Spending

FC Barcelona’s spending spree will continue as Frenkie de Jong’s deal stalls – Reuters


FC Barcelona have been among the most active top European clubs this transfer window and a look at the cash they parted ways with must have Manchester United scratching their heads in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong.

It’s been widely acknowledged that the Catalan giants are in financial trouble due to years of lavish spending under Josep Maria Bartomeu.

The €100m mark was breached three times by the former president, for Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Phillipe Coutinho as he rushed to save face after Paris Saint-Germain activated the clause release of Neymar.

And current president Joan Laporta was quick to criticize his predecessor for an “unjustifiable” use of “disproportionate payments” and “lies” giving him a “terrible legacy” to settle.

Given that 103% of the club’s income is spent on player salaries, the chairman pointed out that “the first thing we had to do when we arrived was to ask for an 80 million euro loan because otherwise we couldn’t not pay wages”.

But make no mistake, Laporta is a politician, and Political Strategy 101 is to find a target for your supporter base’s anger to avoid vitriol for your own actions, even if they happen to be the same.

And like all politicians, Laporta is good for a slogan. He managed to convince Barca’s socios to vote for the dismantling of the club’s assets under the pretext of “activating economic levers”, without worrying about the long-term effects of such decisions.

News emerged yesterday that Barca are looking to avert Chelsea’s pursuit of Jules Kounde in a deal worth an initial €55million.

This would bring spending to 213 million euros in this calendar year according to tranfermarkt.com.

Perhaps most relevant is that the new players have increased Barcelona’s total wages by an additional €72.8m a year (capology.com), before considering Kounde, or the new contracts given to Gavi, Pedri and Dembele, or the fact that they have been slow to take important players off the books.

It’s no wonder Frenkie de Jong feels his current club should do more to compensate him for a salary deferral deal that left him with €20m in his pocket, given Barcelona have decided that he did not want to honor this contract. now it’s time to pay.

But should all of this surprise the Dutchman?

After all, this is a club that owes 19 other clubs a combined total of €126m in transfer fees – they have yet to pay for Phillipe Coutinho, despite having just withdrawn €20m. euros to Aston Villa for him four years later.

Over the past few years, the Red Devils have often made signing players a royal pain in the backside, but on this occasion the messy and tangled situation that is De Jong’s pursuit has absolutely nothing to do with Manchester. United.