Explained: Why Barcelona's spending limit has been slashed to just €270m by La Liga

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Barcelona's financial woes worsened on Thursday as LaLiga slashed their spending cap.
  • Barca spending budget slashed
  • Goes from €649m to €270m
  • Also affected by move to Montjuic Stadium

WHAT HAPPENED? Barcelona's new wage ceiling for the current campaign has been set at €270 million, a significant decrease from the €648 million ceiling established in February when La Liga notified all clubs of their compensation levels for the upcoming five months when they would be reviewed again after the conclusion of the January transfer window. Real Madrid's La Liga budget for the 2023–24 season is €727 million, while Atletico Madrid's is also slightly higher than Barca's at €296m. The top five are completed by Sevilla (€168m) and Villarreal (€143m).

WHY THE BUDGET CAP REDUCTION? The gap between a team's earnings and non-sporting expenses and debt repayments approximately determines the ceiling. Barca's decrease is partly due to the diminishing impact of "palancas" (assets sold off to improve short-term finances) and was widely expected. Money from one such asset sale, Barca Studios (now Barca Vision), wasn't received in 2022, leading to its resale this summer. However, the funds still didn't arrive by the end of the transfer window, prompting President Joan Laporta and his board to provide a €20m guarantee to register all summer business with La Liga.


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Javier Tebas

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barca made limited summer signings, with Oriol Romeu (€3.5m), Ilkay Gundogan, and Inigo Martinez joining, while Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo arrived on season-long loans. To balance their finances, top earners Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba left, and transfer fees were obtained for Ousmane Dembele and Franck Kessie. Other departures included Abde Ezzalzouli, Samuel Umtiti, and Nico Gonzalez, with Ansu Fati, Clement Lenglet, and Sergiño Dest sent on loan.

Barça reduced annual sporting costs from €560m to around €400m, but they still exceed the league's cap. This means they face restrictions when the transfer window reopens in January, considering spending on other teams like the B team, women's team, and basketball team.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR BARCA?: Laporta and co. will once again have to make cuts ahead of the next season or find other sources to raise funds if they want to continue with their current crop of players.