FC Barcelona’s New Wage Bill Now Capped at Less Than Watford’s
(Bloomberg) -- FC Barcelona has already been forced to offload Lionel Messi in order to keep its balance sheet down. Now it’s been told to keep those bills at a lower level than Premier League newcomer Watford F.C.
Spanish league LaLiga has set new limits on squad spending, capping Barcelona’s wage bill at 97.94 million euros ($114 million), LaLiga managing director Jose Guerra said in a news conference Thursday.
The closest comparison in the U.K. Premier League -- the world’s most lucrative soccer league -- is Watford, a mid-level team that spent less than the 111.2 million euros, according to company filings. Watford has never won a major trophy in English soccer, while Barcelona has won five Champions League titles.
LaLiga calculates the salary cap based on a club’s wages and revenue. Barcelona is expected to post a loss of 487 million euros for last season that just ended.
Real Madrid CF, Barcelona’s historic rival, will be allowed to spend an amount more than seven times higher, with the limit set at 739.2 million euros. Barcelona also lags behind the rest of Spain’s top clubs, including Atletico de Madrid, whose cap is 171.6 million euros, and Sevilla FC with 200.4 million euros.
Selling Messi hasn’t been enough to tackle Barcelona’s debt pile, which in August amounted to 1.35 billion euros, according to the club’s president Joan Laporta.
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