Spanish giants Barcelona have been forced into seeking a huge €150 million (£125 million) bank loan, in order to pay outstanding wages owed to their players and members of their coaching staff.
The newly-installed president of the Catalan giants, Sandro Rosell, has revealed that the ‘cash-flow tensions’ he has inherited from former chief Joan Laporta mean that the club cannot afford to fulfill many of it’s obligations without a cash-injection from an outside party.
Rosell has already sold Dmitro Chygrynskiy back to his former side Shakhtar Donetsk for €15million in a bid to help alleviate some of the club’s ‘liquidity problems’.
The Ukrainian defender had only featured 14 times for the Blaugrana during his solitary season in Spain, before returning from whence he came for a fraction of the €25 million Barca paid Shakhtar for his services just twelve months ago.
Rosell explained the club’s precarious financial position and his reasoning behind the decision to accept such a large loss on the Chygrynskiy deal in an interview with Spanish daily Sport;
“We found a club in debt, with liquidity problems. At this point we have to take a loan to pay the wages of the players. The squad were supposed to be paid at the end of last month and still haven’t been.
We’ll fix a loan of €150million. The banks know that we have a business plan that will allow them to recover the money.
The club is not bankrupt because it generates income.”
However, the incumbent Barca chief also insisted that the fiscal revelations are not a reason for the club’s hierarchy to start panicking.
“The members shouldn’t be afraid because it is under control. We must resolve this tension.
It can be done in two ways: to have extra income, like selling Chygrynskiy, and/or taking a loan, which is what we have done.
The previous board had already begun this process. We followed the same path – the same banks, the same target but with a different business plan.
[Laporta’s administration] also knew they needed this credit. We hope to sign it this week.”
When quizzed how a club with an annual turnover of nearly €400million could find itself in such a sh*thole, Rosell answered simply;
“It has spent more than it has made.”
Ask a stupid question…
Despite their potentially perilous financial situation, Rosell also insisted that there is money available to coach Pep Guardiola to bring in new players this summer – even after the €40 million signing of striker David Villa from Valencia;
“There will be €50 million to sign more players, this is the case every year and this is our plan for the future.
Technically, as of now we have €50 million plus €15 million for Chygrynskiy and €24 million for [Yaya] Toure.
In total there is €89 million.”
I think someone really ought to have a word about ‘castles made of sand’ in Mr Rosell’s ear.