Romeu: “We aspire to no longer use ‘levers’ and for this concept to disappear”

“We have put a plug in the drain, our own funds have been straightened out and we are dealing with the debt”


The economic vice president of FC Barcelona, ​​Eduard Romeu, assured this Wednesday in the presentation of the settlement of the financial year of the 2022/23 season and the budgets for the current campaign – numbers that must be approved in the Assembly of Committers of this Saturday– that the club aspires to “no longer use ‘levers'” and to make this concept “disappear”, although the benefits of last season were achieved thanks to those famous ‘levers’.

“The desire is to have an exercise without ‘levers’ and for this concept to disappear. We are already talking about ordinary income and expenses. There are two extraordinary options frozen, such as the sale of BLM and the sale of a part of Media. This has been done with an extra effort in a very screwed up year to go to Montjuïc. Under normal conditions, these would be numbers that would look great. But yes, we aspire not to use any more lever operations,” he acknowledged at a press conference.

Without these ‘levers’, despite having those two aces up their sleeve in case they need to be activated, FC Barcelona expects to have 8 million euros of net profit at the end of the current financial year (2023/24). “These numbers must become a reality, the club is organized and we know how to get to them. But we cannot get lost. I would say that the debt is the next point that we will attack from now on, we are under observation. The objective is not to open the blind by losing money,” said Romeu.

For now, he assured that they have managed to “put a plug in the drain” and “stop the economic bleeding” of the entity. “Equity’s own funds have been straightened due to regulations and investor peace of mind and, very importantly, the occupation is now in debt. We have a viability plan that supports these numbers and not everything should be negative news and we hope for judicial resolutions that can improve this,” he noted.

“We have had, taking the big figures, income with respect to the budget of an additional 4 million, with a positive result greater than the budgeted. We have taken advantage of the goodness of the numbers and results of the year to make a charge corresponding to ‘backpack charges’ that we would have had in subsequent years, with the objective of once and for all, in the 23/24 season, to be able to have a normalized year without any extraordinary operations, commonly known as levers”, concluded the economic vice president.

Regarding the closing of the 2022/23 financial year, with 304 million euros of profits after obtaining 1,259 million in operating income and 1,165 million in operating expenses and once the tax filter was passed, Romeu explained that those ‘levers’ were applied ‘ for the last time and that, seeing that there was room for maneuver, it was used to advance some ‘backpack expenses’ that will no longer weigh in future years.

Just as the income (those 1,259 million total) includes ‘levers’ such as the sale of a part of the television rights, the expenses also include ‘counter-levers’. “I would highlight an extraordinary operation of 48 million, incorporated by criteria of prudence, which corresponds to the value of the calculated interests of the result of the works of the Espai Barça, which has a life of its own. It is a pool of funds to which income and expenses resulting from of the ‘remodeling’ of the stadium,” he explained. The other ‘counterlever’ is the 100 million extra cost for future years.

Among these incomes, ordinary income of 860 million euros stands out, with a sports cost (salary mass) of 79%. “We wanted to plug the water leak and once solved, think about other operations,” explained Romeu, who celebrated that this ‘ratio’ of wage bill with respect to income improves, and a lot, in the face of this season’s budget, until remaining by 57%.

Within the expenses section, specifically in management expenses (255 million, 11 more than budgeted), the club explained that there are large items such as the 77 million from BLM (logistics, material purchase, personnel, etc.) or the 24 million for facility maintenance, 19 million ‘Seient Lliure’ or 17 million in travel.

As for its own funds, the club is close, within half a million euros, of having positive net worth again. “The commitment was to straighten out the economic situation as soon as possible. We are now at -500,000 euros in terms of being able to have positive assets in the club,” said the vice president. And the big objective is now to reduce the club’s financial debt, something they have managed to do with 128 million euros less debt compared to June 2021.

“We have to congratulate ourselves because, during two years, we have been able to reduce the financial debt. We still owe 207M to clubs, 570M to banks. But there are no longer ‘backpacks’ with players. We are not satisfied, no. But we have covered the hole and beginning to correct negative equity, we are still busy with debt, which is our burden. We must increase income and lower expenses,” he acknowledged.

Regarding the budget for the 2023/24 season, lower income of 859 million euros is expected, but also lower expenses (832 million) for an operating result of 27 million and, after taxes, a net profit of 8 millions of euros.

“We return to numbers without extraordinary income, without levers. The exile to Montjuïc has a cost. It is an exit with an impact of -€78M in terms of stadium income. It is normal because there is not the same flow of people, nor attendance to the museum, for example. They are very reliable numbers in line with what we have had in previous years,” Romeu pointed out.

The big news is that sports salaries are being lowered and a viability plan commissioned by the president, Joan Laporta, is being applied. “We have made some drastic decisions, very unpleasant for us but very necessary. When you start to impose criteria, at first you must be very rigorous. And hence we have 333M less expenses, a figure that few of you would believe at the beginning of last year “he noted.

“I would prefer, more than with the final result of 8M profit, that we have been able to cover the hole and we have the will to improve these numbers because we continue to work hard,” he explained.


The club seeks a balance between the salary mass (of the entire club) in compliance with regulations and UEFA recommendations and sporting performance. And, as for the salary bill for the current year, it is the “smallest and by far” figure in recent years, 57% compared to 79% the previous year. “And a balance has had to be struck to have sporting successes. And we have just won LaLiga in football and the different sections have been able to win titles,” he contributed.