FC Barcelona: No eligibility to play: Does Barca have to plan without Lewandowski?

The last season of FC Barcelona is adequately described with the word "disastrous".

FC Barcelona: No eligibility to play: Does Barca have to plan without Lewandowski?

The last season of FC Barcelona is adequately described with the word "disastrous". The Catalans invested heavily in new players during the summer break so that the team can meet their own standards again. In addition to Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, Barca also signed Andreas Christensen (Chelsea FC), Franck Kessie (AC Milan), Raphinha (Leeds United) and Jules Kounde (Sevilla FC). The club's new players were worth around 153 million euros - plus certainly lavish salaries. Actually absurd, since FC Barcelona is sitting on an insane mountain of debt. When he took office in March 2021, President Joan Laporta spoke of "451 million net and 1.35 billion euros gross debt."

Precisely for this reason, the very loose monetary policy could now take revenge. Because a few days before the start of the season, the Spanish "La Liga" has still not granted the newcomers FC Barcelona the right to play. As of now, Lewandowski and Co. could sit in the stands for the opening game against FC Villareal.

The Catalans' hara-kiri financial policy is now falling on the traditional club's feet. In principle, 25 players per club can be registered for the Spanish league, who take part in regular game operations. Since 2013, however, there has been an upper salary limit. Based on the international Financial Fair Play regulation, Spanish clubs only have limited financial resources in terms of their budget, gross salaries and possible depreciation during the season.

If this upper limit is exceeded, additional money is needed - for example through further sponsorship contracts or player sales. In the case of FC Barcelona, ​​the expenses for their players were 144 million euros above the permitted amount of 97 million euros, as "La Liga" announced in March. "This figure comes from the difference between the club's actual losses and those estimated by La Liga in May 2021," La Liga director general Javier Gomez told Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

With Barca so far above the salary limit, the league is currently refusing the club player registration of the newcomers. To change that, the Catalans need to raise money quickly. But that is easier said than done. The club has already sold 25 percent of its television rights to global investment firm Sixth Street. However, this income is far from enough. In order to get money in the short term, parts of the in-house production company "Barca Studios" are also to be sold.

In addition, there should be transfer income for player sales. But that turns out to be not so easy. For the sale of the Dutch national player Frenkie de Jong, the club promised income of 80 million euros or more. However, De Jong still has a long-term deal and wants to stay at Barca. Now the club is asking him to forgo his salary. The dispute could end up in court.

Whether FC Barcelona will actually have to play without their summer transfers is unclear – but unlikely. Should the Spanish league strictly interpret the financial fair play rules, Lewandowski and Co. could not be registered and would therefore not be eligible to play. But that would not only damage the club, but the attractiveness of the whole league. Barca President Laporta was optimistic at Lewandowski's launch last week: "We've been working to register everyone. We've been working hard and productively to meet the requirements. Should there be a need to do more things , we're going to do that. It's a decision LaLiga has to make."

Quellen: Goal.com, The Guardian, Mundo Deportivo

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