By Tim Stannard
Despite being $1.5b in debt and owning money for 19 players, Barca's board mulls over Eric Garcia's signing
An annual report issued by Deloitte should have made heartening reading for Barcelona's bean counters today. Instead, it's a fiscal taunt of Titanic proportions.
The Deloitte Football Money League reports that Barcelona tops the charts of most revenue earned by the world's biggest soccer clubs.
In the 2019-20 season, Barca brought in an income of $856.3m in the 2019-20 season, a figure that was reduced by 15% from the previous season by COVID-19 impacts, but is still ahead of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Liverpool, who complete the top five.
The report's findings stand in stark contrast to a stream of stories this week that demonstrate that Barcelona is an institution not so much flirting with bankruptcy but booking a romantic weekend getaway with it to Cancun.
The club's report revealed debt stands at $1.5 billion, and a significant chunk of that is due to be paid up in the very short term. Spanish outlet, La Vanguardia, reports half a billion dollars of debt needs to be this year, or insolvency is a very real possibility.
A total of $153m alone is owed to other clubs for 19 different player transfers including those for Philippe Coutinho, Malcom, Arthur, and Arturo Vidal.
Deloitte says that soccer, like any business will be hit even harder by COVID-19 impacts in the current season due to a loss of TV income and gate receipts. However, Barcelona are even more vulnerable to these impacts due to a salary bill that was 74% of revenue and profligate spending in the transfer market.
It's quite the mess to clean up for the winner of the upcoming Barcelona presidential election. However, the current interim board is today discussing something which might explain why Barca are in their current pecuniary predicament - whether to pay good money for Eric Garcia from Manchester City, a footballer who will be free in the summer.
Tuchel enters revolving door for Chelsea coaches
The team that is eighth on the Deloitte report, Chelsea, is set to spend even more of its income on both paying off Frank Lampard's existing contract at the club and then forking out for another new coach.
That manager is Thomas Tuchel, and the appointment of the German manager is expected to be announced on Tuesday - traditionally 10 minutes after the first version of this Sports Burst column is posted.
Frank Lampard was fired, not just for dragging the club down the EPL table as far as ninth, but also for his reportedly prickly relationship with the team's star players and upper management. Chelsea are appointing Thomas Tuchel, a coach who was recently fired by PSG for a reportedly prickly relationship with the team's star players and upper management.
But Tuchel happens to be both out of work and German, which is handy in getting the most out of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz who have tanked since moves from the Bundesliga this summer which cost Chelsea $177m.