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'Covid-19 Pandemic Will Have Effects on 2 or 3 Seasons': Barca President Says Club Most Affected

Josep Maria Bartomeu (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Josep Maria Bartomeu (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said nobody should expect the impact of coronavirus to be fixed by next season.

FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said people were wrong if they thought the coronavirus pandemic is not affected the Catalan club and stated that they were under duress.

Barcelona's recent transfer business has been about a lot of expensive dealings and due to the 'Espai Barca' Camp Nou redevelopment project, some predict financially difficult times for the club.

"In our Strategic Plan we had planned on earning €1.1 billion (£1bn/$1.3bn) and now we will bring in 30 per cent less because of Covid.

"I say this because if someone thinks that the pandemic does not affect Barca, they are wrong. It affects the big European clubs and Barca is the European club that makes the most money and is the most affected," Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo.


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Bartomeu warned coronavirus will have its effects on the club business.

"We saw that there was a pandemic worldwide and said that it would be a complex summer with swap deals, and that's what is happening.

"Since March 14, we have not received a euro. We have missed out on €200 million (£182m/$233m). €200m!

"We have recovered a lot by reducing wages and using ERTE's (Temporary Employment Regulation File, with the government paying 70 per cent of wages).

"We have had to close the shops and the museum, there have been no ticket sales. We have paid back the ticket money for matches fans couldn't attend. €200m is a big blow."

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Bartomeu clearly stated that the problems with respect to the pandemic will not get solved by next season.

"This pandemic will have effects for two or three seasons," he added.

"Nobody should think that things will be fixed by next season. The great financial gurus talk about four years, but I think football will go faster."

However, Bartomeu denied the club being in a financially fix.

"It's not true," he said.

"We had a higher level of income than the other big clubs but on March 14, everything stopped and we had to adapt to the new situation. And despite the losses, we will continue to be the leader in revenue. The club's debt level is not very high.

"When the audit ends in mid-August, the economic vice president Jordi Moix will explain it and we will see that we are at normal debt levels."

first published:July 26, 2020, 15:49 IST