Opinion: European Soccer Did Not Learn Anything From The Pandemic

Spending continues in times of uncertainty. European soccer clubs in debt seem to have learned nothing from the pandemic crisis.

Lionel Messi at the farewell to Barcelona

The signing of Messi by PSG should cause concern, not emotion. Photo: LatinAmerican Post

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: Opinión: El Fútbol europeo no aprendió nada en la pandemia

In April this year, the Swiss Ramble soccer business blog made a list of the most indebted clubs. These included Tottenham, Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Everton, and other well-known names. Several of these clubs have had to take out bank loans to stay afloat and at least in the case of Barcelona, their debt continues to increase.

Yes indeed. The crisis has not prevented the big clubs from continuing to sign expensive players. Among the most important signings of this summer of indebted clubs are:

  • Jadon Sancho. He was signed by Manchester United for 85 million euros. (Manchester United owes 443 million euros according to its latest financial report)
  • Raphael Varane. He was signed, again, by Manchester United for 50 million euros.
  • Rodrigo de Paul. He was signed by Atlético de Madrid for 35 million euros (Atleti has a debt of 804 million euros)

Also, it's important to mention the millions in salaries that PSG will have to pay for their new signing of Messi, who will receive 25 million euros a year. It is estimated that the Ligue 1 team will pay more than 300 million euros a year in salaries, more than any club on the planet.

The PSG Will Be A Millionaire Team With the Arrival of Messi

All of these large transfers occurred despite the reality of the coronavirus. As of today, we do not know if the COVID-19 crisis will get worse or better due to the variations and even then the clubs continue to spend money.

Messi is unusual. The three factors that sank Barcelona were their transfer debts, their high salaries, and the uncertainty generated by COVID-19, but even so, PSG is determined to follow in the footsteps of the Spanish club: spend money in the worst possible time, to "Secure" a future profit.

This can not go on like this. Soccer clubs will again end up spending more than they earn and this will affect their ability to compete in the long run.

The signing of Messi by PSG should cause concern, not emotion. Concern that the clubs do not seem to have understood that they must spend wisely, with a view to the future and possible eventualities. 300 million euros in annual salaries is not so easily covered.

Of course, this would also have to affect players with such exorbitant salaries as Messi's. You can't keep giving so much money to just one person, no matter how much they contribute to the sport. It just isn't sustainable.

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