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PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

FC Barcelona closed out the 2011/12 season with a historic surplus: 48.8 million euros. This Friday, economic vice-president Javier Faus said the Club made 494.9 million euros  and reduced its expenses to 441.1 million. Compared to last season, the Club ended the year with a surplus of 21.5 million and spent 31.5 million less - figures that exceed last year’s budget forecasts. Faus noted that these spectacular results - which are largely due to cutting back on spending - were achieved without having to sell Club assets or first-team players. In addition, investments in players (Cesc and Alexis) surpassed the Board’s business plans and revenue forecasts.

In terms of revenue, both marketing and revenue streams related to the Camp Nou increased by 11%. “Ticket sales have been spectacular,” said Faus on this past season’s attendance. However, the vice-president admitted that Media revenue, tied specifically to television rights, “have topped out and we don’t expect an increase in the next five years.”

Saving money on variables, bonuses

In terms of costs, the Club reduced its spending by 6.6% from the previous year. Faus stated that the change from last year is largely due to the fact that the team did not win the Liga, if the team had won the Liga the Club would have had to pay out 12 million euros in bonuses. “If we had won the Liga the overall surplus would have been 36 million euros and it still would have been the best end-of-year figure in the history of the Club,” he said after noting that “it’s not true that Barça saved itself 50 million euros for not winning the Liga.”

Saving money on variables was one of the ways the Club reduced its costs in the 2011/12 season, but not the only one. Other factors contributed to the Club’s end-of-year positive figures, like improvements in Ticketing - “50 million euros, the highest in the history of the Club,” said Faus -, Nike and FCB Megastore sales, outsourcing Barça TV, the sale of Maxwell, capital from other sales of players, youth team players’ rights and loaning out players, amongst other things. In terms of losses, the main negative impact on the Club's finances was rescinding Keirrison, Hleb and Henrique’s contracts.

Net salaries, stable

The athletic salary budget, including all of the Club’s sports teams, has been slightly reduced to 298 million euros, which is in line with the stability forecast of the last three years. “It’s complicated to reduce this figure further, we’re working to maintain stability,” said Faus, who is satisfied because the almost 300 million euros situate the Club’s expenditure ratio (61%) very close to the optimal level of the sector (55%).

Just as President Sandro Rosell said in his end-of-year review, the Club will use the surplus to pay down the debt, which has been reduced from 365 to 335 million euros as of June 30, 2012, according to independent audits. The Club’s debt has been reduced by nearly 100 million euros over the past two years.

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