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FC Barcelona Revamps Its Finances for an Unlikely Buying Spree

After the departure of top players, the Spanish football club is back in the transfer business. Here’s how the numbers are adding up.

New FC Barcelona signing Raphinha, right, ahead of a pre-season friendly in Fort Lauderdale, US, on July 19.

New FC Barcelona signing Raphinha, right, ahead of a pre-season friendly in Fort Lauderdale, US, on July 19.

Photographer: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

One of the biggest falls from grace in European football has been the financial meltdown at Barcelona. Yet, the club that global star Lionel Messi famously left because of the state of its budget is now back buying some of the continent’s most coveted players.

Barcelona has so far spent at least 153 million euros ($156 million) in the summer transfer window signing Brazilian winger Raphinha, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and French defender Jules Kounde. That’s for a club laden with debt, losing money and with a negative net value based on the latest accounts available.