O Barcelona officially announce the signature of Vitor Roquebut the young Brazilian striker remains in Athletico PR Just June 2024, not produced in Spain for the 2024/25 season. Apart from the red-black interest, this is explained by the Catalans’ financial situation.
On the eve of the announcement of the signing, the president of Barcelona, Joan Laporta, had already confirmed the agreementbut warned that the Brazilian’s arrival date depends on ‘reaction plan’ which was presented to the leaguean attempt by the club to operate with more freedom over its spending.
Is that, with billionaire debt and spending above the salary cap, Barcelona are outside the rules of « financial fair play » and suffered a series of sanctions from La Liga, which prevented, for example, last season, that the team managed to register even contract renewals with its athletes.
To convince LaLiga that they are working on leveling the books, Barcelona presented the so-called ‘viability plan’ last April. In this document, the club pledged to reduce its ordinary expenses by 15% in two years and also to reduce the wage bill by 120 million euros (641 million reais at the current rate) for the current season, including includes the sale of players.
Barcelona’s main concern was that La Liga would release the club to operate under the rule that applies to all other Spanish teams, the ‘1 on 1’ rule. This means that every euro saved on a team’s payroll can be reinvested by the team, i.e. if the real Madrid makes room in their salaries with the departure of Karim Benzema, can hire another player receiving the same.
At the beginning of June, LaLiga approved the plan presented by Barcelona, but not in full, as they saw that there were still some problems the Catalans would need to solve in their finances. Thus, the club has not already entered the « 1 for 1 » rule, but a 40% and 20% rule.
Explanation: for every figure saved by Barcelona in player salaries, 40% eventually be used to sign new players; and of each sale made by the club, 20% can be reinvested.
In other words, if Barcelona hypothetically saved 100 million euros on their wage bill, only 40 million euros can be added to the salaries of other athletes; if you sold someone for 100 million, only 20 million can become an investment in the market.
Barcelona have seen heavyweight players leave since last season, making room in their payroll which exceeds 600 million euros (over R$3 billion), like Antoine Griezmann, Memphis Depay, Jordi Alba, Right dive and sergio busquets. But the club also had to sign renewals that have also been made in the past, such as Gavi, Ronald Araújo, Iñaki Peña, Sergi Roberto or Marcos Alonso.
Thinking of the reinforcements, Barcelona have already had to welcome according to the financial rules established by LaLiga the arrivals of Iñigo Martínez and Ilkay Gundogan. Apart from that, the club is still on the market to meet xavi’s priority requests: the arrival of a right-back and also two other midfielders. The « space » maneuver in accounts to also accommodate Vitor Roque now.
Laporta and Barcelona have always treated Vitor Roque’s immediate signing as ‘unlikely’ but understood that it would be possible to count on him in January. “It will depend on ‘fair play’, on the viability plan that we have to fulfill. And there are operations that we suppose to do, unless we generate income that gives us fair play, then we have to sign the player, ”said the manager.
Arriving only in 2024/25, meanwhile, gives Barcelona a lot more time to be able to solve their internal problems – in addition to also pleasing Athletico-PR, who turned out with their main striker until the end of the season. Brazilian season and also next year’s side.