Barca is the world’s top sports brand, “Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of Barcelona, proudly told a group of distinguished Catalan politicians and businessmen on 12 February. “We had tough moments. But this year our sales will go beyond the 1 billion euro level. Anybody has done a great job.

Six weeks later, on March 26, the world’s richest sporting institution humbly applied for the use of a Spanish government scheme to enforce emergency pay-cuts and lay-offs, after all, sporting and business activities ceased because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Barcelona was reportedly struggling with its players’ high salaries during the pandemic COVID-19. Currently, the players’ wages represent 63 percent of the club’s €1,047 billion (£935 m) budget, costing Catalan giants €630 m (£563 m) per year.

fcbarcelona.com

According to Marca, however, the Spanish champions are projected to lose about € 200 m ( £ 178.7 m) due to the coronavirus crisis, which means that salaries would now represent a higher percentage of the club ‘s profits. Barca will now have to slash expenses further within their squad, with the first-team players already agreeing to a 70 percent drop in their salaries.

Offloading players will also be a challenge for this summer’s Catalan club, with other teams unable to afford the players’ high wages, including Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho, and Ivan Rakitic.

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