Barça confirmed the forecasts. When on the second day of the Champions League he lost in Lisbon against Benfica, history already put him out. Only 8 percent of the teams that had fallen in the first two days, had gone to the knockout stages of the Champions League. Its elimination confirmed its decline. For 21 years, since the 2000-01 season, it had not been outside of Europe. Then, he was under the command of Lorenzo Serra Ferrer and fell into a group that also included Milan, Leeds and Besiktas. A setback that confirmed the bad planning of the team after Figo’s escape to Real Madrid. Since that distant 2000-01 season, and with the exception of the seasons in which Barça played UEFA, they have always passed the first phase, to the point of being champion in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015. They only fell in the second round in 2007 and the last season.
Beyond the stain on the club’s image, lElimination also represents a deep economic hole. Barça had budgeted 20.2 million euros in its account book for the 2021-22 season: 9.6 to reach the eighth and 10.6 to reach the quarterfinals. For falling to the Europa League, UEFA barely gives him 500,000 euros. In order to balance its accounts somewhat, the club needs the first team to reach the final of the Sánchez Pizjuán Europa League anyway. The finalist will pocket 10.9 million euros and, the champion, 14.9 million in addition to having a place in the Champions League for the 2022-23 season and playing the European Super Cup. Winning the Europa League, then, will not be a mere question of image. Also of economic survival. It is easy to think that Joan Laporta will make it reach his players.