And Javier Tebas pricked the bubble. La Liga announced this week new wage caps for all clubs in the Spanish first and second tiers, calculated to minimise the number of arrangements with creditors in professional football. Each club has a maximum payroll for the season, once the winter market is over, and that includes the salaries of players, coaching staff and B and youth teams.
Wages had become an increasingly problematic issue for Barcelona. Last course we were the club with the biggest salary cap in Spain, at €671m, but the new limit for the 2021/21 season is of €382.7m — a huge drop of €288.3m. Real Madrid are the new La Liga club with the highest spending limit, at €468.5m, also a big fall from the €641m of last campaign.
There is no option but to keep lowering the wage bill. We already got rid of big earners like Luis Suárez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitić, while the new contracts of Marc-André ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong, Clément Lenglet and Gerard Piqué include deductions to be repaid in the latter years of their deals. But there must be much more, €190m to be cut down according to Carles Tusquets. Negotiations are set to continue till November 23.
The aim of La Liga president Tebas is to guarantee stability and prevent that clubs spend more than what they can afford. For the pandemic, he will allow some leeway and any excesses will be penalised for the 21/22 term, not this one. But Barça have no choice but to reduce the wages, and sell. And forget about Kylian Mbappés, Erling Hålands and Matthijs de Ligts. Time to be very rational and maximise La Masía.