Barcelona vice-president talks Messi, wage bill, Champions League, Super League, economic levers

Barcelona economic vice-president Eduard Romeu attended a press conference (h/t SPORT) today during which he presented the club’s financial status after 2021/22 and budgeting plans for the 2022/23 season.

During the meet, Romeu discussed several topics like the economic levers that the club had to trigger in the summer, the TV rights deal with Sixth Street, the inflated wage bill, as well as the possibility of re-signing Lionel Messi in the summer of 2023 from PSG.

The first lever that Barcelona activated was the sale of 25% of TV rights to Sixth Street. Explaining the club’s decision to go ahead with that deal instead of the La Liga-backed CVC proposal, Romeu said:

“We sold 10% of the television rights for 25 years in exchange for €266 million. The club also kept a repurchase option in negotiations with Sixth Street.”

“The reduction of the duration of the agreement and the cost of the operation, as well as the structure of the agreement, are the main benefits of the agreement with Sixth Street with respect to the CVC proposal.”

The economic vice-president also highlighted the fact that the wage bill had gone down from 98% of the total income to 68%, which in itself is a big step for the club.

“Barça’s wage bill has gone from 98% of income to 68%. And, if the operating income is counted with the sale of the TV rights included, the real percentage is 51%.”

Talking about the signings made during the January transfer window earlier, Romeu said: “We were 9th in the league and we had doubts about qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. In the winter we had to make an effort.”

During the press conference, Romeu also confirmed that Barcelona had ended the 2021/22 financial year with a profit of €98 million, while also projecting an income of €1,255 million for 2022/23.

Romeu had recently spoken about the possible re-signing of Messi next year. And once again he reiterated that if the club plans for the operation, the move would be financially feasible, saying:

“If the sports management considers it appropriate, we will get to working on it. We know how to do miracles. Leo Messi is an asset to the club and he will always have the doors open.”

Missing out on qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League could end up hurting Barcelona financially. However, Romeu insisted that the club are calm over the situation and believe that the team will achieve their objectives.

“We are calm about qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League. We will win the remaining three games and go through to the next round,” he said.

“Last season, the impact of elimination in the group stage was 12 million euros. We count the income that we did not have, but also the expenses that we saved. This year, we contemplate winning La Liga and reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League,” he later added.

On the club’s current financial health, he clarified that the club are not out of the woods yet, saying: “We were in the ICU and now we’re on the floor. There’s still a lot of work to be done. The numbers are capricious and they always come back.

“A long-term debt structure allows you to save time, but the equity imbalance continues important. This season and next we will have to use some mechanism to get to the point where we want to be next year.”

On the medium and long-term plans for the club without relying on levers he said: “A lever can be a player’s sale. There are many possibilities. On an ordinary level, without the income from the levers, last year we would have lost €106 million and this year €210 million. This is how it is.

“We are working on the increase in income. Our companions were not happy. Regaining the trust of the sponsors is not easy, we are going slower than we wanted. From now on, whoever wants to associate with us will have to pay. It’s been that way with the jersey and with BLM.”

On the agreement with Sixth Street that will allow Barcelona to repurchase the TV rights, he said: “It is not a transfer, it is a sale with all the positive and negative risks that it entails. La Liga is the one who manages the rights.

“If the league does a good job, we would be delighted. We would still have 75% and, in the event of great management, Sixth Street would gain to some extent. For this reason, we have agreed to a buyback clause to advance the 100% recovery before 25 years.”

On the impact on finances from playing at Montjuic next season, he said: “We are trying to neutralize the reduction in income that it will entail. We have many ideas, we are very imaginative. We want to minimize the impact.

“What the previous board did wrong bothers me as much as what it did not do. We could have taken advantage of the pandemic to streamline Espai Barça.”

On what would be the ideal situation for the club financially in terms of the wage bill, he said: “In the best of scenarios, which today seems difficult, we could bring forward the recovery of 100% of television rights at 20 years.

“This would only happen if La Liga is, in this matter, at the level of the Premier League. Mateu Alemany, on the other hand, is the one who commands the wage bill.

“€500 million would be the figure: €420 million for the first team and €80 million between grassroots football and sections. This would allow us to be competitive and opt for all the competitions in which we participate.”

Talking about the hefty contracts that the old regime had handed to some of the veteran stars at the club, Romeu said:

“If we follow the table of contract expirations, this year and the next we still have salary costs above what we have in mind. Until the 2024/25 season, the situation will not be normalized. Things are like that, but I want to emphasize that it is not anyone’s fault.”

On the European Super League plans, he said: “It would be positive. Our desire is to reach a satisfactory agreement for all parties that allows the clubs that generate the most to be the ones that receive the most income. I think that, compared to what we currently have, any movement would be possible.”

Source link

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Get Singles Here
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x