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Mid-Day Ticker: Barca’s debt mounts, Mascherano wants LFC exit and more

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FC Barcelona might be one of the biggest clubs in the world and one that owns a star-studded cast of players, but that comes at a price. A hefty one.

According the club's financial vice president, the club made a loss of $100 million last season. This has caused the net debt to rise to $573 million and gross debt to $716 million.

Part of the issue is because of the bankruptcy of broadcaster Mediapro, with Barcelona claiming new rights-holder Sogecable owes it $49 million.

Here are some more stories to help get you through the day:

Mascherano wants Liverpool exit

Liverpool's offseason continues to get worse.

Amid the news of a potential departure from star striker Fernando Torres comes word that Argentina international Javier Mascherano wants out. Mascherano has told new manager Roy Hodgson that he wants to leave, but Hodgson expects the midfielder to honor his contract, which runs through to 2012.

Mascherano, who has been linked with a move to join former coach Rafael Benitez at Inter Milan, returned Monday from an extended break given by the club to World Cup players. During that break Hodgson attempted to contact Mascherano through several phone calls and voice messages, but he never heard back.

Campbell nears Newcastle deal

Sol Campbell will undergo a medical with Newcastle United on Tuesday afternoon in what will likely finalize his move to the recently-promoted Premiership club. Campbell, who played for Arsenal last season, is expected to help shore up a Newcastle defense that is dealing with the loss of injured Steven Taylor.

Campbell had also been attracting interest from Celtic and Sunderland. 

Fabiano plans to stick with Sevilla

Luis Fabiano appears to have ruled out a transfer this summer, as the Brazilian international plans to stick with Sevilla. Having been reportedly eyed by AC Milan, Tottenham and Manchester United, Fabiano said he is happy with the Spanish club and hopes to lift the Spanish Super Cup in August.

Fabiano has one year remaining on his contract.


What do you think of Barcelona being in so much debt? Expect Mascherano to leave Liverpool this summer? How do you see Campbell doing at Newcastle? Surprised by Fabiano's pledge?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I disagree. Mascherano is far more expendable, as it is much easier to replace a midfield destroyer than it is a world class striker. They have a ready made replacement in Lucas, with Gerrard likely to be deployed deeper this season with the arrival of Cole. Spearing is also ready for a first team role based on some of Hodgson’s recent comments. Liverpool can then use the 25-30 million pounds they are able to get from Inter or Barca to reinvest elsewhere (striker depth and LB) and maybe buy an affordable veteran defensive midfielder for cover purposes.

    If someone other than Man City or Chelsea were willing to pony up 70 million pounds then I would say selling Torres would make sense. But selling your best player off to two teams you will be directly competing with for a CL place(especially Man City) is idiotic no matter how much money you would get in the deal. This is moot anyway, as Torres is going nowhere.

  2. I am all for LFC going after Bradley!! Masch is fast becoming a lose cannon. And People stop buying into the media, Torres is staying put. LFC season is looking half full not half empty. Now can we just get some new owners!!!!!!

  3. There’s a lot on the line for the other teams in La Liga too, you know. They all get to compete for the right to gaze adoringly at Barca and Real Madrid from the next places down the table. The big winners get to do Barca and RM’s laundry.

  4. Wow, it is going to be another exciting year in La Liga with the same two teams having any chance of finishing top of the table for the 50th year in a row. That is brilliant work they are doing at Barcelona. Spend way more money than you can ever hope to bring in and win the title every year or maybe come in second. That’s exciting stuff. I can’t wait for the two meaningful games in La Liga next season.

  5. They should be deducted points from La Liga if they don’t pay up. Isn’t that what happened to Portsmouth last season??? I think we need to be making a bigger deal about this. Can you do a bigger story on this Ives? Or write a Fox Socccer column?


    I don’t care if you buy players, but do it with the money you have. I’m really disappointed in this. I hope they don’t play in Chapmions League if they don’t pay. Sorry

  6. Yes, they pay something like 5 or 6 million a season for the right to do so.

    If United were able to squeak out something like 100 million over 5 seasons, I’m sure Barcelona would be able to ask for a bit more than that, and that would go a long way to lowering their debt.

  7. I read somewhere that Barcelona actually pays to have Unicef on their jerseys, which is pretty impressive, but think of how many companies would love that advertising slot… (probably not $716M worth though)

  8. It’s a very big problem, considering the Spanish economy. Banks are really starting to tighten up with their lending to sports clubs, because there’s no guarentee that the huge revenues of years ago will come back anytime soon.

    And keep this in mind: if Barca don’t significantly reduce their operating debt by 2012-13, no Champions League for them. That’d be a huge loss. So expect to see major earners shipped out the door in the next 2 seasons, and replaced by young players on lower wages.

  9. How big of a problem are Barca’s debt issues, really? True, it’s scary to think of what could happen, but is anyone really going to stop lending to them anytime soon?

  10. If you’re going to bring up this argument, please at least show some grasp of what Keynesian econ means. Run surpluses in times of plenty so that in times of scarcity you can afford to run a deficit. Nothing about what’s going on with soccer teams– or the US government for the last 10 years– is Keynesian. It’s just drunken spending; don’t conflate the two.

  11. Instead, they should fire their backroom staff and groundskeepers; cut their player wages by 90% and have players pay for their own medical care; reduce ticket prices for all seats, especially box seats, to a flat rate of $10; and sell their stadium to their directors. Fiscal austerity is the path to greatness. Long live Milton Friedman.

  12. Too bad barca doesn’t have a printing press like the US government.

    Here are some hints. Don’t buy Cesc, sell players like Hleb and Caceras. Let Marquez grow, you should make a profit this year. They have other talent they could sell too.

    I agree with the previous poster. Zlatan deal was awful, 50 million plus Eto…haha

  13. Barca and most big teams in Europe are deficit spending like the US government. Maybe they can save their debt by borrowing and spending some more, Long live John Maynard Keynes!

  14. The EPL is clearly a retirement league since Sol Campbell is signing with Newcastle United and Ryan Giggs is still starting for Man U. And I’m not surprised that Barcelona is in financial trouble since La Liga is a feeder league for MLS (i.e. Henry and Marquez).

  15. $716 million in debt for one of the most popular (and best-selling) teams in the world? First, how is the club’s VP of Finance still employed, and second, why isn’t UEFA or Spain’s federation investigating? I’m calling shenanigans…

  16. Alexander Hleb? Oh, its Alyaksandr? Umm… hey, I know this is awkward… but you aren’t getting any younger…

  17. Mascha can go, there are plenty of capable d mids to fill in for him with the club turning a nice profit. I saw somewhere that they could get Defour for around 15 mil, and that would be a fairly equal swap in my opinion. Take the extra cash and buy some bench players, that’s what has killed Liverpool over the years, N’Gog isn’t PL quality.

  18. I don’t know about a salary cap, but they need to tone it down for their own long-term good. The Ibrahimovic deal never made much sense to me, give up Eto’o AND pay 50 million? Isn’t that what it was? Now they are going to buy Cesc for another 45-50?

    Barca fans like to revile RM for their spending, but they haven’t been too different lately, have they?

  19. “Liverpool’s offseason continues to get worse”

    Everyone at LFC has known Masch has wanted to leave for, as Hodgson said today, a year. At the very least, it’s been almost guaranteed since the end of the season, so I don’t think it makes their off season worse. And in fact, the off season was doom and gloom before two weeks ago, since then plenty of things have been looking up.

  20. Mascherano is a very big loss in my opininion…. torres is magnificent but i agree with your argument of getting the most value for him


    Europe needs a salary cap!

  22. what would have to happen for barca to go into administration like with pourtsmouth? that amount of debt seems pretty unsustainable.

  23. Maybe I just don’t get it but am I only one who think Mascherano and Torres leaving really wouldn’t be that much of a disaster for Liverpool.

    Yes they are both world class but the club has yet to win anything since either of them arrived and they would bring in tons of money. Torres is a half a season player at best most years anyway. They might as well cash in before he holds no value and I think they can find a new defensive midfielder for what they could get for Mascherano.


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