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Barca post 97 million euros loss for 2019-20 due to COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - FC Barcelona v Napoli - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - August 8, 2020 General view during a minute's silence before the match for the victims of the coronavirus disease, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

(Reuters) - Barcelona have announced a loss of 97 million euros ($114.28 million) after tax for the 2019/20 financial year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a projected estimate of breaking the one billion euro mark in revenues was also scuppered.

The Catalan club also said in a statement here on Monday that they had made revenue of 855 million euros, 14% down on the 990 million they posted in 2018/19, while their overall net debt has more than doubled to 488 million euros.

The club said 47 million euros of losses was due to lost matchday revenue, 35 million to reduced club shop sales and 18 million on stadium tours, with further losses expected until fans can return to stadiums in Spain.

Predicted revenue for 2020-21 is 791 million euros.

The players took a wage cut in order to help combat the deficit while football was suspended due to the coronavirus.

The club have also sold players who were on lucrative contracts, such as Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal, in the close season in a bid to get salary expenditure within La Liga guidelines, which directly relate to projected income.

This has also meant a fairly quiet transfer window for new coach Ronald Koeman, with local media saying Olympique Lyonnais’ Dutch forward Memphis Depay could only join if they sold forward Ousmane Dembele, who has been linked to Manchester United.

($1 = 0.8488 euros)

Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli; Editing by Ken Ferris