Barcelona’s failure to beat Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday night could have serious financial consequences for the ailing club.
After last night’s dramatic 3-3 draw at the Nou Camp, Italy could see Barcelona out of contention if they beat group winners Viktoria Plzen at the San Siro next week.
Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have reported how much Barcelona will lose financially unless they can win their last two games and other results go their way.
It is claimed that the club will lose £18.4million if they fail to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.
As previously reported, Barcelona spent over £132million rebuilding Xavi’s team over the summer but to pay for the expenses they have budgeted for this season to see the team reach at least the last eight of European competition.
However, Xavi’s side, who also face the task of beating a Bayern Munich side they have struggled against in recent seasons, now seem unlikely to progress.
Therefore, should Barcelona finish third in their group, they will be relegated to the Europa League.
But even if they did win that competition, it would not be enough to fill the economic hole left by an early Champions League exit, as Europa League winners will earn around £13m.
As previously reported, Barcelona would earn around £8.4m if they reach the last 16 and a further £9.3m if they reach the quarter-finals.
From there they would be paid a further £11m for the semi-finals and £13.6m or £17.5m depending on whether they win the final – if they went that far.
Barcelona fans had high hopes for a positive result against Inter Milan on Wednesday night as the Serie A giants lost all five of their previous visits to the Nou Camp.
However, what followed was a nerve-wracking night that saw Barcelona appear on the verge of elimination on more than one occasion.
Barcelona took the lead through Ousmane Dembele in the first 45 before the visitors took the lead in the second half with goals from Nicolo Barella and Lautaro Martinez.
Robert Lewandowski gave Spain hopes of a dream comeback with an 82nd-minute goal, but Robin Gosens scored the goal after just a minute plus added time that looked like the winner.
Summer signing Lewandowski equalized in the 92nd minute to secure a point – although if Inter Milan could win at the San Siro next week it might just be a delay before elimination.
The financial consequences of Barcelona’s Champions League progress are well documented.