Barcelona’s La Liga campaign begins on August 13th (Saturday) against Rayo Vallecano and they might have to do it without the Polish marksman up top. His new club, for which he scored his first goal in a 6-0 friendly against Mexican club Pumas, has not yet been allowed to register him.
This has to do with the fact that the salary budget is not balanced.
Here are the facts; in La Liga, each club is allowed to register 25 players, but Barça currently has 33 stars under contract. Barça has estimated a salary budget of €620 million for its squad and has to save an estimated €30 million to fall in line with the financial regulations of the league.
At his presentation, Lewandowski revealed that he has no worries about the registration and believes everything is on track. He earlier expressed his reservations about signing with the Catalan club to president Joan Laporta, who proceeded to assure him that it would happen. “If we could only register one, Robert would be the one,” he declared.
Barça’s financial situation is chaotic. Although the club has sold parts of its assets (including TV rights) by activating “economic levers”, it still owes approximately €1.2 billion.
This makes the club put pressure on players who “should” leave and the higher-ups are not one to shy away from dirty tricks.
Case in point; Frenkie de Jong. According to The Athletic, Laporta wants to terminate De Jong’s contract which was prematurely extended in 2020. In an email from the club to the Dutchman, a phrase went as “criminal acts are to be assumed.”
Alternatively, De Jong could forego half his salary (estimated at €90 million until 2026), but the midfielder does not wish to leave.
Martin Braithwaite is yet another figure in Barcelona who has been victim to the club’s methods. He was publicly embarrassed by Samuel Umtiti, who remarked, “you know it’s time to go.” The Danish international does not wish to leave, and was subsequently jeered at by fans in the game against Pumas.
Memphis Depay is also said to be leaving the club, while Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets are ready to take a wage cut.
Despite all this, Barcelona still remains the face of La Liga, with Real Madrid and La Liga president Javier Tebas is counting on Lewandowski being able to appear on Saturday.
“They know what they have to do,” he said.