Barcelona Are The Cut-Price Jokers Of European Football

Ollie Irish

23rd, August 2010

39 Comments

By an anonymous Arsenal fan who would quite like to revisit Barcelona one day

THERE was a time when if you asked any sane British footy fan who their favourite other European team was, they would smile and wistfully say Barcelona. Not any more.

As we all know, Barca is a club steeped in the best traditions of football, which has in the past boasted some of the most amazing players to have graced the game. Now it has another wonderful team one of the best ever in European club history with the undisputed best player in the world, Lionel Messi, in its ranks.

Yet the club now seems to be on the verge of becoming the Benny Hill of European football an annoying and unfunny joke.

This is down to two factors. One is money, the other is the comedy way in which the club is being run at the moment.

First the money. Barca have spunked a lot of cash in the last few seasons on players. It worked they won the Champions League and were it not for a dogged Inter team, would have almost certainly repeated the feat last May. However, it now appears that the club is broke. The Guardian ran a story which claimed that the club is actually in pretty serious financial difficulty:

“Digger has received financial analysis prepared by Professor José María Gay, the head of the University of Barcelona’s economics and business unit and Spain’s foremost authority on football finance. In the document Gay presents Barcelona’s troubled 2009-10 balance sheet, which he describes as ‘very worrying’. Wage costs have risen 55% from their 2008 level to €262m (£220m). By contrast the club’s stated revenues have risen 33% over the same period, meaning wages now account for almost 64% of income.”

If anything the situation has got worse .

Of course Barca could go cap in hand to the banks and ask for more cash. Well, er, no. If you thought the UK economy

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39 Comments

  1. Ollie says:

    Barcelona are an amazing club, but this hits the mark – they have been taking the piss of late.

  2. spectator says:

    i respect their football, but i’ll still enjoy watching them fall off their moral high-horse as they get more desperate.

    sorry unicef.

  3. wengerball says:

    As an arsenal fan I must declare my obvious bias. I have in the past greatly admired Barça, but this article is spot on.

    If you don’t have money don’t go embarrassing yourself shopping at Harrods, save some money come back when you can afford to shop.

    The paragraph before the last is priceless, I always thought Arsenal should have put in an offer for Messi.

  4. lumsh says:

    100% with you on this one. My love for the club has been diminishing over the past 2 years. The thing that really irks me is that unlike Man United and Liverpool where the debt was brought on by the owners, and Arsenal where it is a result of a new stadium, teams like Barcelona are in shit loads of debt because of their spending. Everyone was looking at the English clubs when UEFA announced the new rules for the Champions League that will be implemented, when in truth, Barcelona, Real Madrid and a lot of the Spanish and Italian clubs as well, are the ones who should be worried the most. I think Blackpool should offer Marlon Harewood, a bag of oranges and £2.5 million to Barca for Zlantan…..lets see how they like that!!

  5. Delboy Dublin says:

    Tee-hee…. Jose Maria Gay…

  6. PhilandoTorres says:

    Barca have tended to have a few peaks and troughs over the years, as opposed to the relentless plateau Real have maintained for as far back as I can remember.

    I remember watching a great doc on BBC Four a few years back, filmed when Laporta’s presidency was in its infancy. The club were in dire straits, both financially and on the pitch. Laporta broke the bank to secure Ronaldinho’s services and went from strength to strength.

    I’m not sure if the new head honcho would be able to pull something similar off. After all, the team is in tremendous shape. Mainly due to the fact that almost the entire first eleven were also almost the entire first eleven of the current world champions.

    Given the way the club is owned, they can’t be reliant on a rich Arab benefactor to save them.

  7. Jamie says:

    I find Barcelona annoying too, but not for the reasons detailed above; this article just reeks of the sour grapes of a bitter Gooner who can’t stand that Fabbers is, sooner or later, going to do one. I find Barca, and aslo Spain annoying because of their holier-than-thou fucking tica-taca purest form of football Wengeresque arrogance. I actually find their comedy bidding routine their only redeeming feature.

  8. Marc says:

    This article is so full of shit not to mention the many uncorrect facts. They’re not bankrupt, they don’t chase every damn player that the Brittish newspapers reports on. What is your problem? Your envy is so obvious that is becoming laughable.

    Visce el Barca!

  9. Marc says:

    English football sucks. We all saw the proof in South Africa. :P

  10. kenzel says:

    totally disagree, with ur last coment marc, english football has been the dominant force in europe over the last 8 or so years , the english national team may hav been a laughing stock this year but english football is stil the miost competetive league in the world. nuff said.

  11. Kxevin says:

    The dilemma is really a simple one: You folks overvalue your Premiership players. To us, Fabregas and Mascherano are squad players. They’re good enough to start for Arsenal and Liverpool, but for us they are injury replacements or platoon players. So the offered price reflects that player’s value to our club.

    Simple as that. I understand the vexing reality of that situation. Arsenal’s captain is our bench player. But that’s life. If a club deems our offer unacceptable, they cam reject it. But surely people don’t expect us to overpay for squad players. Think about if Sevilla had priced Squillaci at, say, 30m. It would have been Arsenal’s right to reject that fee as ovelued. That’s how it goes.

    But the astronomically high dudgeon about our valuation of squad players is pretty funny.

  12. Lloyd says:

    and its also the most heavily in debt kenzel…

  13. kenzel says:

    indeed it is but still amazeing football. the things that is the most disturbing is the way the transfer market is going its like football manger were has this inflation of prices for over rated or unheard of players come from.

  14. Nuno says:

    Totally agree with the article. Barça are relying upon the idea that “everybody wants to play for them”. Yes, they have the best football. Yes, they are almost unbeatable. Yes, they have the spine of the Spain World Champion Team.

    But that doesn’t mean the clubs should bow down to them! They now have such a ‘superiority’ complex that has become annoying. I believe everybody saw how they turned on the sprinklers on CL semi-final last year on Inter after the game ended, and that’s one of the worst reactions I’ve saw to a defeat: the club itself took part in it, it wasn’t just the crowd as it usually is.

    Just have to agree with everything in this article…

    Fabregas just tops it all. Anywhere else, if you want a player you pay for him. But that doesn’t work for them. You paid 35 M€ + Eto’o for Ibra and don’t want do go up 40 M€ for Cesc?

  15. blitzen says:

    Don’t know what you’re on about, “spent the summer chasing players they can’t afford?” The only formal bid Barca made this summer (after the Villa and Adriano deals) was for Fabregas and we all know that didn’t work out. You have obviously been deluded by the tabloids’ increasingly desperate attempts to link Barcelona with various players. Guardiola has made it very clear that he is happy with the players he has and anything else would be a luxury. Anyone who watched the Supercup game on Saturday could see that.

  16. Nuno says:

    To Kxevin:
    Then if he’s ‘overvalued for a squad player’ you make a bid, get rejected and move on. You don’t go around saying ‘he’s one of us, give him back to us’ and put him a barça shirt in a Spain celebration event. Now go and tell him ‘come back to us so you can sit on the bench all time and watch Xavi and Iniesta play’. Well, maybe you did and that’s why he stayed at Arsenal.

    And fow who says English Fooball sucks, for me I prefer to watch 4 to 5 teams battle for 1st place and lose a few games between them than to see 2 teams finish at about 100 points and the 3rd 30 points behind. Spain indeed may have 2 of the best clubs in Europe but the rest os the championship is just a joke…

  17. Miguel says:

    Barca’s players, the best in the world, come from it’s youth system. Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Puyol, Pique, Busquets…Cesce, Arteta (playing for england next?), Reina, etc, etc. English football has no youth system and will see it’s over paid “stars” crash at every major tournament there is. And yes, listen to Blitzen and watch football the way is supposed to be played. Barca’s destruction of Sevilla makes people love the sport…unlike butt-holes like John Terry and co.

  18. Kxevin says:

    We did move on. Don’t trust any made-up nonsense from newspapers, who have had Puyol and Xavi spouting nonsense, and Messi about to form an Oasis tribute band (my favorite). The shirt thing was a joke, meant to poke fun at the incessant rumors. Everybody saw it that way except for Arsenal supporters and Arsene Wenger.

    Nobody knows why Fabregas stayed. I would guess that in part, the World Cup opened his eyes. And Arsenal refused to talk about the transfer, which effectively closed the situation. We made two bids, they said no, and that was that. Which is fine by us. Anybody who’s wondering why should watch the highlights from Saturday’s match.

    And the longer Fabregas stays, the more development time we get for Dos Santos and Thiago, who will be promoted to the first team this season, along with two other players. I rather like that, and would much prefer to let Dos Santos develop rather than buy Fabregas.

    I don’t know anyone who is saying that the Premiership sucks. Now, there were no English teams in the Champions League semis last season. Read into that what you may. But with scorelines of 6-0, 6-0 and 5-0 running about, it seems that the “Prem is egalitarian,” “La Liga is lopsided” claims might need to be reconsidered. Whether it’s us beating Hercules 5-0 or Chelsea beating Wigan 6-0, it’s still a thrashing.

  19. dc says:

    Kxevin, J Dos Santos being in the barça first team is a long way off. while i dont think this year was the year for us to to bring in cesc, i dont see xavi being able to keep up at the pace hes going, as old as he’s getting. sure scholes is having a renaissance in a similar position at 35, but he’s also been injured and off the pace a lot over the last 5 years. cesc will (and should) play a lot for barça next year. iniesta is ALWAYS injured. cesc is the natural eventual replacement for xavi, and while im hoping we can get a nice deal for him from arsenal, the sooner he arrives, the better for barcelona.

    also, ollie, dont believe everything you read in the english media.

  20. michael says:

    This article couldn’t be more correct

  21. Josh says:

    Sounds like a bitter English fan to me. Like the great Alexi Lallas during the last WC- “English are full of superstars!!!…But they just aren’t good enough”.

  22. Fellani's Fro says:

    I heard Barca is considering bids for both Mido and Jason Scotland

  23. lol says:

    messi isnt even the best barca player (villa and iniesta) or argentine (carlos tevez)

  24. Free Cesc says:

    £50million for Cesc??? Are you people out of your mind??? LOL

    If anyone was a joke in this Cesc transfer saga then that’s Wenger and English classless media.

  25. Stephane Gerard says:

    There is quite a bit of truth in the drivel above but mixed in with british snarkiness and a touch of bile, it makes it unreadable.
    Sour grapes and wishful thinking dont make a good combination but they make for great fiction.

  26. The Truth says:

    Agree with Nuno / this article.

    And LMAO @ Fellani’s Fro’s comment!

  27. The Truth says:

    Free Cesc,
    You’re joking, right? Xavi, overrated Busquets, Puyol, and a few other previously respectable players had no business opening their mouths about the situation. All the excrement that spewed from their lips showed the superiority complex that went to their heads.
    Fabregas himself was immature in all of this. As the Gooner skipper, he not only set a terrible example to his club’s youth that look up to him, but embarrassed his fans, team mates, and coach in the process. Any manager with cojones would sit him on the bench until Barca finally raked up the money to snap him up.

  28. Ashley says:

    I think the interesting part of the article is how Barca, once very popular in England, are increasingly becoming very unpopular. Not that I guess that their fans care though.

    I would like to hear Barca fans talk more about the club’s finances though. The Guardian isn’t a paper known for making things up and the club is obviously going to make a massive loss this year. Is this something you are worried about? The same thing happenned to Man United two years ago and they have gone backwards ever since.

  29. Marc says:

    @The Truth

    Who are you to say Xavi, not overrated Busquets and Puyol are not free to say whatever the hell they want? 99% what Brittish media claimed, with faked interviews for example, those players said is totally faulse. You’re such a grateful victims for those tabloids, because they can make you believe in everything.

    I just laugh at you!

  30. Marc says:

    @Ashley

    I suggest you read this article and you’ll find out the status about Barcelona’s economy. You will find out how exaggerated the financial situation is. Enjoy your readin. As the final words say:
    So are Barcelona going bankrupt? No way, José. :)

    http://swissramble.blogspot.com/2010/08/whats-happening-with-barcelonas.html

  31. Ashley says:

    @Marc – that’s an excellent read but it says to me that Barca are in the same boat as United – there’s definite finacial issues that need to be addressed, even though there is still some money in the transfer kitty. It’ll be fascinating to see where the club’s finances are this time next year.

  32. SPARKYG says:

    BARCA- pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass YAWN YAWN YAWN

    FABREGAS-OVERATED

    CHAMPIONS LEAGUE- DOMINATED BY ENGLISH TEAMS IN LATTER STAGES FOR 6 YEARS…..HMMM WHERE HAVE ANY OTHER SPANISH CLUB OTHER THAN BARCA BEEN IN THIS TIME??? I SURE KNOW WHERE MADRID HAVE BEEN!! THE 2ND ROUND KNOCKED OUT BY THE LIKES OF MONACO AND ROMA WHO WERE DEMOLISHED 7-1 THE SAME YEAR BY MAN UTD …..THAT SURELY SPEAKS 4 ITSELF

    EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL- OK WOOHOO YOUR BEST OF THE REST TEAM SEVILLA V FULHAM…THAT SHOULD SAY SOMETHING YOUR BEST OF THE REST TEAM V LETS BE HONEST A REGULAR RELEGATION BATTLE TEAM…AND THEY ONLYJUST NICKED IT!! LMAO

    BARCA FANS ENJOY IT, BASK IN THE GLORY , FOR IT WILL NOT LAST WHILST U HAVE A SECOND RATE LEAGUE WITH NO ONE 2 COMPETE AGAINST OTHER THAN MADRID.

    PREMIER LEAGUE DOUBTERS – YES CHELSEA BEATING WIGAN 6 NIL IS A DRUBBING (OBVIOUSLY I MEAN R U F’ING SERIOUSLY DOUBTING THAT, WIGAN R SHITE, WHATS THEIR MANAGERS NAME AGAIN?) HEHE
    HOWEVER U FAILED 2 MENTION NEWCASTLE (WHO JUST GOT PROMOTED)VS ASTON VILLA (EUROPEAN PLACE REGULARS PUSHING 4 CHAMPS LEAGUE) DO YOU KNOW THE SCORE IN THAT 1? WEL U LIKE SIX NILS SO WE WIL STICK WITH THAT…TO NEWCASTLE!!! THERE IS KNOW WAY PEDRO THAT 1 OF YOUR ADELANTE TEAMS COULD DO THAT 2 VALENCIA OR SEVILLA…WHY?? BECAUSE YOUR LEAGUE IS NOT COMPETITIVE AND IS PREDICTABLE!

    VIVA PREDICTABLE 2 TEAM LA LIGA!!
    LONG LIVE THE EVER MORE COMPETITIVE GLORIOUS PREMIER LEAGUE!!

  33. SPARKYG says:

    SORRY MADRID WERE ALSOKNOCKED OUT IN 2ND ROUND BY ARSENAL AND LIV LIVLIV LIVE….I CANT DO IT BUT U GET THE PICTURE

  34. kenzel says:

    u hit the nail on the fukin head sparkyG my point exactly. in the EPL annything could happen were as in la liga the likes of deportivo and valencia compeeting for the title are nO MoRe,

  35. […] a missed penalty in their 3-1 loss to Bolton. Avram Grant was quick to get after the booing fans. Barcelona, not the likeable team of the past (Who Ate All the Pies) Barcelona finds itself in a debt crisis after signing Europe’s best […]

  36. Kxevin says:

    La Liga is a two-team league. Does anyone, given reasonable analytical skills, think that the Premiership isn’t a two-team league (Chelsea, United)?

    I’d also remind people that there were no Premiership teams in the Champions League semi-finals, and “pass, pass, pass, pass, yawn,” has for the past few seasons, defeated the Premiership’s finest whenever it’s been faced by it. It also won the World Cup. So we’ll take it.

    The complexity is that situations such as this are roiled by club love, and bias. In fact, the Prem isn’t any more or less competitive than La Liga. It’s still two teams, two other teams knocking around in the top four, and everybody else. Wigan has mo more of a chance of contesting for the title than Depor. Close but no cigar teams such as Liverpool have their analogs in Atletico Madrid. Then you have Valencia and Sevilla, who fill the roles of Arsenal and Citeh.

    And so it goes.

  37. The Truth says:

    @ Marc
    I’m not English, or British for that matter, nor do I read their tabloids.
    And I never said that the Barca players didn’t have a right to their opinion. I just said that it’s not helping the club’s already crippled reputation.
    Xavi, Puyol, etc. weren’t known for their loud mouths, which made them likable at one point. Look up the videos on their antics; I’m pretty sure that videos aren’t tabloids.

    My respects to “SPARKYG” for his comments. They were spot-on.

  38. […] inducting Javier Mascherano and David Villa into the blaugrana boy’s club this summer, the cut-price jokers of European football are hungry once again. […]

  39. olliver says:

    all of xavi , iniesta , pique and messi dribble was from barcelona press

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