Javier Faus, Barcelona's vice-president for economic affairs, has accused the club's former board of presenting false financial figures after revealing that the Spanish champions lost more than ?77million (Dh358m) last season. The previous board, led by Joan Laporta, the former Barca president, had announced the club was ?11m in the black at the end of their mandate in late June, but a new audit carried out by Deloitte for new president Sandro Rosell's team has revealed a far less healthy scenario for the Catalans.
The new audit shows that Barca had an income of ?408.9m for the 2009/10 season, but costs amounting to ?477.9m. Further spending of around ?8m means the overall deficit is calculated at ?77.1m. "The figures presented by the former board don't reflect the real image. They have cheated," Faus said. "There is a structural problem. The sporting excellence in the last few years has not been reflected in economic excellence. The new board's goal is to bring economic excellence alongside sporting excellence."
Barca recently took out a loan of ?155m after falling behind with the payment of player wages at the end of June. Dmytro Chygrynskiy, the central defender bought for ?25m a year ago, was hastily sold back to Shakhtar Donetsk for around half the price earlier this month to raise much-needed funds for the club. Nevertheless, Barca have already signed David Villa, the Spain striker, this summer for ?40m from Valenca and are willing to spend as much or even more to bring Cesc Fabregas, the Arsenal midfielder, to Camp Nou.
The new audit also puts the club's total net debt at ?442m (?552m gross). In Italy, Cagliari have put Federico Marchetti, the goalkeeper, up for sale after the player asked to leave the club. Marchetti, Italy's second-choice goalkeeper, had been linked with Serie A rivals Sampdoria but the deal broke down leaving the player disappointed after he had set his sights on a move. A statement from the club said: "Cagliari Calcio takes note that the player Federico Marchetti has expressed his desire to leave across the media. The club will now do everything to make him happy."
The 27-year-old Marchetti made three appearances at the World Cup this summer, coming on as a substitute after an injury to Gianluigi Buffon in the opening match and then keeping his place for the next two matches before Italy were knocked out in the group stages. German clubs Duisburg and Schalke have agreed to stage a benefit game in memory of the victims of last weekend's Love Parade tragedy. Twenty people lost their lives at Saturday's event, staged in the Westphalian city of Duisburg, with several hundred more injured in the crush which caused the fatalities.
German second division club Duisburg asked their top-flight neighbours from Gelsenkirchen if they would be willing to meet in a fixture in the coming weeks and Felix Magath, the manager of the Royal Blues, immediately agreed. All funds raised at the match, for which a date has to still be arranged, will be directed to the family members and close friends of those who lost their lives. * Agencies