Barcelona made Antoine Griezmann one of the most expensive transfers in football history by signing him from Atletico Madrid for € 120m in the summer of 2019
Barcelona realized that they were unable to afford the signing of striker Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid every time the transfer was processed.
The Catalan club triggered the Frenchman’s € 120m (£ 103m) release clause at Atleti in the summer of 2019, one of the most expensive signings of all time.
Barca’s payout for Griezmann has now been described by club CEO Ferran Reverter, who serves under the leadership of current club president Joan Laporta.
Reverter was not on the board at the time of Griezmann’s arrival – when Josep Maria Bartomeu was club president – but an internal audit has clarified the nature of the payments.
The club’s current CEO claims Barca took out a € 85million (£ 73million) loan to secure the signing of the French striker as they couldn’t afford the deal at the time .
He alleges that Barca’s board did not appear to be aware of his financial situation before concluding the striker’s signing.
Reverter told reporters this week explaining the club’s financial results: “We got a feeling that when (the previous board) signed players, they weren’t sure if they could afford to sign them.”
“This was the case for Griezmann, who the night they signed him they realized there was no money to pay for the transfer.
“They had to look for a loan of 85 million euros to cover this signing.”
Griezmann suffered a somewhat disappointing stint at Camp Nou, where he scored 35 respectable but unspectacular goals in 102 appearances for the club.
The France international was the club’s second-biggest earner behind Lionel Messi and returned to Atleti this summer under a loan deal that includes a € 40million purchase obligation.
Griezmann is back to regain immediate form at Atleti, scoring once – a Champions League win at Milan – in seven appearances so far.
Barca confirmed record losses of £ 410million for the 2020/21 campaign on Wednesday amid the ongoing financial crisis.
The Catalan giants presented their club accounts which show a drop in income of £ 190million from the previous campaign while spending soared to £ 965million.
It comes less than two months after club president Joan Laporta confirmed overall debt stood at £ 1.15bn, an increase of £ 170m from January.
Last week La Liga confirmed that Barca’s salary cap for the season was a relatively paltry £ 84million – a staggering drop of £ 212million from the previous campaign and less than six other clubs in the league. Spanish elite.
Griezmann and Messi were among the multiple players to leave since the summer of 2020 alongside Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Emerson Royal among the players to be released.