Barcelona realised they couldn’t afford Griezmann on the night they signed him

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Barcelona realised they did not have the funds to pay for Antoine Griezmann on the night that they signed the Frenchman from Atletico Madrid in July 2019.

Griezmann joined the club for £107million two years ago after Barca triggered the release clause in his Atletico contract, however, they did this without having the funds to cover the cost of the deal.

This is according to the club's director general, Ferran Reverter, and is the latest in a string of details to emerge in relation to the poor financial state of the Spanish giants.

Barca have debts in excess of £1bn and made losses of £409million in the previous financial year.

The same summer that Griezmann signed for Barcelona, the club spent another £140million on players as they signed Frenkie de Jong for £77.4million and Neto for £23.4million.

Other signings included Junior Firpo and Marc Cucurella, with both players no longer at the club just two years on from their arrivals.

Teenage midfielder Pedri was also signed in 2019 for £18million from Las Palmas as Barca finished the season with a total transfer outlay of £270million compared to a sales revenue of just £137.6million.

Speaking to Marca, Reverter explained: “We have the feeling that when players were signed, they [the former board] didn’t know if they could sign them.

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“This was the case in regards to Griezmann as, on the night they signed him, they realised that there was no money to pay [for him].

“They were looking for a loan of 85 million euros to cover that signing.”

The club's inability to pay the fees for the transfers they have agreed can also be seen in the fact that they reportedly owe £98million in transfer fees at present.

This includes over £54.4million just to Dutch side Ajax for the signings of de Jong and Sergino Dest, with £40.8million and £13.6million owed, respectively.

There financial mismanagement has also seen the club slapped with a cap to their wage bill of 98million euros and saw their attempts to extend Lionel Messi's contract blocked by La Liga.

As for Griezmann, he is now back at Atletico on an initial loan deal which will become permanent for 40million euros if he plays more than half of the club's matches this season.

In two full seasons at the Nou Camp, Griezmann made 102 appearances, scoring 35 goals and added an additional 17 assists.

  • Antoine Griezmann
  • Barcelona FC
  • Champions League
  • La Liga

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