In the last month, Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann stated what every person who didn’t own the old Seydou Keita shirt was thinking: “The only club that doesn’t have money but buys all the players it wants. I don’t know. how. She’s a little crazy.”
This came following Barcelona bought Robert Lewandowski, 33, who scored 35 goals for Nagelsmann in the Bundesliga this season, and was sold for $49.5 million. Rafinha was already in Leeds at $63.8 million. He appeared “crazy” then… and then they paid another $55m for Sevilla defenseman Jules Kunde. Also, they signed free agent Andreas Christensen from Chelsea and Franck Kessie from AC Milan, as well as dropped Sergi Roberto as well as Ousmane Dembele when their respective contracts ended at the end of June. Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso is expected to be signed soon, and the club is believed to be still in pursuit of Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva. This one is an impossible dream, however, as did everything else up until it happened.
The why of this whole affair is a club that is more than a billion dollars in debt and described as “clinically dead” by chairman Joan Laporta last season suddenly was able to spend more on transfer fees than any other club anywhere else in the world. It was the subject of discussion by many of our writers this summer. In a nutshell, the word the chairman is fed up with levers. They sold a quarter of the future revenue from national broadcasting and one-quarter of their production company, which is in-house, to get a cash injection of nearly 600 million dollars. There are more levers to be pulled as well, including news earlier on Friday morning, 30 hours prior to the season opener, a match at home with Rayo Vallecano, that the club was selling more tickets to sign their new signings.
Instead, I’d like to look at another question: why? Why is this once-famous team selling off its prospects for the sake of an uncertain future? Is this really so naive as it appears?
Laporta can make you believe that they were required to do this because there was no alternative but to completely overhaul the team. They have hundreds of millions in loans that were earmarked to fund a massive transfer. However, this isn’t the case.
Barcelona was more impressive than you thought
Concentrate on one game or a season and the outcome will drive you insane. What happens in a game is not a direct correlation to which is the superior team. The favorites are less likely to win on the field of European soccer than any other major American sports. Luck is a major factor in a sport that has so many shots and fewer goals. Numerous studies have shown that the results reveal little more than what is obvious: who was the winner, loser, or tied? In contrast, other indicators (goal difference and shot difference, as well as predicted goal differences) offer more predictive effectiveness than point totals.
If you’re trying to get outcomes, you’re also chasing the past. Something that occurred, however, doesn’t tell you much about what’s about to occur.
– LIVE broadcast: Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano, Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, ESPN+
The results of Barcelona’s last season were not the best However, they weren’t bad also. They were second in LaLiga 13 points ahead of Real Madrid. This is a huge gap for some. It is also the 11th best scoring rate of points per game in Europe in the last season, putting them behind only Madrid The premier league’s top three, the top three teams in Serie A as well as one of the top Bundesliga teams, and Paris Saint-Germain. In essence, this is still an elite squad in Europe.
In the continental competition, the result was even worse. Barcelona was third in a fairly straightforward Champions League group, behind Bayern Munich and Benfica. After losing to the Europa League, a tournament they were hoping to be a winner of, they defeated Napoli as well as Galatasaray but lost to the eventual Champions Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals.
The second game of the Frankfurt match which ended in a loss of 3-2 at home with over 20,000 fans able to take over the Camp Nou, was perhaps the lowest point of the year. After the game, Xavi came as close as he could to using the match’s bizarre ticket distribution as a reason for his team’s loss.
“The atmosphere didn’t help at all, that’s clear,” He stated, “but that shouldn’t serve as an excuse. We should also be congratulating Frankfurt. They played better during the game. This was like playing a finale, even with the stadium split.” “It is disappointing. Our players were a bit disappointed. The players want to know what went wrong. We’ll search for an explanation. This isn’t something you can do in a home environment. This is not helping this, and it is obvious. It’s a mistake made in the planning and calculation. The club will figure out what went wrong”.
Despite finishing a distant second in LaLiga and the “enemy invasion” of Europe, Barcelona fared much better than the statistics suggested at home as well as abroad. In LaLiga According to Stats Performs, the overall xG difference in the absence of penalty is plus-24.96 nearly equal to Real Madrid’s top league score of plus-26.76. While there was a 13-point difference in the final stretch in the league, it really was no significant distinction in performance between these two clubs:
In the Champions League, Barca couldn’t purchase the goal. He scored just two goals during six games, even though he scored 6.26 anticipated goals. This was a lousy scoring streak. Play these six games over so that you’re more likely goals than two.
Alongside those causes that led to positive growth, we also had also the issue of an entirely new coach. In the case of Ronald Koeman in LaLiga last season, Barcelona’s xG ratio without penalty was plus-0.56. When Xavi became manager in early November and they did not cross the ball as often and that number increased to plus-0.74 which is the highest score for the league over an entire season. The second El Clasico of the season which was a 4-0 win against the Bernabeu in the middle of March served as evidence of this:
Despite what seemed to be huge financial pressures for the coming summer, it appeared that this Barcelona group at the close of the season was competent enough to compete with Madrid on top in LaLiga. They may even improve also: Based on the number of minutes played they were the third youngest team to play in the tournament last year. Additionally, barring another round of disappointing disappointing performances, they’re likely to make it back to the knockout stage in the Champions League as well. If you’re there for a while you’re there, anything can happen.
Instead of traveling with the same group as they did last year they pulled the triggers and sold a portion of the future. To what purpose? Despite all the newcomers to Catalunya The betting markets continue to have Madrid as the least favorite in LaLiga. In their chances of winning the Champions League, their odds are higher than that of Manchester City, Liverpool, and PSG, and are in the middle of Bayern Munich and Madrid. The bookmakers offer them a 7 percent chance of winning the entire tournament.
Why did they do this?
I’ve talked to several people who work are employed by and own European clubs during these years in this article but none of them were in a position to provide an acceptable argument for the things that Barcelona has been doing. There’s an underlying reason “the person sacrifices part of his future for short-term gain, but loses in the end” is a narrative that humans tell each other for ages. The Characters — Spotify! Economic levers! Socios.com! It could be a brand new site however the pattern isn’t. This kind of decision-making is not very effective.
It’s important to be clear that it is possible to work in the short term. Barcelona might be able to win LaLiga during the season. Additionally, have a chance of winning their bid for the Champions League, both of which are likely to be the case the following season. The flags will fly forever and the aim of this all is, ultimately, is to beat as many football games as you can, and not necessarily to have the most overall balance.
It’s important to understand that Barcelona really could have won awards without the need to sell future revenue. With a legendary club manager, and a bunch of talented youngsters rising up the ranks, wouldn’t Barcelona have made money from supporters through an attempt to rebuild the local scene? Tell fans that the club had lost its way with a decade of wasteful and misguided buyouts that made no competitive difference, that it was time to return to its collectivist, greater-than-sum-of-its-parts roots. There’s even an old quote by Johan Cruyff they could have employed: “Why couldn’t you beat a richer club? I’ve never seen a bag of money score a goal.”
You might win something today however, if you don’t you’re not at risk of being thrown out of the Champions League yet, so you’ll return stronger financially within a couple of years, and perhaps you’ll be able to develop some of your potentials through playing high-level football at the move.
Perhaps, however, how the organization of the club has no room for this type of thinking. One source in Europe told me the idea of thinking about the member-owned Barcelona as a “football club” was the incorrect way to think about all this. “Mes Que Un Club” may be the case however in a different manner: Barcelona is functioning more as a state.
Joan Laporta was elected president of the club in March of last year. She is scheduled to run for re-election in 2027. If it so chooses, a genuine state (such as that of one like the United States) can try spending its money in order to alleviate the immediate. Problems with finances are solved due to the ease of borrowing money, and it is possible to print currency. Although austerity is not always able to achieve its economic goal however, it’s even more unlikely to attain the desired political effect. People who advocate austerity don’t have the chance to be reelected.
It could be the case for Laporta. In order to register all the new players and to fit the current roster with LaLiga’s salary cap regulations, Barcelona now has to sell contracts to a number of players. This could eliminate the salary of players and also generate transfer earnings.
One of the players, Martin Braithwaite, was cheered on by fans during the Joan Gamper Trophy match in Camp Nou last weekend. Another player, Samuel Umtiti, reportedly did not participate in the match to avoid receiving a similar reaction. The moment Frenkie de Jong who’s contract was changed to make him pay more towards the end of the agreement was at training on the other day, he was met by supporters who yelled at him to take lower salaries. What a response from fans that, despite us offering you the contracts that you signed, it is your responsibility to quit our club or pay less to allow us to replace you with the players that we signed!
In addition, all those “economic levers” had to be approved by the vote-taking participants in Barcelona at the end of June. In relation to the sale of future streaming revenues, only 62 of 569 votes were in favor. Laporta may have been able to push for a different. It’s possible However, he couldn’t push things in the direction of current without the consent of the members base.
While Laporta hasn’t alluded to in a subtle way the much-maligned European Super League is still present in his thoughts. “We are in the Super League, we are moving forward with the Super League,” Laporta stated in April. “That goes ahead.”
While Laporta has said that it’s “a way to save European football” from “states that do not belong to the European Union” but in reality, a solution for the United States to help save Barcelona. Clubs that were members were offered the promise of a “welcome bonus” in the amount of $300 million, in addition to massive annual income from an event that could sever 20 of the most well-known clubs. If the proposal was renewed and implemented this time, it will likely solve a lot of Barcelona’s problems.
If not, is Laporta really taking any interest? He’s not making any money. If Barcelona is successful in the near term and it is successful, it can claim that it was worth it. It’s a new revival in something once considered to be dead. If not, he’ll not be able to win another term. What about the future financial issues? They’ll be the responsibility of someone else.