Home Sports News football How FC Barcelona makes up its accounts with player exchanges

How FC Barcelona makes up its accounts with player exchanges

The Arthur-Pjanic operation surprised people. But if we look at it more closely, it quickly takes on meaning, at least if we place it from the point of view of the Catalan management …

FC Barcelona needed money. Lots of money. To avoid ending this financial year in the red, the Catalans had to enter a sum of around 70 million euros in their accounts. And necessarily, with the coronavirus crisis, difficult to separate from unwanted players, for whom it does not jostle frankly at the gate. If Josep Maria Bartomeu wanted in particular to separate from Jean-Clair Todibo, Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic to obtain this much desired – and especially necessary – check the Catalan staff had to find other solutions. Hence this exchange between Arthur and Miralem Pjanic. In sport, it seems difficult to justify in any case. Certainly, Arthur Melo has not been at the expected level this season, but the Brazilian has proven to have this famous “DNA Barça”, so important for the midfielders joining the team. At the same time, Miralem Pjanic has been clearly losing momentum in Turin in recent months.

But above all, the departure of a 23-year-old player for the arrival of a player who is entering his thirties is particularly frowned upon, at a time when the team has more and more thirties and seems to need blood new. Anyway, this exchange never really had any sporting motives, since it was, above all, used to rebalance the accounts. The sale of Arthur to Juventus – for 82 million euros including bonus – allows the Liga team to balance their budget and end the financial year in the green. The purchase of Miralem Pjanic for 70 million euros will be made from July 1, and will therefore count for the period 2020/2021. A small farewell gift for the next management, who will take control of the club in the summer of 2021, since in the end, the problem is only postponed for a year. Especially since the salary of the Bosnian will be much higher than that of the Brazilian. By then, the Catalans can however hope to sell more players or count on different bonuses linked to their sports results.

Barça is not at its first attempt

In any case, such an operation is not considered illegal, neither from the point of view of UEFA’s financial fair play nor that of La Liga’s financial control. Companies, here football clubs, have complete freedom to set the value they want for their merchandise, in this case the players. Which may also seem a little paradoxical, since UEFA is very careful about overvalued sponsorship contracts. On the other hand, it raises many ethical questions, even more in the Barcelona context, a club where socios are supposed to have a power to say the least. One can also wonder how the club with the largest turnover (1.047 billion euros) on the planet finds itself in panic, having to use such methods, to maintain a semblance of correct financial results.

Thanks to this operation, Josep Maria Bartomeu will be able, during the next extraordinary meeting in front of the socios, to present profitable accounts, or at least, not in deficit. A practice that we had already seen last year, with Valencia as an accomplice this time. Jasper Cillessen had gone to Valence for 35 million euros at the end of June, while Neto had done the opposite. Also quite curious operations have taken place in recent months, like this exchange between Alejandro Marqués, sold to Juventus for 8.2M €, while Barça recovered Matheus Pereira in exchange for 200,000 € in the form of a loan . The Catalans, however, have the obligation to buy the Brazilian for 8 million euros in the coming days … Suffice to say that on the Catalan coast, this new maneuver is much talked about. “This exchange reveals the reality: the state of the club is very worrying. A precarious economic situation and a mess at the level of the sports project. The interests of those who govern the institution are put before those of the club. There is no sports project », notably launched Victor Font, candidate for the club’s next presidential elections. Clearly, after the affair of propaganda and insulting messages on social networks, the management of Josep Maria Bartomeu has made their own …

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