Excl. with Barça VP Eduard Romeu: "The viability plan will allow us to sign"

Excl. with Barça VP Eduard Romeu: "The viability plan will allow us to sign"

| sport

Romeu is confident LaLiga will approve the plan on May 19

FC Barcelona presented the financing of the Espai Barça a few weeks ago. Eduard Romeu, the club's economic vice-president, defends the model in an interview with SPORT, defines the club's economic situation and anticipates that it will be possible to sign players this summer because he is sure that LaLiga will approve the viability plan presented by the club for two seasons.

What is the club's financial situation?

The club is stabilised, although it still has a significant debt. The objective is still to reverse the situation in terms of income and expenses. To raise the income from 800 million to 1 billion and reduce expenses from 1 billion to 800 million. And without extraordinary income. The objective is to make a profit next season without this type of income. Because we have to reduce the debt. This means that we have to reduce expenses a lot and work to have more income. And for this, the Espai Barça is very important, which will allow us to pay back debt and be competitive. We asked for two years to stabilise the situation and then become competitive again and we have advanced it by one year.

What is the current debt?

It was 1.350 billion when we arrived and we have it a little lower after having reduced it by 125 million. It is true that the amount is similar, but the situation is very different. We didn't have a competitive team and many players had high salaries that we couldn't place (elsewhere). Now, the team is competitive, winning and with players with value. If we were in dissolution, we could sell assets, our players, and kill the debt. At that time, it was impossible.

But the wage bill went down and has gone up again.

That's right. Players like Lewandowski, Koundé and Raphinha had to be signed. In addition, other players had growing contracts. We are at a similar figure to two years ago, but the composition is different. The aim is that next season, the wage bill of the first team will be 480 million. I'm talking about a fixed figure, with the players who are under contract and without considering those who are coming to the end of their contracts. After that, we will see what the coach asks for.

In this context, can Messi return?

I'm not going to talk about concrete names, but I do want to make it clear that for players to come in, others will have to leave. If players worth 20 euros come in, others will have to leave for the same value.

Would his return, financially speaking, be positive?

It would certainly not be negative. We haven't done any studies on the impact of his arrival or that of any other player, but it would certainly be positive.

Eduard Romeu y Javier Tebas


Are you optimistic about the approval of the viability plan that you have presented to LaLiga?

Yes, it is a very rigorous and conservative plan. It is for two years and we have it largely completed. I am sure it will be approved. I don't see any reason why LaLiga should not look favourably on it. On the May 19th, the LaLiga delegate commission will meet and we will have an answer that I'm sure will be positive.

With this approval, will you be able to sign Messi and other players?

The first thing will be to register the players we already have, who have renewed their contracts and who are part of the club's assets. Then, it is like the metro. For any player to come in, there must be other players leaving. We will always try to satisfy the requests of the coaching staff, but always complying with these premises.

Joan Laporta como presidente y Eduard Romeu como vicepresidente económico están al frente del Plan de Viabilidad

| Valentí Enrich

The plan is to raise 200 million euros. Is it feasible?

Yes, it is true that in terms of expenses, there comes a time when you hit the bone, but we continue to increase income. We are at the highest point in the club's history and the trend is still upwards.

Does the departure of Sergio Busquets help?

We are sad to see him go from an emotional point of view. He has been an example. Financially, it frees up a high wage, although it doesn't affect us for next season because his contract was up anyway. 

What about a possible departure of Alba?

We have assumed (he stays) it in this viability plan. If there were to be a change, obviously, anything that is a reduction helps. Another thing is in sporting terms because he is an important asset.

Are you considering asking for salary reductions for any player?

I think this has already been done. All the current contracts are included in the viability plan. I don't think it will change, because if an agreement was not reached, I doubt it will happen now.

The plan includes a significant reduction in the budget of the sections. Can they no longer be competitive?

When you compete with the Barça crest you must always aspire to win, so the teams must be competitive. The problem in basketball, as in football, is the rising salaries. We will be very careful in our recruitment.

The plan envisages a revenue of 70 million euros. Will some of it come from the sale of players?

Possibly, but we haven't considered that. Yes, we have done so with regard to players from training football. La Masia produces many players and some of them can play in important teams, but perhaps not in Barça. We have to get financial returns for these players.

Do you have a new lever in mind?

No. Firstly because it is not necessary and secondly because there has been a change of criteria in LaLiga which means that they are not useful for Fair Play purposes. This does not mean that we can consider any action with BLM. It is worth more and more and maybe we can consider an alliance to sell more.

What has happened with Barça TV?

A television station with such a high level of losses is difficult to support. It earns two million and the expenses are fourteen million. We must be very imaginative and look for the best solution, especially for the workers.

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