LaLiga president Javier Tebas was clear on Monday, at the presentation of the salary cap for all Spanish clubs, about the amount that Barcelona will have to reduce their wage bill next summer. It will be around €200 million, an amount that the Blaugrana disagree with, but which Tebas sees as immovable.
The forecasts, both from the economic and sporting areas of the club, were to have solved the inherited problem of the wage bill by the summer of 2024, coinciding with the expiration of the contracts of several big earners. Busquets finishes in 2023 and Piqué and Alba in 2024, although the centre-back already decided to retire at the end of last year. These forecasts will have to be accelerated as much as possible.
To achieve this, Barça will have to sell a player for whom they can earn a significant sum of money. They have no intention of letting a first-team player go and the club says that there are players who are not transferable. Pedri, Gavi, Lewandowski, Araujo, Koundé and a few others. If the player transferred had arrived at zero cost or has come through the academy, the benefits will be even greater.
In addition, Barça will have to negotiate new contracts with some of players. They have done so with the renewal of Sergio Roberto and will have to do so with Busquets — if the captain ends up staying. They could also consider new contracts for players such as Jordi Alba, Ter Stegen and De Jong.
With few options to sign, another of Barça’s gambles to reduce spending could be to go for home-grown players. In this sense, Nico and Abde could return as first-team players, although a transfer is not ruled out if a good offer arrives, taking into account the benefits they would bring.
It is also clear to the club that it must reduce the cost and budget of the other sections (basketball, handball etc), as it hinders the wage bill that can be used by the first football team.
Evidently, another option to have more salary margin is to increase income. Bearing in mind that LaLiga has vetoed the famous levers, the marketing department is doing a great job in this regard. The increase in sponsorship is significant, but the ceiling is beginning to change. A good contract for the first team shirt sleeve will be important.