Audit Reveals Barcelona Was Technically Bankrupt in March

    • An audit of FC Barcelona found that the team was technically bankrupt when club president John Laporta took over in March.
    • The club had debts and obligations totaling $1.56 billion.

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An audit of FC Barcelona’s finances revealed that the historic club was on the brink of financial ruin earlier in the year.

The audit, conducted by Deloitte, determined that the club was technically bankrupt when team president Joan Laporta took over in March, Barcelona CEO Ferrán Reverter said on Wednesday.

  • The club had debts and obligations totaling $1.56 billion when Laporta succeeded Josep Maria Bartomeu in March, Reverter said.
  • The club’s payroll rose 61% from 2016 to 2020 under Bartomeu.
  • The pandemic caused Barca $124.9 million in losses, according to Reverter — only 8% of the financial hole the team was in. The team lost $556.2 million in the 2020-2021 season.

Reverter noted that had the team kept last season’s roster intact, including departed stars Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, the payroll would have been $965.5 million — 108% above recurring revenue.

While the club has had to dial back on its player spending with $179.2 million in payroll cuts this summer, it is looking to invest in renovations in its historic Camp Nou facility. Barca is seeking member approval of up to $1.73 billion for the project.

Barca borrowed $605 million from Goldman Sachs in June to refinance debts. The team now has a net negative equity of $521.5 million.