Barcelona announce total debt has doubled to €488m amid coronavirus pandemic

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Barcelona have announced losses of €97 million for the 2019-20 season and confirmed that their total debt has doubled to €488m.

Barca had hoped to become the first club to break €1bn in revenue last season but saw their finances hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The club posted their accounts for last season on Monday, revealing a total income of €855m, down over €200m on the €1,059m they predicted they would have brought in without the coronavirus outbreak. That would have led to profits of around €30m.

Among other losses, Barca explained that they lost €47m in matchday revenue, €35m in sales at the club shops and €18m in ticketing from the museum based at Camp Nou.

Barca took several measures to try and limit expenditure and counter the losses including asking the first team players to take temporary a wage cut. They saved €44m on salaries as a result.

The revenue of €855m is down on the €990m posted by the club at the end of the 2018-19 season.

In addition to the losses, Barca also revealed that the club's debt has doubled from €217m in June 2019 to €488m at the end of this June.

There is no explanation for the steep rise in debt, although the club did take out financing to secure the €120m signing of Antoine Griezmann last season even before having to deal with the coronavirus.

Barca also said the pandemic will continue to hit their finances hard, with games still being played behind closed doors in La Liga.

Predicted revenue for 2020-21 is €791m, a drop of 8% in relation to the income confirmed for last season.

As a result of the continued losses, Barca have been forced to drastically reduce their wage bill. The departure of big earners like Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic has helped them cut costs.

However, they have struggled to bring in large transfer fees with those three players leaving for a total of €1.5m up front.

That has left them hamstrung in the transfer market. They have so far signed Miralem Pjanic and Sergino Dest but are still pursuing deals for Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay, two players who are out of contract with their respective clubs next summer.