Barcelona has been reported to be in over 1 billion Euros in debt, a huge number considering all the marketing and all the brand value Barcelona has. Nonetheless the financials of the club have fallen apart and no better has that been on display than the Messi Gate situation and later in the transfer market.

Barcelona has been oddly quiet this offseason in the market, looking to let go of players rather than sign any. While they continue to toss their name in the mix for players like Erling Haaland and a possible return for Neymar, the reality is the club cannot afford big time contracts or big transfer fees.

The announcement that the greatest player to ever wear the Barcelona uniform, Lionel Messi, is leaving the club due to not being able to come to terms on a new contract is further proof that Barcelona is not the club they once were. So how bad is Barcelona in debt? What led to the debt? Below we break it down for you.

Barcelona’s debt

According to a report from The Athletic, Barcelona was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and reported losses of 203 million euros, broken down in the following list: Stadium maintenance €67m, TV €35m, commercial €72m & transfers €29m. In 2021 the club is estimated to lose a total of 267 million euros combining for a loss of 470 million euros in just two years.

Throw in what the club owes in wages, which according to reports accounts for 74% of Barcelona’s financial budget and the debt keeps on mounting. Barcelona has been reported of having a 12-month debt that will take the losses to €731 million, making their short-term debt the most in European soccer.

Worse still given their grand total of € 1.2 billion debt Barcelona may not have their finances in order to execute the signings of Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Emerson Royal. The club must make over €200 million in savings to activate these transfers. La Liga has a strict salary cap where each team has a limit on what they can spend on their first team players, reserves, academy, coaches, etc.

Barcelona has reduced their salary budget by half this season and is trying to open up cap space to include their new transfers, but it was not enough to accommodate Lionel Messi, whose contract included a huge salary cut, but a payout for other roles within the club. In the end, Barcelona simply did not have the budget to cover Messi’s contract. Also adding that the club not only has financial losses for poor spending, but Barcelona also has bank loans they need to pay back which has hindered the club from making any financial progress.

Barcelona’s road to financial chaos is mostly due to mismanagement and overspending, it has been reported that even their current sponsorship deals have been reduced because they have not complied with some of the contracts. 
In the end Barcelona is in a financial crisis that can only be summed up as arrogant and mismanaged. From huge transfer fees, bank loans, and huge player wages, Barcelona has put themselves in a hole that could last for quite some time if they don’t manage their budgets better in the next few years.