The Lionel Messi effect? Barcelona struggle to fill Camp Nou for Champions League tie
Barcelona’s tricky summer
FC Barcelona have had a very tricky summer, losing Antoine Griezmann, Miralem Pjanic and Emerson Royal this summer.
Please welcome London’s newest Royal, @Emerson_Royal22! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/M9uwTrCV2B
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 31, 2021
In addition, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets all took wage cuts in order to allow new signings to be registered for the 2021/22 season, with the club in huge financial trouble.
Pique takes a pay cut to help his club, heads in their first goal of the season, and then kisses the badge in celebration! 👏
A Barcelona legend 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/k3jafCXXxx
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) August 15, 2021
The biggest blow, however, came in the form of the loss of Lionel Messi, who the club could not register due to salary cap restrictions in the Spanish league. As a result, the Argentine, widely considered the greatest footballer of all time, departed the club he had played for since he was a child, joining Paris Saint Germain on a free transfer.
LATEST NEWS | Leo #Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
The implications of Messi’s departure?
As per Spanish economist Ivan Cabeza, the departure of Messi could have cost Barca millions, saying:
“Annually he must generate between 130 million [euros], minimum, and 200 million, maximum,”
However, there could yet be a bigger issue for the club, coming in the form of a failure to fill their own stadium, even for the biggest matches.
Spanish outlet MARCA revealed that:
“Of a 40,000 ticket quota for home fans, only 31,213 tickets were requested by Barcelona fans for the visit of Bayern Munich [In the Champions League].”
This is not an isolated incident either, with the League attendances suffering too:
“Of 20,000 seats available for the LaLiga Santander clash, only 19,136 were requested, and this looks like continuing for much of the season.”
With fans now allowed back in the stadium for the first time in 18 months, it was thought that the stadium would be sold out regularly.
However, it appears that Luuk de Jong and Martin Braithwaite are no match for Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
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