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Barcelona’s financial health is improving says Romeu

Barcelona has dragged itself out of a difficult financial situation, the Catalan club’s vice-president Eduard Romeu reported on Wednesday.

“We remain under observation, we have recovered and we know how to get out of this but we musn’t lose our way,” said Romeu, the club’s financial director, at a press conference where he presented the club’s budget.

Barca reported a surplus of 304 million euros ($321 million) last season, higher than forecast.

For the 2023-24 campaign the club is estimating a profit of 11 million euros before tax, despite playing at the Olympic Stadium on the city’s Montjuic hill while their Camp Nou headquarters is rebuilt and upgraded over the next year-and-a-half.

That is in part connected to the reduction in players’ salaries following the departures of Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Ousmane Dembele.

Romeu said the club was committed to reducing its debt and improving its equity.

In September Barcelona were dealt a blow when the Spanish champions’ spending limit for the season was cut to 270 million euros by La Liga.

The Spanish top flight has strict spending controls which prevent clubs from continuing to overspend on player wages and transfers.

Barcelona’s previous limit was 649 million euros, a figure inflated by the sale of future television rights income among a series of financial “levers” the club pulled.

The Catalans’ current level of salary expenditure is around 400 million euros.

The punishment for exceeding the limit is being put under the division’s spending cap, in which Barcelona will only be allowed to use around 50 percent of income to improve their squad, until they make cuts to fall under the new limit.

The current situation means it is unlikely Barcelona will conduct significant transfer business in January, with further cuts needed if they are to be in a position to reinforce next summer.

Romeu was releasing the club’s economic state-of-play hours after a Spanish court charged Barcelona president Joan Laporta as part of the investigation into alleged bribes paid to referees.

The club itself and two of its former presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, as well as the former head of Spain’s referees body, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, and his son have already been charged.

Laporta has been charged in relation to his first spell as president of Barcelona from 2003 to 2010.

Negreira allegedly earned over seven million euros from Barcelona between 2001 and 2018, through companies supposedly producing refereeing reports for the club.

Barcelona, the 27-time Spanish champions, have been fighting off accusations for months and deny any wrongdoing.

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