Jul 23, 2012, 12:25 PM EDT
On the field, Barcelona had their least successful season since Frank Rijkaard coached the team. Off the field, the Catalan super power was raking it in, and in the process, Barca was getting its house in order.
According to club vice-president for economic affairs Javier Faus (told via FourFourTwo), Barcelona made a club record €48.8 million ($59 million) last season, doing it the obvious way: Make more, spend less. The club increased revenue by $26 million (to near $600 million) while reducing costs (to just over $534 million).
Ironically, the club’s profits were boosted by not willing La Liga:
After two consecutive years of financial losses, and three consecutive league titles, Barca were beaten to the top spot in Spain by Real Madrid in May but avoided having to pay out 12 million euros in win bonuses.
“If we had won La Liga the overall surplus would have been 36 million euros and it would still have been the best end-of-year figure in the history of the club,” Faus said.
Other big cost cutters: outsourcing the club’s in-house television instance, loaning out more players, and trimming some deadwood off the playing roster (think Aleksandr Hleb). The big revenue drivers were obvious: Increased ticket sales and moving more apparel.
Where will the money go? Don’t assume into payroll. Like most Spanish clubs, Barcelona has crazy debt, though they’ve reduced it by around 20 percent in the last two years (from €420 million to €335 million). According to Faus, the money’s going there.
That creates a few spin problems for soccer’s financial chicken littles. First, there seems to be some evidence here that soccer’s financial system is neither inherently broken nor inherently corrupt. Second, Barcelona isn’t just blindly scooping up players with whatever money they can find. Surprisingly, they seem to have other considerations.
Payroll, however, is still the clubs’ biggest financial commitment. By far. At close to $361 million, it accounts for over two-thirds of the club’s operating costs.
According to Faus, the wage bill’s unlikely to get any lower:
Cost savings had come from outsourcing of BarcaTV and loaning out players among other things, while rescinding the contracts of unwanted players such as Keirrison, Aleksandr Hleb and Henrique had had a negative impact on the accounts.
Salaries had been slightly reduced to 298 million euros.
“It’s difficult to reduce this figure further, we’re working to maintain stability,” said Faus.
Jun 19, 2013, 2:00 AM EDT
Feel free to ask yourself at this point: where would the United States be in World Cup qualifying without its young, in-form striker:
Jun 18, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
Jozy Altidore was the hero for the United States, cooly slotting a left-footed shot to hand the Stars & Stripes a 1-0 victory over Honduras.
Jun 18, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT
The LA Galaxy coach has taken aging players and made them useful parts of the roster before:
Jun 18, 2013, 7:14 PM EDT
Everyone loves “The Pope”
Jun 18, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Our weekly re-ordering of Major League Soccer teams, following 16 rounds of play:
Jun 18, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT
Some of the best U.S. success in the past has come when the United States was backed into a corner. Tonight looks much different:
Jun 18, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
There are a few choices to be made ahead of Tuesday’s match in Utah:
Jun 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Unsaid in this narrative is this: most U.S. sites are bright and alive these days.
Jun 18, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT
Stuart Pearce has been relieved of his duties as manager of England’s U-21 squad.
Jun 18, 2013, 9:34 AM EDT
Australia join Brazil and Japan as nations that already have booked their place in next summer’s World Cup.
Jun 18, 2013, 7:56 AM EDT
Hearts have put the entire squad up for sale to raise the reported £500,000 needed to get the club to the start of the season.
Jun 18, 2013, 12:10 AM EDT
Brazil has infrastructure concerns. They’ve also spent $3.3 billion on soccer stadia. No surprise, people aren’t happy.
Jun 17, 2013, 10:43 PM EDT
The mythology of Ajax, Dutch soccer and one stars’ struggles outside the Dutch league make this potential transfer difficult to evaluate.
Jun 17, 2013, 8:23 PM EDT
It’s only a matter of time before Ancelotti’s holding pattern’s resolved.
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