Why do top stars want to join Barcelona despite their financial problems? | Main Stand

Despite their notorious financial struggles in recent times, FC Barcelona remain one of the greatest and most famous teams in the world of football.


The Blaugrana have continued to attract top players this summer, including Robert Lewandowski, Rafinha, Franck Kessié, and Jules Kounde; all of whom chose to join the Spanish giants despite garnering plenty of attention from elsewhere.

With their uncertain future, how have Barcelona managed to win over many players from more financially stable teams? What is the trick up their sleeve? Find out on Main Stand. 


Mastermind strategy

Barcelona finished the 2021 fiscal year with a staggering €1.3 billion in debt. While they are expected to recover in 2022 thanks to the use of their “economic levers,” they have fallen foul of La Liga’s financial regulations in the past, which has capped the amount the club can spend on newly-registered players this season.

However, despite their precarious and well-publicized financial situation, the club continue to attract top players and have managed to pull some excellent deals over the line this summer.

Due to their limited resources, the club have been on the hunt for players who are nearing the end of their current contracts, signing them for free or at significantly cut prices. The money saved is then used on player salaries, meaning that they have no issues in tempting some of the world’s best to join.

Players such as Memphis Depay, Eric García, Sergio Agüero, Franck Kessié, and Andreas Christensen all joined the club on free transfers. Meanwhile, Robert Lewandowski only had a year remaining on his contract with Bayern Munich and was eager to leave the club, making it easier for Barcelona to swoop in and sign the prolific Polish striker.

This strategy has saved the Blaugrana millions of euros which can be used in other departments, service debts, and help comply with La Liga’s financial regulations.  

So even with the enormous debt on their hands, the side haven’t struggled to attract top players in the market, and have managed to keep additional costs down to a minimum.


A clear project

Although Barcelona has many financial obligations, their ambition remains strong.

“I want to win the treble again, and to maybe win a sextet, so the club is once again a world reference.” Joan Laporta, Barcelona’s president, boldly announced the club's goals. 

A chance to write history at this famous club and be part of their comeback to greatness is an exciting prospect for many top players.

By showing ambition in the transfer market, they have reaffirmed their commitment to staying at the top of the global game and fighting for the biggest trophies in world football, further encouraging top players to join. 

In the same season that the club lost Lionel Messi due to financial constraints and league regulations, they were able to bring in players like Ferran Torres, Memphis Depay, Eric García, Sergio Agüero, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang while still turning a net profit in the transfer window. 

Though they haven’t been as successful as in their past seasons, it shows that despite the crisis they’re facing, they are still as ambitious as ever and the fans can count on them to keep fighting near the top in the future seasons.

Furthermore, legendary Barcelona playmaker Xavi is now at the helm as the club’s head coach and has shown plenty of promise already in terms of playing style and results. There is genuine optimism that he will be able to recreate the club’s glory days given time and resources.


The Barcelona Identity

Barcelona have always had a clear identity in the team’s ‘DNA,’ which is their beautiful possession-based game. The club’s legacy and commitment to this playing style is another reason players want to participate in this project.

Furthermore, for the Blaugrana, there is no fooling around when it comes to choosing the player. Everyone from the coaching staff to the upper management is willing to personally talk with the players and ensure they are the right fit for the team and the ‘Barcelona identity.’

"We are a team, with the president in charge,” head coach Xavi explained. “Mateu [Alemany], Jordi [Cruyff], they trust me a lot.”

“I don't decide things alone, no one decides unilaterally. It is a group and I am all about the team, about asking questions, everyone having an opinion, and then deciding. My role is decisive, but it is not me alone.”

By working as a team, from the president to the coaches, Barcelona are able to reassure their new recruits that they are truly welcome to the team and a genuine part of the club’s vision.

“It is about presenting the project to a player. The most important thing is that I have not seen a single player who has said 'no' to Barcelona," Xavi said.

We saw multiple times this summer that Barcelona’s ‘pull’ exceeded that of other clubs, even with far healthier financial situations. For example, they were able to secure deals for Rafinha from Leeds United and Jules Kounde from Sevilla, despite strong and persistent interest from Chelsea.

Lastly, Barcelona are not willing to back down, even in difficult situations, such as when they were negotiating with Bayern Munich to sign Robert Lewandowski. Even though the Bavarians didn’t want to sell their star striker, Barca started from a position of strength and were eventually able to get the player who was desperate to join them.

It seems like the historic Catalan club continue to hold their esteemed place in the hearts of players and fans alike, and have had no trouble attracting top talents. The club’s newfound financial strategy off the pitch and coherent identity on it could hold the key to becoming a European powerhouse once again. 





Nattanan Chankwang

Love is not blind – it sees more, not less.But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.


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