Barcelona is decomposing from the inside. The most expensive basketball player on the team was made the last
Barcelona were not in their best position shortly before the start of the new season. The club is experiencing serious financial problems and is trying in every possible way to reduce the item of expenses. Many players came under attack, with whom the management is frantically trying to negotiate a pay cut. And it’s not only about the football team, but also about the basketball players. Among them is the leader of the Catalan team, Nikola Mirotić .
The club is really in an extremely difficult situation. In winter, Barcelona’s debt obligations exceeded € 1 billion, and already in August, President Joan Laporta announced the figure of € 1.35 billion. During the financial year, the club lost € 481 million. At the same time, Barcelona’s salary fund exceeds the sum of all its income. The situation mostly concerns the football team, with which they began to discuss the reduction of wages in the first place. But now the turn has come to raise this issue among basketball players.
We decided to start with the team captains – Corey Higgins , Pierre Oriola and Nikola Mirotić. Higgins was given a new contract on the terms he wanted – with a 10 percent pay cut. Oriola seems to be getting very little by European standards anyway. But Mirotić remains the highest paid player in the Euroleague. Even though his salary dropped by about 20% compared to the previous season. According to various sources, Nikola will receive $ 4-4.5 million this year (compared to $ 5.4 million last year). Taking into account the tax, it will cost blue-garnet almost twice as much. The club asked the player to reduce his salary by another 25%, but was refused.
Mirotić claims that he has already twice made financial concessions to the Catalan club. For the first time – back in 2019, when he abandoned the 50 millionth contract with Utah for the sake of moving to Barcelona. For the second time, Mirotić went to meet Blaugrana last fall, when he extended the agreement with the club until 2025 on new terms. Then the Catalans were already in a difficult financial situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the forward agreed to a salary cut. Now he believes that he has already helped the blue garnet enough.
At the same time, the player wants to stay in Barcelona, where he is currently building a mansion worth several million euros. Barça also want to keep Mirotić, but the working relationship is at risk of collapsing due to the club’s desire to cut wages. Considering that Nikola has a valid contract on hand, the club does not have many options.
If the negotiations do not lead to success, the Catalans will somehow have to pay the team leader the due amount. But the payroll still needs to be cut. And if not at the expense of Mirotić, then at the expense of other Barcelona players. However, those with much more modest contracts are less likely to make concessions to the club. So the current situation at Barça is really difficult.
The start of the season was hard for the Catalans. It is possible that the situation with salary cuts indirectly influenced the motivation of basketball players. Sarunas Jasikevicius’ players lost to Real Madrid in the final match for the Spanish Super Cup (83:88). In the course of the second half, the blue-garnet ones were 19 points ahead of their principal rival, but in the fourth quarter they lost all their advantage and missed the victory. Mirotic in that match, by the way, did not shine – he scored only 12 points. The season kicks off very soon, and so far Barcelona doesn’t look very convincing. And now everything is complicated by the financial issue.
How Barcelona will get out of this situation is not yet clear. Obviously, the root of the problem is not in the basketball team, but in the exorbitant spending of the football department, due to which, among other things, Lionel Messi had to go to PSG.
A cut of Mirotić’s salary alone will not solve all Barça’s troubles. In addition, the Catalans themselves gave Nicola a contract for an atypically large amount for Europe. This was before the coronavirus pandemic that no one could have predicted. The player has already gone down once, but still, even at the time of the 2019 offseason, the signing of Mirotic looked risky. Nicola was quite successful in the NBA, but was not a superstar there to pay him more than double the price of the rest of the Euroleague superstars.
There are no questions for the player himself. There is a contract that the club must fulfill. Nikola has already made salary concessions and cannot repeat it endlessly. Barcelona have not won the Euroleague since 2010. Last season, the team reached the Final Four for the first time in 7 years and was close to the title, but lost to Anadol Efes in the final. Barça’s roster still looks almost the best in the Euroleague, but this does not guarantee a championship at all.
All this mess in management affects the players and is carried over to the court. Especially in key matches like the Super Cup against Real Madrid, when Barça gave up the victory limply. It is possible that something similar will happen in the Euroleague. “Barcelona” is decomposing from the inside – because of incompetent management it still remains a disorderly organization, which clearly plays into the hands of CSKA, Anadol Efes, Real Madrid and other giants of the Old World. In “blaugran” they decided to make the most expensive player of the team as extreme, but it will definitely not lead to anything good.