FC Barcelona are a complete mess right now, although you probably know that already, right?Barça’s economic problems have been a fixture of news and sport headlines for 18 months now and there have been a ludicrous amount of twists in the tale.If you have been struggling to keep up, we don’t blame you. Luckily, 90min is here to help. Below, we have compiled a timeline detailing all the major off-field events that have transpired at Camp Nou in recent times.Barcelona’s financial problems are self inflicted. Over the past few years they have dropped some ludicrous transfer fees and handed out big contracts with little consideration for the consequences.There are too many missteps to mention but spending well over £100m on professional Fortnite player Ousmane Dembele and splashing out a similar fee on perennial underachiever Philippe Coutinho were particularly ill-judged moves.However, the real key factor in creating the crisis has been Barcelona’s laissez faire attitude to player wages. As well as the deals those aforementioned signings penned, the eye-watering contracts they offered to Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi and even some fringe players have been crippling.Although Barcelona were horrifically run prior to March 2020, the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic brought their issues to a head.Not only did it take away their gate receipts it also brought the city’s football tourism industry to a screeching halt.
In the immediate aftermath of the pandemic the playing staff were quick to agree a temporary 70% wage cut. They even promised to forego more of their earnings if necessary.After a harmonious start, the relationship between the board and the players broke down over the summer.
With Europe emerging from the first wave of the pandemic and La Liga starting up again, the initial wage reduction agreement expired. Then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu tried pushing through another wage cut – but that was firmly rejected by the players.
This kick-started a summer of the board trying to negotiate salary reductions and failing miserably for the most part