Why Barcelona soccer is set for some big changes

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Barcelona have long been known as one of the powerhouses of European soccer. But all is not well at the Nou Camp stadium. This is because Barcelona are in the midst of one of their worst seasons in a long time. 

It’s been a hugely disappointing campaign in the Spanish La Liga with Barcelona currently sat behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in third place. With Atletico five points ahead with a game in hand, there’s every chance that Barcelona could end the season without any silverware.

This is because Barcelona recently suffered a 1-4 home defeat to Paris Saint Germain that will almost certainly see the team getting booted out of the Champions League. Such a defeat won’t just bruise the ego of Barcelona, but it will mean that the club will be short of some much-needed income. 

Barcelona are currently in the midst of some major financial turmoil. At the moment, the club is currently in the control of the season ticket holders who will vote for the next president. But there are many large companies who are being vocal about investing in Barcelona which is something that would be unforgivable for many Barcelona soccer fans.  While the Catalonian club once had an income of over one billion euros, Barcelona’s extravagant transfer policy has left the team with some staggering wage bills. 

What’s worse is that recent major signings have failed to click in the Barcelona team. Take Antoine Griezmann who was signed from Atletico Madrid for €120 million. The French forward is currently earning a staggering £795,000 per week, but the massive investment has yet to pay off for Barcelona. While Griezmann has recently entered the racehorse ownership business, it seems that he’d need to work more on the soccer pitch rather than getting his horses like Tornibush to feature on the best bookmakers for horse betting

As a result of the questionable transfer policy, Barcelona are now faced with the threat of bankruptcy that has come hand in hand with some torrid performances on the pitch. Because of this, the timing of the Barcelona presidential election on March 7 is hugely significant. Each of the three candidates of Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa have very different visions of how they can resolve Barcelona’s massive financial problems and bring the legendary team back to the forefront of European football.

One of the biggest questions is what should Barcelona do about Lionel Messi? The Argentine striker is arguably the best soccer player of his generation, but Messi has made no secret of the fact that he wants away from the club. At 33-years of age, the forward may be entering the twilight of his years, but he is still the focal point of the Barcelona team. 

All three potential presidents have made it clear that they want to keep Messi at Barcelona, but it remains to be seen how they can afford to do this. The striker has long been the subject of transfer rumours to other European titans like Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City. There have also been reports that Messi is even considering a big money move to play soccer in the US

The fate of this will depend on what happens in the presidential elections in early March, plus Barcelona will have much work to do on the pitch if they want to keep Messi among their ranks. The club have already changed their manager in recent times. This saw Quique Setien getting booted out of Camp Nou following a disastrous 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League. 

The Dutch manager Ronald Koeman was brought in to steady the ship, but things haven’t quite gone to plan. Koeman initially seemed like a strong choice as he led Barcelona to an impressive 4-0 win over Villarreal in his first game in charge. 

But from here, there have been plenty of sub-par performances that included a dismal 1-0 away defeat to Getafe. But it was the 1-3 loss in October’s El Clasico match against Real Madrid that really caused the alarm bells to ring. This saw Barcelona equaling their worst points tally after six games in a La Liga season. 

However, it’s important to note that there have been glimmers of hope for Barcelona. The prodigious talent of 18-year Ansu Fati has given plenty of hope for the future. Plus Barcelona were unlucky to lose 3-2 to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana. 

Despite these moments of positivity, it’s hard to underestimate the major financial problems that are looking to keep haunting the Catalonian soccer club. Not only are Barcelona having to survive without the huge ticket revenues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the 100,000 capacity Camp Nou stadium is also in severe need of an upgrade.

All of which means that the next couple of months are going to be integral for how Barcelona keep up with the other titans of European football. There are growing rumours that the biggest clubs are going to break away to form a European Super League. It’s impossible to imagine such a league being formed without Barcelona at the centre of it. All of which means that whoever becomes the next president of Barcelona will have a lot of work to do. 

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