Barça alarm: "There is no money to pay salaries or suppliers"

The economist Marc Ciria, who was part of Laporta's team, warns of the disastrous state of the club's accounts in an interview with EFE.


The state of Barcelona's accounts is alarming and the move forward that involves signing a loan with the investment bank Goldman Sachs may be the first step for the partner to lose control of the entity. These conclusions are drawn by Marc Ciria (Barcelona, 1979) founding partner and CEO of Diagonal Inversiones and that in 2015 he was the financial manager of Joan Laporta's candidacy and that when he worked at Caixa Catalunya he was in charge of granting the endorsements to the board of Sandro Rosell.

In an interview with the EFE Agency, this economist draws a black coming for the Blaugrana entity in the economic aspect. "The club is using the 30-year debt for Espai Barça of which it is clearly inflating the final result of the cost, to pay wages for this year. And Goldman Sachs already thinks it is good because it is charging interest between 3 and 4% and if Barcelona does not pay it, a man will come. The question is how the non-payment of the debt will be executed: With the club's assets? With the stadium? Because when there is a loan from an investment bank, the clauses are much firmer than those of a traditional bank. The board needs to do this to fix the numbers before leaving and they don't care about Espai Barça because they won't do it, "he says. And he adds: The next board of directors will not be able to develop Espai Barça with this loan. It will need other financing and the project will have to be converted into something much cheaper, which will consist of refurbishing the stadium. And for 10 or 15 years the club will not be able to consider building the Nou Palau Blaugrana and the rest of the infrastructures ”.

Ciria explains that “COVID-19 has nothing to do with the economic situation of Barcelona. It is a lie of the board of directors, which claims that a club that will bill 700 million euros is in debt with 1,600. This is priceless with the current mechanisms of the club. The two viable solutions proposed by this directive are the conversion into SAD or the entry of an international investment fund that leaves the partner as the owner of 30 or 40 percent of Barcelona. ”

With respect to the investment fund, the economist warns of the danger of signing the loan with Goldman Sachs for an amount of 800 million that the Bartomeu board has ready. “Goldman Sachs is not known for lending money, but for entering into companies to then exit them by reselling the shares you have bought. It is an investment bank, not a money loan bank like La Caixa or BBVA. That Goldman Sachs appears means that Barcelona has not been able to go to national entities to increase the debt. The reason is obvious: the club owes these almost 500 million in short-term debt, "he tells EFE.

Debt is Barcelona's big problem. Ciria adds that “before the coronavirus appeared, the club already owed 740 million euros and with it it has risen to 820. The main problem is that it is a short-term debt. Barcelona is the club in the world with the highest salary bill and this is not the fault of the coronavirus. The debt that needs to be paid in the short term is 77%. That means there is no money to pay payroll or some providers. So the increase in debt has been to pay the day-to-day of the club, not Espai Barça ”.

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