Barcelona have announced record income for the 2013-14 season in financial results that also saw the club post its second highest ever profit, per the Catalan club's official Twitter account:
The Blaugrana posted a poor season on the pitch but appear to have successfully maintained their grasp as one of the sport's highest-earning clubs.
Despite finishing second in La Liga, having been knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage and losing the Copa del Rey final, vice president Javier Faus provided a summary of profit received:
Back in 2012, Faus stressed the club must "reduce the debt to sustainable levels" and "not take on more debt," per the club's official site (subscription required), a goal which looks to have been achieved throughout the last year:
Barcelona made a huge investment to sign Neymar last summer, a deal which cost the side €86.2 million, reported by Sky Sports. Discrepancies with the payment, originally said to be €57.1 million, were investigated for a "misappropriation of funds," but Faus wished to stress Barcelona's recent returns are compliant and proper:
Neymar's popularity allowed his Brazil shirt to outsell Team USA's in America at the World Cup, reported by Danielle Elliot of Yahoo, ensuring Barcelona can rely on the tricky forward's name for quite some time at club level.
Real Madrid's James Rodriguez recently recouped in the region of £20 million, nearly a third of his £63 million transfer fee, by shirt sales alone, according to Alex Sharp of the Daily Mail. Considering this happened in just two days since he confirmed a Bernabeu switch, Neymar can also be expected to post hefty club shirt sales as World Cup fever drags on.
Neymar's nationality and likely starring role at the Russian World Cup in 2018 may have also aided Barca's sponsorship deals in the two countries, as hinted by the club:
The board have continued to spend after Gerardo Martino's departure and will hope this season's marquee signing, a certain Luis Suarez, will aid finances. The Uruguayan doesn't possess the same market appeal as Neymar, who is a brand in himself at the age of 22.
Suarez previously lost sponsors 888poker after he bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, his third biting charge throughout his professional career, per Ben Smith of BBC Sport. Currently serving a four-month ban from all footballing activities, it will be extremely interesting to see how the controversial star's arrival affects next season's annual report.
Year-on-year income continues to increase, as handily summarised via the following chart:
Barcelona recently proposed plans of renovating and improving the Camp Nou, reaching a total capacity of 105,000 by February 2012. It's vital the club's funds are secure before making a commitment that will see the club's gate revenue drastically improve.
Supporters can also expect this summer's squad rejig to help the side's failing form, and they will hope to see greater prize money received by accumulating higher finishes across all competitions.
An era of success ended with the trophyless 2013-14 season, but with the likes of Neymar and Lionel Messi aligned to ambitious plans for the future, a positive financial report suggests it shouldn't be too long before the good times return.