Barcelona is more than just a club. It’s a family and a community of people who love the beautiful game.
Recently, the best club in the world has been going through turmoil. Results on the pitch have not been encouraging and the management of the club have been preposterous prior to now. Let me give you a brief recap on what has been happening to the “best club” in the world.
In 2014, Josep Mario Bartomeu was elected president of Barcelona following the resignation of Sandro Rosell. Things started out good and the club won a champions league in 2015, the last we have won ever since.
The administration of Josep Mario Bartomeu was plagued with unreasonable expenditures in signing players and a very high wage bill. Barcelona acquired a total of 34 players under Bartomeu’s administration from 2014-2020 for a total fee of 1.082 billion euros and sold a few as well. The most expensive signings in the entire club history were acquired including high profile players such as Coutinho (145 million euros), Dembele ( 130 million euros), Griezman ( 120 million euros) amongst other ridiculous expenditures.
These players were placed on extravagant wages which were not sustainable not forgetting to mention Messi. It was speculated that he earned almost 1 million euros weekly in Barcelona. The highest-paid player in the world.
The club drifted from its founding philosophies of promoting talents from its youth team “La Masia” and started the “galactico” strategy of buying the world best talents.
The high profile signings did not deliver as expected. Their performance was underwhelming and pressure started mounting on the management from the fans in regards to the path, the club has taken.
Sequel to the pandemic, the going was good as Messi was covering the gaps but there were a series of disappointments. No one anticipated the pandemic and this had a huge impact on the club finances. The wage bill was no longer sustainable and when the club released its financials afterwards it was made public that the club has been plunged into debt in excess of 1 billion euros.
These developments mounted pressure on the board as they were accused of mismanagement and poor decision making. This forced the board to resign.
After the resignation, an election was conducted in 2021 and Juan Laporta was elected president. His major mandate is to reduce the club wage bill and do away with the “dead woods”.
As a result of the club’s poor financial state, they lost some key players such as Messi, Suarez, Antoine Griezman, Emerson Royal, Pjanic amongst others. The club could no longer afford to fund this huge wage bill as a result of a lack of finances and the new salary restrictions imposed by La Liga.
La Liga is the football federation that governs the Spanish league which Barcelona is a part of)
Results did not improve but the finances were set on a proper path which will yield results in a couple of years. President Laporta’s administration stuck with the previous coach Ronald Koeman (a club legend) and the cost of sacking him was about 12 million euros. Results got worse, 9th in Laliga and we were risk of getting eliminated from the Champions League group state.
These developments became devastating and the club was forced to sack Ronald Koeman.
Another club legend Xavi Hernandez was recently hired as the new manager. He’s yet to resume his role but expectations are very high as he is seen as a tactical genius. His previous record from the club he managed “speaks volumes”.
This is the club I have always supported (boyhood club) and we all cannot wait for things to improve so we can take our place once again among the European elites.