“Bankrupt cheaters” Barca win La Liga 2022-23
Are FC Barcelona, the new La Liga champions, bankrupt? How about cheaters? Only time will tell, but for now, they boast while wearing the king’s robes and the league crown.
FC Barcelona mathematically won the Spanish La Liga title yesterday by defeating hosts Espanyol. They won using a squad whose players’ yearly salaries surpassed $286M. Their trophy arrived at a time when the club was yet able to raise $1.6B for a Spotify Camp Nou stadium revamp while expressing that they were nearly bankrupt and, of course, still able to fall fairly within the, well, UEFA financial fair play rules, right?
On the turf, Xavi Hernandez’s troops turned what could have been a tough match into a runaway as Robert Lewandowski (2), Alejandro Balde (1) and J. Kounde (1) scored for Barca while Javi Puado (1) and Joselu (1) scored much to late for Espanyol in the 4-2 extravaganza. One that crowned the big club while greatly injuring their smaller city rival who are facing relegation. Unfortunately, the Catalan club, much like the Argentine National Team after also “winning” the 2022 World Cup, celebrated extravagantly, this time on their hosts’ turf, inciting the wrath of the home fans.
At their administrative offices, Barca president Joan Laporta, who had said his club held debts in excess of $1.3B and had salary obligations that were 103% of the club’s income, was yet able to continue operations, buy top players right and left, negotiate the above-referenced stadium revamp, and keep an eye on potential summer 2023 signings in hopes of advancing their future UEFA Champions League objectives, despite UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin’s feelings.
Back on the turf, Barca were eliminated from the Copa del Rey 1-4 on aggregate by Real Madrid at the semifinals and 3-4 by Manchester United in the first round of the UEFA Europa League’s playoffs. The La Liga trophy was their only potential triumph.
It would seem, under normal earthly circumstances, and using those alleged rules the football world is rumored to occasionally adhere to, that FC Barcelona’s financial world and its on-the-pitch footballing world are about to collide with the dual reality that it cheated both on the playing field and in the administrative offices. But, Papa, for one, believes the Catalans will likely get away with everything, retaining all of the trophies and income generated during years past when their results were garnered via bribes to referees and likewise retaining their current roster and one trophy, both obtained when their mere financial ability to field a team, and sporting right to participate in any league, should have been questioned by the Spanish Government, the Spanish Football Federation, and FIFA’s UEFA.
So, here we may well be again, a Spanish/UEFA equivalent of a football entity that’s too big to fail—one certified as such when the likes of major European media feel it acceptable to cover Barca’s league trophy win as a perfectly normal and fair event, even focusing on Barca from the sport’s perspective—potentially winning out at the expense of everyone else and despite, seemingly, flaunting its disregard for all of the sport’s rules on and off the field.