Barcelona levers mess GFXGOAL

Barcelona have run out of financial 'levers' to pull and are still a mess - so is disaster inevitable?

With the sun beaming down on him in August 2022, club president Joan Laporta described Barcelona as being "out of the hospital". Stood alongside the club's biggest signing of the post-Lionel Messi era, Robert Lewandowski, Laporta clearly felt that the arrival of the Bayern Munich goal machine was a symbol of the club's clear recovery from potential financial ruin.

Twelve months earlier, Barca were nearing bankruptcy, and, presumably, no longer part of Europe's elite. Laporta inherited a club that was over €1 billion in debt, riddled with player-friendly contracts, and defined by its poor performances on the pitch. In his second stint in charge, it was Laporta's job to put things right.

"A year ago, sadly, we had to announce an unwanted situation as a result of the club's economic situation, but a year has passed and we can say that we are turning things around," he asserted at Lewandowki's unveiling.

Laporta's infamous solution was the pulling of a series of economic 'levers', financial moves that allowed the Blaugrana to deal their way back to relevance on the continent. But 18 months on from Laporta's grin before a packed Camp Nou, it's unclear where Barca's future lies.

Their capacity to make further signings has been curtailed, while that summer of spending has, while it admittedly led to a league title, has left Barca with an ageing striker and a handful of other signings that haven't quite convinced.

Now, Barca don't have anymore levers to pull, or loopholes to exploit. Reality has caught up, and the club are once again being forced into bargain-bin deals and penny-pinching in order to stay competitive in La Liga, never mind the Champions League. The money hasn't dried up — not yet — but it could soon, and Barca seem to be in big trouble.

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