Despite further attempts to improve their economic situation, the Blaugrana remain behind their Clasico rivals when it comes to spending power
Joan Laporta had tried to tell everyone it would all work out. Repeatedly, towards the end of Barcelona’s 2022-23 La Liga-winning campaign, the club president lumbered up to a microphone to reassure fans that a big summer was ahead. He insisted that the club’s finances had been sorted out, that Barca could be a force in the transfer market once again.
The primary target was, of course, Lionel Messi. But once it became clear that the club could not afford the great Argentine’s wages, signing-on fee, or registration terms — even at a massive pay cut — everything started to look ominous. Since then, they have been linked with a host of big names, but have had to operate shrewdly in the market. The big hits that Laporta promised are yet to arrive.
Meanwhile, at Real Madrid, things look massively different. Suffering from a number of key departures, Los Blancos have invested heavily, bringing in one marquee signing, another one full of potential, with a potential superstar addition to follow. They won’t have Karim Benzema in their side next season, but Madrid are in a position where they will finish the window having improved themselves.
This could present a problem for Barca. They won the league comfortably last year, besting their arch-rivals by 10 points. But Madrid’s squad has undoubtedly improved, while Barcelona’s has stalled.