Mid-day Ticker: Barcelona financial woes revealed, Fabregas is fit and more



Even the kings of Spain aren't immune from financial problems as new FC Barcelona president Sandro Rossell revealed this week that the club failed to pay wages in June.

According to the Daily Telegraph, in order to alleviate some cash flow problems, the club had to take out a loan of €150 million, and also sell defender Dmitro Chygrynskiy back to his former club Shakhtar Donetsk for €15 million. Chygrynskiy had been acquired last year for €25 million.

In the face of the financial strife, Rossell was adamant that there is still money to bring in new players, citing a figure of around €50 million available. Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas is the club's current top transfer target, but it remains to be seen if the London club will part with their captain and at what price.

Here are a few other stories for Wednesday:


Barcelona target Fabregas, an injury concern for Spain ahead of the semifinal, fully trained on Tuesday and should be available if Vincente Del Bosque elects to start the 23-year-old against Germany. Fabregas had suffered an injury in a previous training session, and was also a concern thanks to a shoulder knock. Even if fit, there's no guarantee that he'd start, as all the minutes Fabregas has seen in this tournament have been off the substitute's bench.


Uruguay striker Diego Forlan hopes to be fit for Saturday's third place game in Port Elizabeth. Forlan was subbed off against the Netherlands in the 84th minute because of a thigh injury, leaving his availability for Uruguay's last match of the 2010 World Cup in doubt. He still has an outside chance of at least tying for the Golden Boot, trailing Spain's David Villa and the Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder by one goal.


German striker Lukas Podolski, enjoying another strong outing for his national team, is attracting interest from England's high spending club Manchester City. The 25-year-old is fresh off a rather mediocre season for Bundesliga outfit FC Cologne, and has developed a reputation for failing to translate his country form to the club level. Nonetheless, with a bright tournament in South Africa, Manchester City leads the list of clubs interested, one that also includes AC Milan, Fenerbahce and Juventus. However, Podolski seems most likely to return to Cologne at the end of the tournament.


What do you think of Barcelona's financial problems? Will Fabregas start against Germany? Can Forlan win the Golden Boot? Think Podolski will make a move?

Share your thoughts below.

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47 Responses to Mid-day Ticker: Barcelona financial woes revealed, Fabregas is fit and more

  1. kimo says:

    Financial woes in Spain…big shocker…NOT!!!

    Real Madrid is likely in even worse shape. What’s sickening is that Real Madrid has a history of near bankruptcy with the last episode being swept under the rug by the city of Madrid (debt exchange – sweetheart deal). Wonder how Atletico felt about that!?

    It’s about time that these wildly big spending clubs face the piper.

  2. KenC says:

    How are Barcelona and Real Madrid like Michael Jackson?

    They both have hocked their assets, over and over, for unrealistic amounts with sweetheart deals from friendly banks. No legitimate deal would ever assess the property assets of RM or Barcelona for the amounts being loaned. In other words, these two clubs would be bankrupt if not for these illegitimate loans. You wait, these banks holding these loans will eventually need to be nationalized because of all the bad lending.

    Just look at the quotes:
    “”We found a club in debt, with liquidity problems,” he said. “At this point we have to take a loan to pay the wages of the players.
    “The squad were supposed to be paid at the end of last month and still haven’t been.
    “We’ll fix a loan of €150m. The banks know that we have a business plan that will allow them to recover the money.
    “The club is not bankrupt because it generates income.”
    Rosell said: “It has spent more than it has made.”

    Without a loan, Barcelona would be bankrupt like Bear Stearns. They can’t pay their bills. His definition of bankrupt is ludicrous. They generate income, but they don’t generate enough to pay the bills, that’s the very definition of bankrupt.

    How they can get away with this nonsense, when Spain is under economic austerity is unbelievable. 50% of the under-30 population is unemployed. 20% of the total working population is unemployed. Spain has $1T in debt obligations that the whole EU is worried about, and responsible for, and Barcelona is going to borrow more?

    Spain’s problems will make Greece’s look like peanuts.

  3. DarthGreedo says:

    “Despite the financial situation – and the purchase of David Villa from Valencia – Rosell insists there is still as much as €89m to spend on new blood.”

    How does a club have €89m to spend on new players, when they are in need of a €150m loan to keep going? Its ridiculous. UEFA needs to find a way to stop this before European football collapses in a sea of debt.

  4. Missoula says:

    My thoughts exactly. I don’t get why both Barcelona and Real Madrid continue spending money at alarming rates if they need to take huge loans just to stay afloat. Eventually their flawed system of running their finances is going to collapse.

  5. golfstrom says:

    Forlan is a beast. Nearly took Stekelenberg’s hand off yesterday.

  6. Al_OC says:

    FC Sochaux has a friendly today. It seems like the coach plans to give each player a chance to play at least 45 min.

  7. DC Josh says:

    Damn Germany and their world class talent under 25 years old. We need to get our youngsters on a hearty diet of wietbeer and spaetzle.

  8. kimo says:

    spot on KenC

  9. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Biggest clubs in the world spend their way into bankrupcy…while US Soccer fans scream about the single entity structure of MLS and call for unfettered free agency in the hope of seeing a sequal to the Cosmos!

    (Okay, I exaggerate to make a point.)

  10. So if you’re in debt…why would you buy cesc? barca’s mf is good enough they dont need another guy. save the money. sigh

  11. kwall says:

    Just read this on Telegraph website

    “Blackpool have also targeted Nicky Butt and Rangers’ winger DaMarcus Beasley.” (Star)

  12. RK says:

    Sports are an economic nightmare — teams keep forcing each other to spend more and more until their fanbase can’t afford more PSLs or bobblehead dolls or pay-per-view matches. Meanwhile, smaller clubs can’t dream of matching the fanbase (Villarreal, town of 40k) and are forced to buy low and sell high just to survive.

    I hate salary caps, because I think players deserve to be paid what they are worth (which is whatever a team will pay) but there has to be a balance.

    I’m happy that MLS has the financial structure that they have.

  13. RK says:

    I can’t tell, but this could just be a cashflow issue. If they were truly in trouble, I don’t think they would have 50MM to buy Cesc.

  14. bryan says:

    it’s pretty crazy to read about all of this. madrid and barca are #2 and #3, respectively, for 2010 average team salaries. #1 is NYY. the only other soccer team on the top 10…chlesea. #10 is a cricket team from the IPL!!! Man Utd, #14. Liverpool and Arsenal, not even in the top 20. It’s all NBA and MLB teams.

  15. bryan says:

    what’s more, barca earned 445.5M euros through JUN 30 2010…which may be 0.1M or 0.2M euros more than madrid. making them the largest earning sports team this year.

  16. RedStateJim says:

    The MLS business model is looking better and better. If more European teams start falling apart, the MLS as an option for players gets better. You would know you are getting your paycheck.

    With the economic woes of the EU, there could be a sea change in football. The future for EUR is the super league, with 20 or so big clubs playing in there own league. The worldwide TV revenue will make this a must for clubs like ManU, Chelsea, the Milan’s, Barca and RM to cover their debts. With more an more international ownership in the football clubs, people like the Glazers would be happy to leave the Premier League for a Euro league and get a bigger piece of a bigger pie. They can then schedule games outside of Europe and earn loads more money.

  17. RedStateJim says:

    Very interesting, where is the source to that salary info. I am curious

  18. Ja$on says:

    Look at the LeBron, DWade, Bosh, Joe Johnson, NBA fiasco right now. How the teams can pay players upwards of $20M per year in any sport is beyond me. Players deserve to make what they are worth, and fans (like you and me) do enough to support most teams, but this is out of control. Should LeBron really be making 100 times what the average OB-Gyn makes? I’m not saying we should boycott games or teams, but it’s a thought.

  19. bryan says:

    link to sportingintelligence.com

    it’s 195euro to download the entire .PDF though. haha but they give you the top 10 for free

  20. bryan says:

    jeez, man utd and chelsea are the only 2 EPL teams in the top 30…

  21. golfstrom says:

    Should LeBron really be making 100 times what the average OB-Gyn makes?


  22. Missoula says:

    The thing is that the teams, at least in the salary-capped NBA, must be making more than that amount of money to be able to pay the players enormous salaries. In that case, it is appropriate for that kind of money to be given to the players. It does seem like too much, but would you rather have the money distributed to the players that draw the crowds, or have the owners sit on all the profits and pay the players less?

    However, I’m not sure that logic extends to situations where there is not a salary cap and teams rampantely spend money.

  23. Tony in Quakeland says:

    He probably sees more viginas…

    (I’ll rpobably get banned for that, but I couldn’t resist.)

  24. Missoula says:

    You’re probably right about LeBron. I bet Ja$on said that because he is a bitter gynacologist.

  25. northzax says:

    because if you don’t, then everyone starts thinking you’re broke. it’s a vicious cycle.

  26. JohnC says:


  27. Ricky B. Free says:

    Real Madrid can get loans, because their president is the owner of a big construction company, so he backs it up with that. I am not saying it is right, but these guys are in for a big surprise.

  28. HoboMike says:

    Can we talk about Manchester City for a second? They’re getting absolutely ridiculous. I understand having depth, but overpaid depth, at every single position, will sooner or later lead to financial woes, no matter how rich you are.

    They have Santa Cruz, Adebayor, Tevez, Robinho and Bellamy as forwards. Their midfielders are now Barry, Ireland, Johnson, Wright-Phillips, Yaya Toure, De Jong, Silva, Kompany, and who knows who else they’ll sign. It’s freaking sickening.

  29. Spectra says:

    I love that everyone rags on the yankees for being the number one in salary but holy crud they make buckets of cash and put at least 4 million people in seats every year not including playoffs. who is running these soccer teams?

  30. Tony in Quakeland says:


    Klinnsman is in California, not South Africa for the Germany match? WHERE’S SUNIL GULLATI? Is there an interview going on?

    I don’t actually beleive that, I just like stirring the @#$!

  31. BetaMale says:

    Seems like most of the big european football clubs will crash just like the American and European governments. Deficit spending run wild, classic Keynesian irresponsibility.

    Like the subprime mortgage crisis, football is a bubble just waiting to burst. More borrowing won’t solve any problems.

  32. jjraines says:

    I really do not understand the logic of these clubs, though I guess it’s not unusual in today’s world to spend money you don’t have.

    We’re tight on money…hey, I got an idea, let’s buy a few players for tens of millions of dollars to ride on our bench!/

    Insanity. It’s hard to believe buying players for 40 million a piece is remotely profitable from a business perspective, but I don’t think they look at it that way.

  33. northzax says:

    as long as their owner keeps signing the checks (and as long as oil still flows from beneath the sands of the middle east) they’ll be fine. Look at Chelsea, on paper they owe Roman something on the line of 400 million pounds. he’s worth 12 billion. as long as he doesn’t get bored, who cares?

  34. Spectra says:

    Not really, most NBA teams are deep financial trouble

  35. Dudeinho says:

    i for one welcome their destruction and demise (financially) Hell it’ll probably make MLS more competitive one day.

  36. roysterer says:

    And let’s not forget, the current owners of Man City have even more money than Abromovich.

    Also, this is exactly why Donovan should not go to Man City. They won’t have to play him. They can afford to waste money on a player who doesn’t see the field. If he goes to the Premier League he should go to a more fiscally responsible team, like Fulham, Aston Villa, Everton, or perhaps Arsenal.

  37. patrick says:

    his tv duty is up, and he, along with his family, live full time in Cali, so it’s not a surprise

  38. kfly says:

    Hmm…could they possibly be having financial problems because whenever a good player emerges anywhere in the world, they go out and throw hundreds of millions of dollars at him?

    Europe needs a salary cap, and bad. It’s not fair that teams like Real and Barca and Man U and Chelsea get to gobble up all the best players because they have the most money. Even the Yankees don’t do that, and they have just as much, if not more, money.

  39. K Bone says:

    What’s wietbeer? Perhaps you’re referring to witbier, but that’s actually a Belgian style of a wheat beer. Germans drink hefeweizens, among plenty of other styles of course…

  40. Too Strong Jones says:

    Nd the award for most unecessary clarification goes to…..

  41. jjraines says:

    “Should LeBron really be making 100 times what the average OB-Gyn makes?”

    Uh, yeah, if someone is willing to pay him. It’s called market value. Your definition of “fairness” shouldn’t (but sadly, increasingly does) matter. I don’t see anyone whine about movie starts making $10 mil a flick, but if a CEO is making that a year…then oh boy they have hell to pay. /end slightly off-topic rant

    Back to pro sports salaries: a HUGE difference between soccer and American sports is teams (usually) ONLY pay salary. There isn’t a $50 gazillion transfer fee to get them on the team. Ricky Rubio isn’t playing in the NBA for that very reason, after the NBA team scoffing at something like two million for the transfer, chump change in elite European club soccer. I don’t know why the big teams don’t make swaps more often — I guess it would make too much sense.

  42. jjraines says:

    Isn’t their owner on record as saying he doesn’t ever expect to make money from Man City? It seems like more a hobby in pursuit of excellence, financial considerations be damned — which obviously if you are a supporter is a wet dream.

  43. Scott A says:

    Agree completely

  44. Tim says:

    Barca can back the loan up with the necessary assets. The bank wouldn’t give the loan if they didn’t think it was viable.

  45. Ja$on says:

    You all miss the point. An OB-Gyn, I happen to have a good friend that is one, makes a very generous living to do a very important job, and that is still 100 times less than what some of these guys (and movie stars) make. I understand the fair market value point, I just think it’s an exorbitant amount of money.

  46. fischy says:

    Random musing — Noting that Podolski is described as plaiyng for FC Cologne. Why is the convention to refer to German clubs by the English names for the cities (Nuremberg, Munich, Cologne), while the convention is to use the local language names for other teams like AS Roma? Is it because it’s hard to pronounce all those German umlauts?

  47. Firstcule says:

    FCB’s big problem is that Mediapro, which handles all the TV rights for their games, went bankrupt. I think Mediapro also has the rights for Real Madrid. Television rights account for about 30 some percent of FCB’s revenue. This is the big reason the house of cards is falling apart.