New FC Barcelona president Laporta exaggerated key wage ratio in presidential campaign
5 March 2021
President Joan Laporta claims the club's wages-to-revenue ratio has been above 80 per cent "in recent years."
But that is far from the truth, according to an Off The Pitch examination.
Laporta Sunday night won the presidential elections.
A new direction was on the menu when more than 110,000 FC Barcelona members on Sunday vote for which of three presidential candidates to lead the club out of the financial turmoil and deteriorating sporting performance synonymous with the club in past years.
Joan Laporta, who also served as the club's president between 2003 and 2010, won by big margin and one of his key issues in his campaign was a moderation of the weight of the club's wage bill.
He wants to reduce salaries in order to stay within UEFA's recommendation of a maximum wages-to-revenue ratio of 70 per cent, claiming in his publicly available economic manifesto that "Barca has been above 80 per cent in recent years."
But an Off The Pitch examination can reveal that over the past five years, the clubs wage bill has consistently stayed below 80 per cent of turnover, exceeding 70 per cent only a single time in the 2017/18 season when it reached 76.7 per cent.
For last season, the club's wage bill stood at €487.1 million, and with turnover of €728.8 million that corresponds to a wages-to-revenue ratio of 66.8 per cent.
If you only account for the first team's wages, removing all other personnel, the club's wages-to-revenues ratio stood at just 60.3 per cent.
Laporta has not been exempt from controversy in his association with Barcelona, having survived a no-confidence vote in 2008 after a series of public and private mishaps.
Besides having allegedly ordered that four vice presidents were spied upon by private detectives, his reputation took a hit when it was revealed he gave an honorary club position to a brother-in-law with Francoist sympathies, a hugely contentious issue given how Catalan sensibilities are tied up in Barca’s identity.
Laporta, who says he vows to put an end to leadership that since 2016 has "strained the club's treasury, causing a high financial cost," did not reply to Off The Pitch's request for comment.