League says Barcelona exceed spending limit by $157m

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Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, center right, celebrates after scoring with his teammates during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Osasuna at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, ​​Spain, Sunday, March 13, 2022 (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

PA

Barcelona’s purchasing power has been reduced again, with the club heading into the next transfer window with more than 144 million euros ($157 million) over their limit, the Spanish league announced on Monday. .

Barcelona are the only club in Spain‘s First and Second Divisions with a negative spending limit after the league updated its figures after the winter transfer window. Real Madrid top the list with a cap of 739 million euros ($809 million).

Barcelona’s limit has been gradually reduced over the past few seasons due to their financial difficulties. It was 97 million euros ($106 million) last year. The amount was further reduced this time as the club’s losses were nearly 240 million euros ($262 million) higher than the league had estimated.

The Catalan club will still be able to sign new players if they wish but will be tied to new spending restrictions. His ability to add players will depend on how much the club can save and earn overall.

Each club in the Spanish league has a different salary cap calculated based on a range of factors which include income, costs and debt. It is proportional to around 70% of a club’s income.

Sevilla had the second-highest cap at 200 million euros ($219 million), about 30 million euros ($32 million) more than Atlético Madrid’s limit. The top division club with the smallest limit other than Barcelona was Levante at 32 million euros ($35 million).

Barcelona, ​​who couldn’t keep Lionel Messi in the squad at the end of last season partly because of his spending limit, added four players during the winter transfer window – Ferran Torres, Dani Alves , Adama Traoré and Pierro-Emerick Aubameyang.

Club president Joan Laporta refinanced the club’s debt and sought to cut wages by around 200 million euros ($219 million). Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba were among the players whose wages were cut recently.

Most of the blame for Barcelona’s financial woes has been linked to former president Josep Bartomeu, who resigned in 2020 – denying wrongdoing – amid accusations of irregularities in his administration and a fallout with Messi. The club’s debt reached 1.3 billion euros (nearly $1.4 billion) at one point.

Barcelona have reportedly been close to a new sponsorship and naming rights deal with streaming company Spotify at the end of this season to replace Rakuten, which could help improve the club’s spending limit significantly.

Barcelona were one of the clubs that did not agree to take part in the league’s deal with private equity firm CVC to boost club finances, saying that ultimately it would not be beneficial for the Catalan club.

Barcelona are back in the second tier of European football after nearly two decades among the Champions League top flight.

The team has been playing well recently after a difficult start to the season. He is in the knockout stages of the Europa League and has moved up to third place in the Spanish league after being close to mid-table at the start.

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