It was always going to be a long haul in getting to the bottom of how bad Barcelona’s finances were, and how they remain, with the motion to remove Josep Maria Bartomeu only serving to bring forward the inevitable rather than speed any processes up.
Joan Laporta is now tasked with picking up the pieces, and he’ll have to be a modern day miracle worker for the club to come out the other side relatively unscathed.
It’ll be a while yet before the true extent of the previous board’s corruption and spendthriftiness will be known, and whether any monies can be recouped down the line.
Dare I say that many socios would probably just settle for seeing Bartomeu & Co. behind bars, but I digress...
Of immediate importance and concern is the make up of the first-team squad ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Lest we forget that pre-season is only a month or so away, and the club are still lumbered with the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Martin Braithwaite, Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic and the injured Ousmane Dembele (amongst others).
Looking at those named on a case-by-case basis, the biggest worry is surely Coutinho.
Though there’s been an awful lot of press speculation about his next destination, it has been just that. Speculation.
No club has come in with a firm offer for Barcelona’s most expensive ever signing.
Dembele would almost certainly have been transfer listed if he didn’t get injured at the European Championship.
He’s another high-earner that Barca could do with getting off of the wage bill, though it appears the Frenchman will be content to see out the season and move for free at the end of it.
Martin Braithwaite clearly has no future at the club now. With Aguero and Memphis having signed, only an incredible run of injuries would see the Dane anywhere near the first-team in future.
Of all those that could or should be sold, he seems the most likely to go at this stage.
Miralem Pjanic is another that isn’t and has never been fancied by Ronald Koeman, but aside from a tenuous link that places the Bosnian back at Juventus, there’s been no concrete transfer news.
Barcelona have been trying to offload Samuel Umtiti for a number of transfer windows now, but once again, the noises that are being made are along the lines of the player being perfectly happy at the club.
Why? Because of the ridiculous amounts of money being paid into his bank account. Something which Jordi Alba, who Joan Laporta has said he will listen to offers for, will relate to.
There comes a point when cutting ones losses is the easier option, and Barca are fast approaching that now.
Where they stand legally regarding each player’s individual situation will need to be handled delicately, but the current situation can’t be allowed to continue.