- Akinwale Sodiq
Barcelona Crisis Financiera
The Downfall Of The Catalan Giants
The recent struggles of Barcelona both on and off the pitch could be considered the worst catastrophe ever to hit the club since its establishment in November 1899. The team was believed to be one of the best and most organized during its prime (2008-2020).
They have also been blessed with an array of legendary players like the magnificent Ronaldinho, Xavi, Iniesta, Samuel Eto’o, and David Villa. Not to mention Lionel Messi, the Argentine magician voted as the greatest player ever to play the game. These players are why the club enjoyed an era of greatness like no other.
People do say that “nothing lasts forever,” but does that apply to the recent woes of Barcelona? The soccer club that once reigned foremost in all of Europe, or even the
world of soccer entirely? It's easy to prove by the number of trophies won by the team
over the years. Especially in 2009, when the team did the impossible - winning six major trophies in a single season.
But now Barcelona's team is sinking to the bottom while also being plagued by problems in the board room. These issues exist both in the squad and with the general management of the soccer club. Just what could have gone wrong? What iceberg struck the hull of this Spanish titanic?
Where The Trouble Begins
Let's start with the adverse effects brought on by the COVID19 pandemic. We saw a cut in wages across the team, although this is generally the case throughout Europe. The shockwave of the outbreak is felt more in some areas. Barcelona could be seen as a victim here, particularly from the humiliating defeats they have suffered from the likes of Bayern Munich and Benfica in their last two Champions League competitions.
These defeats have shown how fast the team is losing its original mojo. Moreover, we have the offloading of star players like Rakitic, Vidal, and Suarez and the shocking loss of Messi, the greatest player ever to wear the Barça jersey. This shows the depths of despair the club has been plunged into.
Taking a critical look into the present state of the Spanish giant, different reasons could be identified as the author of their crisis. But the most glaring issue is undoubtedly the club’s mismanagement over the years. This could be traced to January 2014 when a new president was appointed by the Catalan, Josep Maria Bartomeu. In his early reigning years, the team was enjoying constant success. But there have been occasions where the signs were shown that this would end badly. It's very obvious now, and incredibly devastating.
Finances For The Club Are In Dire Straits
It is not an exaggeration to say that Bartomeu is the worst president ever to take over the Barcelona mantle. This can be seen in his excessive spending on transfer fees, offering aging players lengthy contracts on gigantic wages, disregarding La Masia, and much more. Even following the departure of Lionel Messi, the Spanish giant is still facing the same (or even worse) financial crisis that forced the exit of the six times Ballon d'Or winner. Reports state that the club is more than £ 1 billion in debt.
On the pitch, Barça found out the hard way that the current team is a shadow of the one that won the treble in 2015. It is interesting to note that, initially, Barcelona kept dominating domestically. But the introduction of a new manager, Ronald Koeman, brought about a period of squad rebuilding.
Young players like Dest, Pedri, Ilaix, and Araujo, whose services were recently employed, are struggling with the demands of first-team football. This is due to the absence of veterans who can help them carve out their roles in the team.
This directly correlates with recent results, notably, 'un-Barcelona' type performances against lowly Cadiz and Granada. This led to the loss of vital points for the Blaugrana. They then faced rival Atletico Madrid in La Liga and were defeated 2-0. This was followed by a pitiful performance in the Champions League group stage defeat to Benfica.
It seems that Barcelona’s crisis is not going away anytime soon. Unfortunately for the club’s loyal fans, there is a significant chance that these problems will only get worse. Caused by the absence of effective measures from the management to curb the situation, it's hard to see a remedy.
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Akinwale Sodiq is our newest contributor here at The Pyrrhic. If you like this article, keep your eyes peeled for more from this author.