Depression in the Football World
Amid a period of global economic crisis that has hit football as hard as anything else, the decision to sack a manager may come down solely to financial costs.
FC Barcelona are no exception to this fact. Already in over one billion euros worth of debt, the time has come to be stringent, a policy not often adopted by the Catalan club. Already, 101 have reported on the move to put up for sale four cornerstone players at the Camp Nou, with it clear that funds must be raised, both for a rebuild of the squad and the repayment of debts.
How does this affect the club’s managerial choices? Well, according to Sport.es, it would cost Barca 7.5 million euros – the equivalent of more than one year’s salary for club stalwart Gerard Pique – to part with boss Ronald Koeman.
The article reinforces the suggestion that Koeman has made a mixed impression on the club’s owners and board, explaining that:
“Koeman is valued by the board for his bravery in starting the transformation process the squad needs, and has shown his quality when it comes to using young players. However he’s also not considered ‘a genius’ when it comes to tactics, and he’s racked up a fair few defeats attributed to bad set-up or bad subs.”
On the other hand, the report continues:
“The current options [to replace Koeman] are not convincing the board”
With Barcelona unable to win the La Liga title this season, Koeman’s future is certainly something that will come under increasing scrutiny over the summer months, and heading into the start of next season.
Xavi in the driving seat?
Should the Catalans dispense with their Dutch boss, former player Xavi could find himself in pole position to replace him. Having previously spoken of his love for the club he so famously starred for, the legendary midfielder recently signed a contract extension with Qatar side Al Sadd. However, the contract reportedly contains a clause to relieve him of his duties should Barca come knocking.
This could make sense for Barcelona, both in terms of re-integrating some club DNA and from a financial perspective. Xavi would require no compensation to his former club in order to make the move happen, which, in this economic climate, may prove decisive.
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