Jordi Alba, a captain on the sidelines of Barça’s need

BarcelonaThere are three days left until the start of the League and Xavi Hernández is still not clear if he will be able to count on seven of his players. The participation of the five signings this summer (Lewandowski, Kounde, Kessie, Christensen and Raphinha) and the two reattached (Dembélé and Sergi Roberto) against Rayo this Saturday (9 p.m.) depends on the validation by the League of the combination of levers and salary savings that Barça has been working on in recent weeks.

The first step to carrying out the records was to stop being over the limit and abandon the 1/4 and 1/3 rule, so it was necessary to sign income that would restore the net worth of the club. The board thought that the first two levers would be enough to meet the objective, but the employer interprets the numbers for the sale of television rights on Sixth Street as downward and urges the Barcelona entity to start the partial sale of Barça Studios. In the absence of official confirmation, the second investor that will enter the production company is the American fund Luma Partners. The first is, from the universe blockchain. Neither belongs to the audiovisual sector. One will develop the business related to the metaverse and the other will bring, they say to the club, “his expertise in the digitization of entertainment.”

With the own funds once again in green, the League once again accepts that Barça register players for the same value that they release (rule 1/1). But precisely what is missing is release. This is the point where the sports area is. It is in this need that the entity’s pressure on the renewal agreements that former president Bartomeu signed with Frenkie de Jong, Clément Lenglet, Marc-André ter Stegen and Gerard Piqué at the end of 2020 is framed. It is in this struggle where solutions are explored so that Sergio Busquets agrees to receive less than he would have this year.

Of the four renewed on the horn by the previous directive, only Piqué is doing well, for now. “He will make an important effort and it cannot be ruled out that he renounces a two-year contract”, they tell ARA from Sant Joan Despí. In other words, the central government will cut part of the gross 52 million that it has paired this year, which are those that affect the fair play, but it’s still a possibility that he’ll do it while playing (and getting paid) elsewhere. For his part, Busquets, indisputable for Xavi, only agrees to defer the year he has left. The formula would be to extend his contract and space out the amounts, but it collides with the footballer’s plans, which are to leave for Major League Soccer in 2023. From the footballer’s environment they see “very complicated” to close an agreement before this Saturday and are more willing to accept a new deal until 2025 than until 2024. So the deferrals would be spread out in more comfortable packages. The problem lies in the escape clauses that the captain demands at the end of each course to be able to decide his future. We need to find a way for the League to accept them.

Only one of the large inherited contracts is released, for now, from the race of the current management of Barça to lower the wage bill. It’s Jordi Alba’s. The document runs until 2024 under a million-dollar renewal signed in February 2019. It was the latest in a series of upgrades that Bartomeu closed after Neymar’s departure and before the four 2020 renewals cited two paragraphs up. Thanks to that signature, the hospital full-back multiplied his income and was placed at the top of the salary scale, although behind Piqué and Busquets. Last summer, Alba, like the center back and the midfielder, captains like him, agreed to a small reduction and a deferral to help register signings. However, he has now received no official contact from the club to do so again. How come there was no such request? There is an internal debate at Camp Nou. While in the board they are in favor of limiting the deferrals (which is what the full-back would accept and what is being negotiated with Busquets), in the sports area they look favorably on any mechanism to build fair play. And command the board. From the player’s perspective, the door is open to redefining the contract: “We will evaluate the conditions if they talk to us.”

Everything can be used

Since Barça is no longer exceeded in the form of salary cap and can operate following the 1/1 rule, the League does not limit the impact of deferrals and salary reductions with players who have previously generated savings. Under the yoke of the 1/3 and 1/4 rules, if a footballer has already spaced out or cut already agreed amounts, as is the case with the three captains, the body chaired by Javier Tebas does not accept a second gesture to build the same margin and only recognizes, if any, the positive difference. The same goes for those on loan. If a footballer has already gone on loan once to free up salary, the measure is no longer applied if there is a second exit (sale or transfer) to build the same margin: only the differential counts. That’s why it was so important for the club to get out of excess. And for this reason it is once again decisive that Piqué and Busquets repeat their desire to help the club with new resignations. Everything that is released can be used for new registrations. Alba, for the moment, remains on the sidelines of possible gestures.


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