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Catalan economist reveals true cost of Barcelona financial losses in 2022/23

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A Catalan economist has claimed Barcelona made “worse than expected” financial losses of €330m (£285m) during the 2022/23 season.

Barca announced a net profit of €304m (£263m) for the same financial year in late September, coincidentally on the same day the club was charged with bribery over the Negreira case. President Joan Laporta and his board will present their take for that time period which will be scrutinised during a delegate assembly later in October.

Laporta himself has claimed the Blaugrana will be “financially recovered sooner than expected”, though that outlook has been questioned by Marc Ciria, a Catalan expert in wealth management and financial tax.

Ciria, the founding partner and executive chairman at Diagonal Asset Management in Barcelona, revealed in a post on X the club’s operating income came to €795m (£686m) while expenses rose to €1.125bn (£970m). He pointed towards “runaway spending” and that “ordinary losses were much higher than expected”.

Barcelona’s monetary issues in recent years have become infamous. The biggest low point in the club’s history came as a result of poorly handled finances as Lionel Messi was forced to leave Catalonia at the end of his contract in 2021.

Xavi’s squad was boosted by free transfer and loan arrivals during the summer window but Barca are still hamstrung by a lack of funds, leaving them eyeing players approaching the end of their contracts or available for cheap fees. Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez came in on free transfers, Oriol Romeu set them back €3.94m (£3.4m) and Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo arrived on loan.

Barcelona are predicting a loss in revenue and profits for 2023/24, falling to €859m (£741m) and €11m (£9.5m) respectively.

“We are improving in all aspects,” Laporta recently said. “We all think that we have a very good squad this year. Congratulations to everyone who has sporting responsibilities. We have made a lot of efforts to be able to register all the players. We think it is worth the effort we have made.

“As we have a lot of confidence in the management we are doing, the club will be financially recovered sooner than expected in the strategic plan. If the team works, the club notices it. It is very important that the sporting part works because it helps everything.”