the first team to Óscar Mingueza (Central defender of the subsidiary) to give the opportunity to Matheus Fernández.

Eric Abidal was not successful in this signing, which the Barcelona Management Board chaired by Carles Tusquets after the resignation of Bartomeu is now seeking an exit. The objective is to place it on the winter market to continue reducing the wage bill. It does not make sense to continue at Barça when Koeman doesn’t count on him. The problem is finding that team that trusts a boy who doesn’t have a track record in Brazil either to show off as one of the jewels of the future.

Matheus Fernándes began his professional career in the Botafogo and in the 76 matches he played he only scored two goals and gave four assists. Signed by Palm Trees and he only played 11 games and only scored one goal. Their presence in the lower categories of the Brazilian National Team is reduced to two games with the U-17 and another two with the U-20. Eric Abidal was not very successful when he recommended him as a possible replacement for Busquets. Ronald Koeman is clear and direct. He does not see him ready to play for a single minute in his team and the club has the problem of placing a footballer who has no market.


FC Barcelona ‘loses’ 13 international players for their national teams

The national team break will leave thirteen internationals without Ronald Koeman for almost two weeks before the return of LaLiga, which in the case of Barcelona will arrive with a visit to Atlético de Madrid on Saturday 21.

Leo Messi will play with Argentina before Paraguay and Peru two qualifying matches for the Qatar World Cup and the 12 remaining Barcelona players will stay in Europe.

Most of them will play the Nations League and Spain (Sergio Busquets and Sergio Roberto), France (Lenglet and Griezmann) and United States (Sergiño Dest and Konrad de la Fuente, who makes his senior debut) will be the three teams with the most Barça players.

Precisely, Spain will face this Wednesday in a friendly match in Amsterdam at thes Netherlands de Frenkie de Jong before continuing to fight for a ticket to the Nations League finals against Switzerland and Germany.

In this last phase, Trincao also wants to be with Portugal and Martin Braithwaite with Denmark. In contrast, no sorting option has the Bosnia by Miralem Pjanic.

On the other hand, Sergiño Dest and Konrad de la Fuente will go with the United States to play two European friendlies: in Wales against the host and in Vienna against Panama.

In addition, Pedro González Pedri and Iñaki Peña have been summoned by the Spanish U21 team, already classified for the European Championship, to play two official matches in Marbella against the Faroe Islands and Israel.

These calls are added to the casualties of Coutinho, Ronald Araújo, Ansu Fati and Samuel Umtiti, although Coutinho and Araújo could already be discharged to play against Atlético de Madrid.

Thus, Ronald Koeman is left with only eight troops of the first team: Jordi Alba, Gerard Piqué, Ter Stegen, Neto, Junior Firpo, Carles Aleñ, Riqui Puig and Matheus Fernandes.

These eight Barça players trained this Monday morning at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper and will do so again tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m. From Thursday to Sunday they will have a party.


or Messi leaves or has to sell Ansu and lower salaries

He Barcelona Soccer Club owes banks and clubs 820 million euros, of which it will only deduct 332 for pending collections, for which it presents a net debt in the 2019-20 season of 488 million. An alarming figure, since it came from 217 last season, which would place it first in the ranking of debtor clubs in Europe, according to the ‘Financial Year Report’ that the UEFA published annually and that this last year has not seen the light yet due to the appearance of covid-19. Until last year, the Manchester United it was the team with the most debt, with 459 million euros, followed by Inter (438), Atlético (391) and Juventus (291). He Real Madrid it did not appear in the ranking of defaulters.

Barcelona has entered 192 million euros less than what it had budgeted. Out of an expected income of 1,047 million it reached only 855, even if the club warns that, without the pandemic, the figure would rise to 1,059. Barça closes the 2019-2020 season with losses of 97 million euros and the red numbers will continue in 2020-2021, as expected in the accounts.

Big problems for Bartomeu in his final stretch of term.  (EFE)
Big problems for Bartomeu in his final stretch of term. (EFE)

Problems with the wage bill

The revenue forecast for next season, which was initially $ 1.12 billion, has been drastically lowered to $ 791. The ravages of the pandemic, with the lack of public in the stands, will cause 330 million to stop entering. And that makes it a major issue for Bartomeu and its directive the subject of the wage bill. The League will not register clubs whose salary mass exceeds 70% of its budget. At the end of this year, the Barça wage bill reached 636 million, a reassuring 61%. But with revenue declining to $ 791 million, the wage bill soars around 80%. Barcelona has managed to reduce it this summer by 42 million with the departure of players such as Luis Suárez (23.4 million euros gross per year), Rakitic (13.3) or Vidal (9). But with the unexpected decrease in income you need to reduce the wage bill much more.

He has two alternatives: negotiate a salary reduction for the squad, as the club is proposing, or let out players with a high salary weight

Bartomeu’s alternatives are two: generate more revenue by selling players or getting rid of players with high contracts. If you bet on the former, you would have to sell the only footballer who would generate a real capital gain from his transfer, Ansu Fati, for which they estimate that they will get 150 million. The sale of Griezmann or Dembelé, for example, would not be profitable as it cost the club 120 and 140 million euros respectively, unrealistic figures for a market in crisis like the current one. Barça calculates that capital gains from transfers should reach 73 million this season. But Umtiti and Dembelé have not left and now we will have to work on the January market.

The other option is to lighten the salary mass, and in that aspect it also has two alternatives: negotiate a reduction in the staff’s salary, as the club is proposing, or let out players with a lot of salary weight. The first bet is dangerous because it could end with players denouncing their contracts or going free even in January. There is a real risk that footballers will claim their freedom letter, or at least challenge the measure proposed by the club, since they are protected by law with article 41 of the Workers’ Statute. And it would not be the first time that a professional athlete uses the Workers’ Statute to demand the termination of their contract. It remains to be seen how the club acts, which could negotiate the salary reduction with each player individually.

The second would go through letting Messi out, whose salary weight is around 70 million gross per year. A measure that has not been valued, as has been seen when the club refused to let the Argentine leave after announcing his frustrated departure. Messi stays and you have to bear his salary weight, so the solution is to lower the salary of his teammates.

Leo Messi during this Friday's game with Argentina.  (EFE)Leo Messi during this Friday's game with Argentina.  (EFE)
Leo Messi during this Friday’s game with Argentina. (EFE)

The ballast of the Espai Barça

During Bartomeu’s tenure, Barcelona has bagged more than 500 million euros in sales (222 with the payment of the Neymar clause to PSG), but the problem is the very high cost of the operations faced with transfers such as Dembelé (140) or Coutinho (160). Spending on salaries and transfer repayments has triggered the debt, and to this has been added another unexpected burden: the Barça space. The financing of the technological project already reaches 815 million euros of expenditure. A problem that punishes even more the battered culé economy.

Barcelona is the tip of the iceberg, for being the club with the highest salary mass. But the rest of the top clubs in Europe are experiencing similar situations. Dortmund has closed this season with losses of 44 million and already announces 75 for next. Its president, Hans-Joachim Watzke, offered a diagnosis shared by all his colleagues: “We will only benefit again if there are no restrictions on attendance at stadiums. We must be patient. Football is extremely difficult to imagine without fans and it is time to endure “. Roma, who lost 204 million this past year, need to enter 140 million and announced a capital increase in June to try to save the club financially.

Real Madrid, however, saved the season because it had planned a profit of 40 million and that cushion saved it from the impact of the pandemic. The whites, who have turned all their expectations into the remodeling of a new Bernabéu that will boost the club’s ordinary income, are considering an austere budget for next season, which would be around 650 million. Something that would not cause a problem with the weight of your salary bill, since capital gains from transfers such as Achraf, Reguilón and Óscar Rodríguez give margin. And in addition, Florentino already closed a salary cut with the staff last year, given the imminent crisis of the pandemic, which allows him to be relieved.


Celtic FC incorporates drones into its squad

Under the sponsorship agreement, Dahua Technology will supply video panels for locations such as the Celtic Store and the Media Center in Celtic Park. Although more striking is the high-tech four-rotor drones to help with training and development of players and equipment. He will also equip the Scottish team with electronic boards for the technical staff, to help both in tactical sessions and for presentations and meetings.

As part of the new collaboration, the Dahua Technology brand will appear on a variety of Club assets, such as LED banners next to the field and on the club’s website and in match schedules. The deal represents Dahua Technology’s first major sponsorship in the UK and Ireland.

In addition to the equipment supplied to Celtic FC, Dahua Technology manufactures a range of innovative and technically advanced video equipment. These include TiOC, a three-in-one camera that integrates 24/7 full color monitoring, active deterrence, and artificial intelligence into one smart unit; WizSense, a series of products and solutions that use artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms; and its Starlight range of low light video technology.

“We are delighted with our sponsorship of Celtic FC”, said Michael Lawrence, Marketing Director of Dahua Technology UK and Ireland “In addition to the highly visible aspects of the sponsorship, this agreement represents a real partnership between Celtic FC and Dahua Technology, and is a example of our commitment to sport “.

Cheng Zeng, Celtic FC’s China and Asia Business Development Manager, commented that “We are delighted to launch this collaboration with Dahua Technology. Their high-quality expertise and technology will enhance both the fan experience in our stores and overall business operations. We look forward to working with Dahua Technology for a long time. “