The European clubs are preparing to kick-start the football season, which was halted by the deadly Coronavirus. The Bundesliga has already started and the likes of La Liga, Italian Serie A, and English Premier League are waiting eagerly to kick the ball. But one thing they would always miss and which is the buzz and love of the fans present in the stadium. Surely there is no fun playing in front of an empty stadium. Neither Bayern Munich nor Borussia Dortmund enjoyed their outing this week.
Barcelona players returned to their training base for medical tests today, ahead of their planned return to individual training ? pic.twitter.com/cj7oSIds9U
— Goal (@goal) May 6, 2020
How badly the Coronavirus has affected the world – it has forced to change many things. Financially many football clubs would face various issues. As for example, one of the biggest clubs in Europe Barcelona might experience the same.
Barcelona are back in training ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/aTTp5ea80v
— Goal (@goal) May 8, 2020
The problem with Barcelona would be the higher salaries of the players. The big wages make the players unattainable for the club and reduce Barca’s ability to cut their costs.
According to Marca, “At 630 million euros a year, player wages make up 63 percent of the club’s 1.047 billion euro budget.
Now, the Catalan club estimate that they will lose around 200 million euros of income because of the coronavirus crisis, meaning player wages now make up 80 percent of the club’s earnings – not 63 percent.
Due to these unsustainable figures, the first team players have taken 70 percent pay cuts during the Spain’s State of Emergency”.
Barcelona might need to sell their players.
This option would leave Barcelona to rethink their plans about the available players.
According to Marca, “Napoli are interested in signing Samuel Umtiti but are being put off by his four million euro yearly wage.
The same goes for players like Philippe Coutinho (more than 10 million euros a year) and Ivan Rakitic (eight million euros a year).
These high wages aren’t just preventing Barcelona from cutting costs, but they’re scuppering deals for new signings.
The likes of Inter and Juventus would be reluctant in taking in players on big money if Barcelona offer them as part of deals for Lautaro Martinez and Miralem Pjanic”.
Now, if the Barcelona think-tank is unable to offload players then the options for new contracts and pay rise of players would not be possible.
#Barcelona are willing to reduce the salary of the club's highest-paid players.
One of the club's main targets in the transfer market this summer is to get rid of some of the highest-paid players.
— Camp Nou Barça (@cnbarca) May 19, 2020
Someone like Marc-Andre ter Stegen wants 18-million Euros a year on his new deal, which is higher than Lionel Messi’s 40-million Euros a year in the current Barcelona squad.
As Barcelona are not as rich as Real Madrid and the available options are limited, the alternative plan might be to play the sacrifice game – sit down with the players and consider financial sacrifices in this COVID-19 crisis. It would be interesting to see how the players respond if the Barca hierarchy approaches in this way.