Barcelona’s problems and Tottenham’s problems. How will they find a way out?



By Tony Attwood

Several sources, including for example ESPN, are reporting that Barcelona are running into trouble in terms of completing transfers that they would normally expect to be able to wrap up quickly.

The problem that they are hitting is one known as “re-negotiation” and it basically runs like this: two companies agree to a deal, for example and Orpheus Media each agreeing to buy just under a quarter of Barca Studios. 

But then just before the money is due to be paid the buying company simply says, “we want to renegotiate”.  Which translated, means, “now we have you in a corner, and no one else is offering to buy, we are going to offer you less.”

And the problems can get worse, because as buying companies realise that others are playing the “renegotiation game” just before the deal is complete, they try and do the same.   And indeed it seems that this is what is happening to Barcelona.  Various businesses they are trying to do deals with are looking to renegotiate, knowing that the club are in dire straits, and so assuming Barce have to give in.

Such tactics can really affect a football team that is urgently wanting new players.  As the stories circulate that Barcelona is in financial difficulties, those looking to sell a player to the club are less and less likely to give extended credit.

Then, if payments are not completed and contracts not registered, difficulties multiply.  Indeed Barcelona at the moment have nothing like a full squad, even though players have been signed, because they are not able to register them until the selling club agrees that it has indeed sold the players.  And selling clubs won’t do that until Barcelona cough up the first payment – which Barce can’t do because it has run out of people to lend it money.

This is of course in complete contrast to Arsenal (who have spent over £200 million to bring in three new players) and of course it affects the mental attitude of everyone at the club.   Arsenal knew who they wanted, and brought in those players.  Everyone feels confident.  Barcelona are struggling to get financial matters sorted, confidence drops further and further.

As a result, players want to come to Arsenal – the vibes are good.  Some players however are more dubious about going to Barcelona.  And such a worry might be spreading to those thinking of moving to Tottenham, with the difficulty the owner currently has.

Meanwhile, the message is going out loud and clear to allow players of quality: Arsenal want you not for what you are now, but for what you will become.

In this regard White said,  “It all makes sense because he [Arteta] explains it so well. When you see what you’ve worked on in training, happening in a game you’re like, ‘wow, that’s why we’ve been doing that all week.'”

Reiss Nelson also made an interesting observation reporting that Arteta said, “Every time you get the ball, get at your man, I don’t care if you lose it, just keep losing the ball.”   Nelson added, “Some managers say, ‘play safe,’ but he wants you to take risks. For him, if the reward is high, you go for it.”    The impact is totally positive.  

And so to compare to the feeling at Barcelona, which we can compare with the feeling at Arsenal and perhaps the feeling at Tottenham.   At Arsenal everything feels good – the players are reporting positive things about the manager, there is no suggestion of any problem with the club’s finances, and the fans are happy.

Compare and contrast with Barcelona where the money seems to have run out.   Or from a different perspective, compare with Tottenham Hotspur.  That club changes managers regularly.  The majority shareholder has been charged with brazen criminality  And last season the club finished 29 points and 24 goals behind the league winners.

Indeed the Tottenham situation would be worrying for anyone who bothered to look at their history, but as we have seen with plotting Arsenal’s progression, journalists hate gathering historic facts and data.

So since they won’t do it, here it is.   The decline and fall, the little rise, and the decline once more of Tottenham.


Pos Team W D L F GA D Pts
2 Tottenham Hotspur 2017 26 8 4 86 26 60 86
3 Tottenham Hotspur 2018 23 8 7 74 36 38 77
4 Tottenham Hotspur 2019 23 2 13 67 39 28 71
6 Tottenham Hotspur 2020 16 11 11 61 47 14 59
7 Tottenham Hotspur 2021 18 8 12 68 45 23 62
4 Tottenham Hotspur 2022 22 5 11 69 40 29 71
8 Tottenham Hotspur 2023 18 6 14 70 63 7 60


The failure of Tottenham to get back to anywhere near the level of 2016/7 tells its own tale.  There was a moment of promise as 2021/2 saw a return to 2018/9’s performance, but that immediately slipped away again, showing that sustainable growth is not something the club had the ability to engage in at that point.  They ended up last season at the same place as 2020, which considering how much they have spent, is not very promising.

All clubs have problems at some time, and of course for some people it looked very much as if Arsenal had huge problems when they finished 8th in the league two years running.  But having problems isn’t the issue.  It is having a sustainable method of getting out of the problems that is the key.

One Reply to “Barcelona’s problems and Tottenham’s problems. How will they find a way out?”

  1. I’ve seen stories on at least two websites today alleging that Nottingham Forest may be having financial problems.

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