Barcelona will face a barren period in terms of success like Manchester United have when Lionel Messi leaves the club, says Spanish football expert Guillem Balague. Barca face financial problems which will only be worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Balague says there will be less money through sponsorship and commercial deals for Barca in the coming seasons.
Superstar forward Messi sees his current contract at the Nou Camp expire at the end of next season.
The Argentine turns 33 in June and has been linked with an exit from the club in recent months.
Balague says Barca have not been making big decisions in the boardroom that they should have in the last few years.
He claims the club needs a change in direction but that will not happen until the 2021 presidential elections.
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But Balague can still see Barca struggling on the pitch after that, especially when Messi leaves, just like United have.
United have failed to win the Premier League in the seven years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and have often missed out on Champions League qualification.
“In two or three years, or even more, we won’t see the same amount of expenditure in the market as we’ve seen in recent years,” Balague said on his YouTube channel.
“It means that it will all be about making the club stable financially, so no big expenses.
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“With all that in mind, with the lack of direction of the club, with a board that have basically backed the players up above anything else, you have a club not taking big decisions that they should.
“They run the risk of having a few years like Manchester United.
“The post-Messi could be really, really terrible unless people come in and do the kind of things that they have to do.
“Remember, even though they’re bringing in €1billion to the coffers, that money won’t be readily available in sponsorship and commercial deals as it has been in recent times.
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“So they have to readjust the figures and the budgets, and remember one thing they can hardly touch is the wages of the players which counts for over 70 per cent.
“A really terrible situation in terms of the finances but also the lack of directness as well.
“The direction of the club suggests that they need a change and that change will come when the elections arrive.
“No, there won’t be early elections, I think one or two candidates are ready for elections but the club, the board, wants to make sure they actually finish their time in charge without debts.
“Because if there were debts then the board would have to pay them, in which case it would really be personal.
“A lot of things to sort out before the elections next summer.”
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