Josep Maria Bartomeu, the president of FC Barcelona confirms that the coronavirus outbreak has harmed no team more than Barcelona. However, he states that the debt rates of the group are still stable.
A series of lavish transfers who have not seen an effect on the field and the expansion of ‘Espai Barca’ Camp Nou, to be the main reasons expected for the financial disruptions of the club.
Bartomeu appears to convey a feeling of comfort, even though he had a sound alert regarding Covid-19 ‘s impact on football.
The President Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo about the impact of COVID-19 on FC Barcelona:
“We saw that there was a pandemic worldwide and said that it would be a complex summer with swap deals, and that’s what is happening.
“Since March 14 we have not received a euro. We have missed out on €200 million (£182m/$233m). €200m!
“We have recovered a lot by reducing wages and using ERTE’s. Temporary Employment Regulation File, with the government paying 70 per cent of wages.
“We have had to close the shops and the museum, there have been no ticket sales. We have paid back the ticket money for matches fans couldn’t attend. €200m is a big blow.
“This pandemic will have effects for two or three seasons. Nobody should think that things will be fixed by next season. The great financial gurus talk about four years, but I think football will go faster.” – the Catalan President added.
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Is Barcelona really affected? The President thinks so!
Bartomeu seemed eager to highlight the fact Barca did not stand much beyond impact of the epidemic’ economic slowdown.
“In our Strategic Plan we had planned on earning €1.1 billion and now we will bring in 30 per cent less because of Covid.” – the 57-year old said.
“I say this because if someone thinks that the pandemic does not affect Barca, they are wrong. It affects the big European clubs and Barca is the European club that makes the most money and is the most affected.”
However, Bartomeu was dismissive when questioned regarding team accounts being in weak financial condition.
“It’s not true. We had a higher level of income than the other big clubs but on March 14, everything stopped and we had to adapt to the new situation.” – he said.
“And despite the losses, we will continue to be the leader in revenue. The club’s debt level is not very high.
“When the audit ends in mid-August, the economic vice president Jordi Moix will explain it and we will see that we are at normal debt levels.” – Bartomeu concluded.
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