Many see Barcelona as the model of how a football club should be run. Bringing players through from the youth ranks and pairing them with international stars brought in to complement their talents. In comparison to teams like Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Chelsea they are held up as the way football should be.
Except it's not quite that clear cut. The Economist*has done a report based on the auditing of Barcelona's accounts by Deloitte. The audit reveals that Barcelona have a financial negative equity which amounts to €71m. The Economist says that due to the Act of Sport in Spain, football clubs are subject to different rules to a normal business and if Barcelona didn't have that*privilege*they would find themselves having to rebalance their assets.
This is a whole lot of jargon but along with other figures it shows the club are a bit of a financial basket case and the perception of them being what all others should aim for is farcical, off the pitch at least.*
The Economist say that although the club only made a loss of €9.3m last year the total club debt is €578.1m, and perhaps even more worryingly, Barcelona are projected to struggle to pay back loans and service debts. They are in an enviable situation where banks almost take pride in lending them money and the €155m loan they took out last year to cover running costs has not yet been repaid.*
Barcelona aren't out on their own in La Liga with this suation, a recent report highlighted the money owed by Spanish clubs to both banks and the*tax man. It led to a Bayern Munich representatative complain that Germany were backing up the Spanish state financially who was backing up La Liga football clubs, making it harder for German teams to triumph in Europe.
He had a point and if UEFA are really serious about Financial Fair Play then surely teams can't be bankrolled by*friendly*banks and the*tax man.*