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               Barcelona: regeneration or contagion?                      Olympic news                                             THE JOURNAL OF SPORT,  LEISURE & RISK  WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE             March 2022

               Joan Laporta, August 2021: “The base of         hard, offering loans. Luiz Suarez went for
               everything is the previous administration’s     almost nothing, Barca even agreeing to                                          Cricket:
               disastrous management”.                         continue paying part of his wages. A year
                                                               later Messi would walk, but even then,
               It turns out that what really brought           Barcelona still can’t reinvest.                                                 Lies and Sexchat
               Barcelona to her knees was simply
               the bottom line. Bartomeu must have             The team sheets from the winter of
               looked at the Income Column of his              2021/22 do not read well compared                                               Tim Mottram, independent sports journalist
               Excel spreadsheet and gotten so carried         with 2015. Under Laporta, resurrected to
               away that he failed to look over at the         save the club for a second time, much                                                                                              The great thing
               Expenditure column. Wages were thrown           of the first team is made up of free
               at players to the point where they almost       transfers. They are good players, to be                                                                                            about scandals is
               accounted for the gross income. And             sure. Memphis Depay, Adama Troare and                                                                                              that everyone gets
               before you share Messi’s tears on his           Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are note-                                                                                                to feel a little better
               departure to PSG last year, it should be        worthy: but they each have their own
               noted that he happily took the cash in          issues. They were free for a reason. Gerard                                                                                        about themselves,
               the glory years: from 2017 he earned            Pique, Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves                                                                                              because someone
               something in the region of half a billion       were all part of the golden days and are                                                                                           else looks a little
               euros. This in turn forced other players’       still part of the first team. They have a
               wages higher. Barcelona was vulnerable.         combined age of 106.                                                                                                               worse. And the
                                                                                                                                                                                                  great thing about
               Covid delivered the knockout punch.             New coach Xavi Hernandes will oversee                                                                                              Cricket Australia
               Over two years, revenues fell by 40%.           this first step towards a new period
               Barca finally had to face reality. Spain’s      in Barcelona’s history. The rise was                                                                                               is that they serve
               tough rules about wages compared with           spectacular, and the fall frighteningly fast.                                                                                      up scandals in
               incomes meant that in 2020 they needed          Xavi and Laporta have little
               to conduct a fire sale. They stated boldly      breathing space, but one                                                                                                           increasingly high
               that they would listen to offers on almost      thing is clear. Dreams are                                                                                                         volumes.
               any first team player. Other clubs took         not enough to ensure
               advantage of the disaster and low balled        success.

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