Coronavirus to cost Barcelona €300m

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Barcelona have confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic has cost them around €300 million so far and has forced them to make a number of adjustments to their budget for the new season.

Barca had hoped to become the first football club to break €1 billion in annual revenue and were on track to do so until March, when the virus forced football into a three-month hiatus.

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That led to a huge reduction in revenue streams. As well as the loss of match-day revenue, Barca also had to close the club’s museum and club shops, which bring in millions of euros every year. There were further losses relating to television rights and sponsorship deals.

As a result, the club estimates a reduction of around 30% to their predicted income of just over €1bn for the 2019-20 campaign, which will have consequences on their budget moving forward.

A number of measures have been drawn up to help cut spending, based on the assumption normal club activity will resume at the start of 2021, although the club have not revealed what those measures will be exactly.

Barca have said the measures are in addition to those that were implemented at the outset of the pandemic, when the players accepted a 70% wage cut.

The losses will affect the club’s activity in the transfer market. Until they sell some players on, they will not be able to buy any new ones despite new coach Ronald Koeman’s desire to add fresh faces.

Meanwhile, they continue to try and lighten the wage bill by offloading big earners. So far, they have only managed to move on Ivan Rakitic, but Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Samuel Umtiti are among those the club are looking to transfer.