LaLiga's 2021-22 spending caps highlight Barcelona troubles
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League Focus
LaLiga's 2021-22 spending caps highlight Barcelona troubles
by Jonathan Rest

LaLiga has unveiled the spending caps for all teams in its top two divisions for the 2021-22 season, with the financial disparity between arch-rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona laid bare for all to see.

Barcelona acknowledge much higher losses than what they had initially estimated, so the impact is greater on their spending limit. If you take the €97m limit and add the losses, around €480m, we're talking about €570m, which would be more normal. So, it's more or less stable."
Jose Guerra
Corporate Managing Director, LaLiga

El Clasico is a one-sided financial affair

 

At €739m, Real Madrid’s spending limit for this season is almost eight times higher than the €97m permitted by Barcelona.

 

The Catalan club, which lost Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann this summer and had a number of senior players agree to wage cuts,  has been punished because of huge losses and breaches of spending limits over the past few years.

 

Real's prudent spending over the past few years, as well as profits from player sales and an increase in funds from its reserves, means its cap has been raised significantly from the €470m last season.

 

Barcelona now have only the seventh biggest budget in LaLiga, also behind Sevilla (€200m), Atletico Madrid (€171m), Villarreal (€159m), Real Sociedad (€127m) and Athletic Bilbao (€111m). Valencia have the lowest budget, at €30m.

 

laliga money

The numbers don't lie: each La Liga club's budget for 2021-22 can be seen in the final column

 

Barcelona recently confirmed losses for the 2020-21 season of €481m. That was around €200m higher than had originally been estimated following an external audit by PwC.

 

Jose Guerra, LaLiga's Corporate Managing Director, said in a video call: "They [Barcelona] acknowledge much higher losses than what they had initially estimated, so the impact is greater on their spending limit. If you take the €97m limit and add the losses, around €480m, we're talking about €570m, which would be more normal. So, it's more or less stable."

 

As part of LaLiga's longstanding financial control measures to reduce clubs' debts and keep them financially healthy, teams are allowed to spend a certain amount on new players, signings, salaries, coaching staff and their academies relating to income and losses.

 

The league’s total cap for top-tier clubs for 2021-22 is €2.27 billion, 2% lower than it was last season, and €244m for second-tier clubs, 3% higher.

 

Clubs are already starting to budget based on the expected revenue they hope to get from a new investment fund with private equity company CVC that could generate €2.7 billion. However, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic all rejected that deal.

 

LaLiga said top-flight clubs spent €271m in signings in the latest transfer window, the lowest among Europe's big five leagues.

 

Overall, Guerra was impressed with clubs’ performances considering the impact of Covid-19. 

 

He added: “The clubs were already preparing their squads so as not to be forced in this market to do a lot of business. They kept hold of a lot of talent, restricted transactions and consolidated their squads.”

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