Barcelona fans won’t forget the Josep Maria Bartomeupresidentialera at the club in a hurry mainly due to the several bad financial decisions made by him and his board members. A lot of the big European clubs, Barcelona inclusive, are no stranger to little financial issues but the financial situation at the Nou Camp spiralled out of control under the watchful eyes of the aforementioned Bartomeu as big monies in transfer fees and wages were spent on flops like Philippe Coutinho and OusmaneDembele.


Bartomeu was the head of the basketball section at Barcelona during the first spell of Joan Laporta as president before he became the vice-president to SandroRosellbetween 2010 and 2014. He then became president after Rosell resigned due to the controversy over the transfer that took Brazilian superstar Neymar from Santos in his native Brazil to the Nou Camp. The Bartomeu presidential reign started well with Barcelona winning all the six trophies on offer under Luis Enrique in 2015 before things fell apart for him as the product of bad financial decisions and bad signings. His time as the Barcelona president promised much but delivered little eventually. Bartomeu and his board members resigned towards the end of last yearleaving the club in a pretty bad shape financially. New president Laporta has been forced to solve the bad financial situation at Barcelona at the start of his second spell as president.

Bartomeu had a rocky relationship with the great Lionel Messi at the end of his time at Barcelona. Messi became frustrated with the lack of success at the club before his exit was blocked by Bartomeu and his board. In the end, Bartomeu resigned from his position on the back of the clash with Messi. He resigned around the same time as his board members. Messi has since changed his mind about wanting to stay at Barcelona but new president Laporta has to navigate through the financial crisis created by the Bartomeu-led board to hand the club skipper a new two-year deal. For now, Laporta has not found a solution financially to enable Messi the new deal within the financial limits permitted by Spanish league football body, La Liga.

Barcelona president Laporta is confident that the club will sign Messi to a new deal. The president and his most trusted lieutenants Mathieu Alemany and FerranRevertermade significant progress in the quest to hand Messi a new contract only to be stopped by the financial problems at the club. Messi became a free agent last week and Laportaplus his executives Reverter and Alemany must find a way to make his new deal work in line with the financial rules from La Liga. The Barcelona supremo will have to reduce the wage bill drastically to accommodate the new Messi deal. Also, a reduced wage bill is required for Barcelona to register their new players. Argentine international Sergio Aguero, Dutchman Memphis Depay and former player Eric Garcia all signed for the club on a free transfer this summer alongside Emerson Royce but they have all not been registered till date.

Barcelona have a well publicised debts of €1.2m which has caused problems for the new Laporta-led board but the main issue with a new deal for Messi and the non-registration of the new players is the salary limit imposed on the club by La Liga. Barcelona had a salary limit of €671m two years ago before it was reduced to €348m due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the management of former president Bartomeu. The Nou Camp giants exceeded their salary limit by the time the season ended in May and La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned that a repeat won’t be tolerated for the new season which starts in August. To this effect, the Spanish club has to move a lot of the first team players on to accommodate Messi and the new players on its wage bill. Konrad de la Fuente, Francisco Trincao, Junior Firpo and MatheusFernandes have all been moved on to reduce the wage bill, while others like Philippe Coutinho, Martin Braithwaite, Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic are available for transfers.