The interchangeable theater around Robert Lewandowski is not only causing more and more unrest at FC Bayern and FC Barcelona. In the meantime, this has even spread to the national team of Germany’s World Cup opponents Spain.
The semi-officially announced salary cuts, with which the heavily indebted FC Barcelona wants to create the conditions for Robert Lewandowski to sign up, were met with great rejection by the Barça professionals, according to Spanish media reports, after national goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen & Co. in the wake of the pandemic had already made financial concessions.
Sergi Busquets is a quiet person who prefers soft tones. But the anger was written on the 33-year-old’s face when he was asked about the impending cut before Spain’s 1-0 victory in the Nations League duel against Switzerland.
“It would be better if the club informed me and I didn’t have to find out about it through the media,” said the Catalans captain in Geneva. An ideal preparation for an international match and a World Cup looks different.
FC Bayern: Will 35 to 40 million euros flow for Robert Lewandowski?
Many are wondering: How can a financially devastated club with horrendous debts of 1.35 billion euros even consider bringing in expensive stars like Lewandowski?
Not only because of the transfer fee of at least 30 to 40 million euros, but also because of the salary. And even if the soon-to-be 34-year-old Pole might be ready to make concessions because, as ex-agent Cezary Kucharski told radio station RAC1, he “would like to live in Spain and in a very good city” and “want to help a special club ” – he certainly won’t come for peanuts.
The observer’s skepticism grows when he reads and hears that other top footballers are being talked about at FC Barcelona in addition to Lewandowski, such as the Portuguese Rafael Leao and Bernardo Silva, the Spaniard Carlos Soler or the Senegalese Kolidou Koulibaly.
FC Barcelona’s secret sources of money?
President Joan Laporta’s leadership, meanwhile, is convinced that there are some financial sources to tap into and that at the Camp Nou there is also a lot of baggage that has been accumulated in the past by other leaders and can now be jettisoned and have to. Key word salary cuts.
The specialist newspaper “Sport” wrote in an editorial that there are many players at Barça who have “disproportionately high contracts” that are “disproportionate to their performance”.
Vice President Eduard Romeu, who is responsible for finances, gave an insight into the complicated situation in an interview with “Sport”. “We’re trying to revive a dead man.” The aim is to reduce salaries by around 160 million euros. From the current 560 to around 400 million annually. That is about the level of the competition. “Real Madrid, to give an example, is around 400 million.”
According to Romeu, they currently spend “twice as much as Bayern Munich” on salaries – aftermath of the rampant euphoria of the successful and expensive Lionel Messi era.
Early contract terminations are not excluded
The reduction in salaries is to be achieved through cuts and player taxes. But there is a problem: How do you get rid of professionals who have hardly been considered by coach Xavi recently, but who earn disproportionately much and whose contracts do not expire in the summer?
According to “Sport”, this list includes the French Samuel Umtiti and Clément Lenglet, the Dane Martin Braithwaite, the Brazilian goalkeeper Neto and the Spaniards Oscar Mingueza and Riqui Puig. Romeu said they would not shy away from premature contract terminations.
There is more optimism about other players that Xavi doesn’t necessarily insist on for next season. The transfer of Dutchman Frenkie de Jong, in which Manchester United is said to be interested, is expected to bring around 100 million euros into the coffers.
They want to collect at least 30 million for Memphis Depay and 20 million for Sergiño Dest. According to the media, a departure from ter Stegen, whose contract runs until 2025, is not excluded. The future of former BVB striker Ousmane Démbélé, whose contract expires on June 30, is completely open.
Two financial jumps for FC Barcelona
In order to restructure the finances and still carry out the offensive through which one wants to return to the top of Europe, Barcelona is also relying on two cash injections, which are to be voted on at an extraordinary general meeting on June 16th.
It is about the sale of a 49.9 percent stake in “Barca Licensing and Merchandising” (BLM), which should bring in 200 million euros. And the assignment of 25 percent of the TV rights, which should be worth around 540 million euros.
Laporta banged the drum this week: “Barça was dead. Now we are in intensive care. If these measures are approved, we will be discharged from the hospital.”
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