Barcelona’s financial struggles have been well documented in recent times. The Catalan giants have been one of the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman also blamed the club’s financial situation for the lack of transfers this season. Now, a report has revealed that the club has taken a heavy loan from investment banking company Goldman Sachs worth €800 million to finance their astronomical wage bill.
Marc Ciria, one of the city’s leading economists while speaking to the EFE press agency explained that the recent loan taken by Barcelona from Goldman Sachs will be used to pay the players' salaries. Ciria said that since Goldman Sachs is an investment bank and not a loan bank, its loan to Barcelona means that the club has not been able to go to national entities to increase their debt. Expounding further, Ciria claimed that Barcelona’s €500 million debt is the reason behind the same.
Marca claims that Barcelona have asked Goldman Sachs for a loan to pay salaries. https://t.co/Nwe7ICVDlA— total Barça (@totalBarca) October 13, 2020
Earlier reports had suggested that the loan from Goldman Sachs will be used by Barcelona to develop Espai Barca, the sporting city project of the club which is set to cost around €815 million. Refuting these claims, Marc Ciria suggested that Barcelona are using the 30-year debt for Espai Barca to pay the players' salaries for this year. Talking about Goldman Sachs, Ciria said that the investment company is happy to provide the loan since it is charging an interest of around 3-4%. While concluding, Ciria reiterated that there is no money at the club to pay the payroll, and the increase in debt shown in Barcelona’s books is due to its day-to-day expenditure.
This is not the first time someone has expressed concerns regarding Barcelona’s financial situation. Earlier this year, Barcelona had revealed the extent of the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic has had at the club. The Catalan club posted pre-tax losses up to €100 million, while debt more than doubled to €488 million. More so, annual revenues dropped to €855 million, seeing more than a 14% fall according to Financial Times. While speaking to the media in July, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu forecasted that the financial impact of the pandemic will have to be borne by the club for the next two or three seasons.