So, it feels like time has slowed down. Perhaps it’s that I’m in the middle of one of those horrible “gotta look for an apartment” moments where my antipathy towards brokers reaches a tipping point and I just want to scream into the phone that no, I really don’t want a [bleeping] [bleep] [bleep] studio in the middle of [bleep] [bleeping] [bleep] nowhere. And then there have to go and be rumors. Quickly, the daily wrap:
Javier Faus, our VP of Economic Area and Strategy, has come out with a press conference on our €155m loan. I’ll let more financially-minded people answer the question as to whether this is intelligent or not or whether it even signals anything negative from us. The loan breaks down as such: €79m to repay previous debts (which I think means that this whole loan package should be mentioned as €76m new loan), €15m for previous guarantees (not explained in what I’ve read), and €61m to cover “outstanding salaries and payments.” I think it’s fair to say that this is a short-term cash problem rather than a systemic failure or insolvency problem. It remains to be seen, of course, whether that is true, but it is certainly more likely than anything. [Thank you to reader Patrick for his insight into this particular area]
What is odd, however, is that we still have €50m for transfers this summer. Weird, if we’re strapped for cash and we just used all of our loan to cover other things. Makes me think that Rosell is merely posturing about the fiscal crisis at Barcelona. Why do I think this? Hidden away in EMD’s report about it is a little gem: our debt stands at €210m. Don’t believe me? What about quotes from Faus himself:
“Debemos 210 millones a los bancos (155 del crédito sindicado y 50 por pólizas de crédito) y tenemos que ganar 50 millones anuales, devolver los créditos e invertir en las instalaciones y en jugadores.”
We owe 210 million to the banks (155 from the syndicated loan and 50 for credit policies [I’m not entirely sure what “pólizas de crédito” means in English financial jargon]) and we have to earn 50 million yearly, repay the loans, and invest in infrastructure [facilities, literally] and players.”
Odd, then, that we’re looking at “astronomical debt” when just under half of the debt comes from the recent €76m in new loans we took. So, roughly speaking, besides Faus’ bad math (155+50=205, not 210), we seemed to be pretty terrific financial shape. Funny enough, Faus remarked that the signing of Ronaldinho was part of the gradual increase in our debts–funny, of course, because it was Rosell that got that deal worked out in the first place. Suffice to say that Rosell and his administration come off as sounding like they’re talking out of their asses, even if they are giving it to us straight.
Another slight caveat here. According to Goal.com (yes, yes, I know, don’t trust them): “[Barça’s] debt at the end of June 2009 stood at €202 million, up from €190m the year before.” It makes perfect sense, then, that the debt would be, after a year of paying off debt in rather intensely (if Laporta and the member-approved budget is to be believed), at €210 thanks to €76m in added debt. That’s not a knock of what could be a useful amount of money, but it certainly isn’t the end of the world.
Marquez to leave? This one seems fairly obvious, but then again, we just shipped out Chygrynskiy, so who is Rafa’s replacement cover? It strikes me that Muniesa, Bartra, and Fontas are all capable of making the step up, so why not let them? Muniesa’s record of 1 red card per first team appearance has to be a fluke, right? Regardless, El Kaiser de Michoacan has given us a lot of wonderful playing and if he goes, I’ll remember him fondly despite his ineptitude and aggression against the US in international play. And the ubiquitous and horrible commercials he was in throughout the 2006 World Cup while I lived in Mexico.
Apparently we like Javi Martinez. Okay.
Apparently we like Filipe Luis. Okay, but why didn’t we sign him last year for, uh, free? Didn’t the court for arbitration for sport (or whatever it’s called) rule that we could have him on a free? I can’t seem to find the link, but anyway, he was valued at €10m by us (and like €234897million billion by Lotina), so anything less than that would have been worth it, no? Of course, we didn’t do that and instead picked up Maxwell for €5m which was a great deal in the end.
More news to come tomorrow as things continue to pick up steam around these parts.