Josep María Bartomeu and Florentino Pérez They have slept calmer tonight despite the concern that is always the prelude to a classic between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. As confirmed by official sources, the Higher Sports Council (CSD) has listened to the request of the presidents of both teams, together with those of the Athletic de Bilbao and Club Atlético Osasuna, so that the losses registered in the last fiscal year 2019-2020 by covid-19 do not count when applying the 1990 Sports Law. A regulation that would have forced the boards of directors to endorse the accounts with their personal assets of their respective clubs.
As El Confidencial announced exclusively on June 10, Barça, Real Madrid, Athletic and Osasuna, the only four professional football clubs that are not public limited companies, asked Irene Lozano, president of the Higher Sports Council (CSD), a moratorium on the law that was approved 20 years ago and by which the majority of the First and Second Division teams went from having partners to shareholders.
The urgent procedure has already been declared in the Council of Ministers and it is expected that the Royal Decree that activates these measures is approved at the end of November or early December, according to sources familiar with the deliberations. These same sources ensure that clubs, in order to benefit from this exemption, must justify that the losses are linked to the pandemic. For this it will be established an audit system and that everything must be objectified.
The battle of the ERTE in Atlético de Madrid and Barcelona to lower salaries
At Atlético de Madrid it has been easier than at Barcelona to make the decision to apply an ERTE. Bartomeu finds himself with serious problems to reduce the wage bill
The azulgranas, the whites, the rojiblancos and the rojillos were the only ones who were granted a special regime due to their financial solvency, but in exchange for complying with a rule according to which their managers have to guarantee with their personal assets 15% of the annual budget. Guarantees that they can withdraw in the event that clubs present recurring benefits, as has happened to date, but that can come into force if they register losses as happened last season due to the effects of the covid.
Despite the fact that the course ended in mid-July, once the competition was restarted, halted in mid-March due to the state of alarm, the fiscal year of each club ended on June 30, so the sports entities lost about one third of your income. In the case of Real Madrid, the club chaired by Florentino Pérez calculated a drop in turnover of 171 million due to the closure of the stadium, which resulted in fewer sales of shirts, tickets and the return of part of the season tickets and operating contracts for the company boxes. Despite this, according to provisional figures, the sports entity has closed the course with benefits of 320.000 euros thanks to the sale of Achraf to Milan for about 40 million. In the preceding season, earnings were 38.4 million.
ICO credits and 10%
The figure has been similar in the Barça entity, which has closed the fiscal year 2019-2020 with 855 million income, compared to the 1,047 budgeted, and a net loss of 97 million, as recognized by the club itself. The break would have been even greater if Barça had not transferred Arthur to Juventus for 72 million. In the case of Barça, this CSD decision is particularly important due to the electoral process in which the motion of censure that has been raised against Bartomeu is already involved. In the event of prospering, the new directive would have to assume the guarantee rule, from which the Government is now dispensing.
The problem will be greater this season, as the clubs will continue without the income from the box offices, the merchandising or the boxes
For their part, financial sources indicate that Athletic Bilbao has scored red numbers of 40 million euros, which has prevented the club from facing the signings of Javi Martínez (Bayern Munich) or Fernando Llorente (Napolés), as the coach had requested. All clubs have tried to compensate for these abrupt declines with the salary cut applied to professional football and basketball squads. But they have not been enough to avoid the final losses.
The problem will be even greater this season that has already begun because the clubs still do not have the income from the box office, the merchandising and the boxes, since the return of the fans to the stadiums is not yet allowed. Therefore, many of them have turned to urgent loans to alleviate their cash flow problems. Barça and Madrid have requested 100 million each from the banks with a guarantee from the ICO, that is, from the State, to meet the payrolls of its stars. Others have resorted to loans to opportunistic investment funds, which are lending them to interest rates above 10%.