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Challenges FC Barcelona - Austerity Measures - £1.6B Debt


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The Club

FC Barcelona was founded in 1899 & has the motto "More than a club". The club is the fourth most valuable sports team in the world, worth $4.06M & Richest football club in terms of revenue.

Barcelona has a record 75 Trophies domestically & 20 European & Worldwide trophies!

Like Derby, FC Barcelona have incredible foundations with state of the art 1st Team & Youth Facilities in addition to a World Class stadium holding close to 100,000, Supporters!


The Issue

FC Barcelona is in deep debt due to overspending on players & wages. The huge wages have went out of control & the club was playing out more money than it was making. This is unsustainable for the club & has resulted in over a Billion Dollars in debt.

An example of the crazy overspending, in 2017, FC Barcelona sold Neymar to PSG for £190m - An incredible amount of money. To build & remain at the top, Barcelona paid out £289m in the same transfer window!

The overspending above has led to the Barcelona President selling the best player in the clubs history, Lionel Messi. Even with Messi leaving Barcelona, the club still nedd to reduce their wage bill even further! In recent times, players at the club have been asked to take pay cuts to help.

The Challenge

The closest challenge to going into debt on FM21 Mobile is "Austerity Measures". As described below, " the aim of the challenge is to reduce the wage bill by 25 percent before the end of the transfer window" whilst also keeping the club competitive "until the end of the season". You can see on FM21 Mobile,  FC Barcelona had a wage budget of £12.3M but are operated currently at £16.4m - That is £4.1M over the budget, major debt.


The result

I was successful in this Austerity Measures challenge with FC Barcelona. Firstly, It is Barcelona, so I used the Tiki-Taka Preset  system. Secondly, This was done by focusing on players at the squad who had excellent attributes in PACE/TEAMWORK. I found I was able to get rid of a lot of deadwood which consisted of Youth Players & Older players as well as some decent players who just did not fit these attributes.

The players sold did bring the wage's down by a couple of million pounds BUT there was still more cutting to do if I was to COMP this challenge. My squad was at my perfect size of 22 players but made the decision to sell some of the bigger players to reach the limit before deadline day. With a few days to spare,I finally shredded the squad down until the wages were in the GREEN.

Luckily, the squad which was left including Messi & youth squad players were able to grind out results, although we were inconsistent in the process. We did finish La Liga 3rd but with a big points difference with the top team.

Although this is not a true reflection of the clubs state in real life, it definitely gave an idea of huge challenge the club has.


My Thoughts

My thoughts on this challenge, especially with clubs going through this like Derby & Barcelona is that this presents a really tough, realistic challenge.

My initial thoughts are that I could have focused on 2x area's - Maintaining the quality of the present team(Messi Included) or build a new squad with youth(Selling big players from the team).

The challenge states to maintain early season form or keep getting results despite the wage bill reducing. This basically got me nervous & I went with the experience/quality of the bigger players, deciding instead to release much of the youth team/deadwood older players etc.

In real life though, the clubs problems are cut a lot deeper - a billion pound's of debt is eye-watering & would give me nightmares every night if I was President. The clubs stadium, La Masia Facilities, Franchises(Basketball) as well as being competitive in La Liga annually is all on the line! 😔

With so much at stake, You can understand why Barcelona are taking the policy of rebuilding on cheaper youth players & reducing the wages of older players. Younger players are hungry & talented with a higher sell-on price.

Apart from Manchester United, Barcelona are a club I deeply admire & respect - the style of football, history & heart all make this a special club. I can not wait for them to get past this sticky patch and continue their rise back up to the top!😊

Edited by SSolas
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