Competition Focus

FC Barcelona Take Huge Economic Hit From Losing Shakhtar Donetsk Match

FC Barcelona took a huge economic hit by losing to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League Tuesday evening.

After previously remaining unbeaten in all competitions this season, the Blaugrana has now fallen to two losses in their last three outings.

In addition to tasting defeat in La Liga for the first time this term when losing El Clasico 2-1 to Real Madrid on October 28, Barca’s 100% record on the continent in 2023/2024 was shattered by a first half Danylo Sikan header that Barca was unable to respond to in Hamburg.

Head coach Xavi Hernandez was furious in his post-match interview, just as he had been on Saturday when he believed his team displayed a lack of intensity away at Real Sociedad.

Barca won that tie 1-0 thanks to an injury time header from Ronald Araujo, and then suffered a very similar fate to the Ukrainians midweek.

There are clearly problems on the pitch, with Xavi saying his team is suffering from a “mental issue” and needs to reset.

Off it as well, Barca took a huge economic hit by losing to Shakhtar which also put them at risk of surrendering first place in Group H to Porto.

The Portuguese beat whipping boys Royal Antwerp 2-0 later on Tuesday, after Barca slumped in the early kick-offs.

On November 28, there is a must-win tie at the Montjuic Stadium scheduled between Barca and Porto that will probably decide who goes through to the knockout phase in pole position.

Finishing second would mean being lined up to take on a group winner in the last 16, and possibly running into a heavyweight such as Manchester City, Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain if the French side can recover from their own slip-ups.

Beating Porto is not just important from a sporting perspective, though. As previously explained, each group stage win in the Champions League is worth $3 million (€2.8 million) as per UEFA figures, and this is the extent of the blow that Shakhtar dealt to the Catalans by sending them home empty handed from the Volksparkstadion.

By beating Porto and Antwerp again in their remaining two group fixtures, Barca of course have the chance to raise a further $6 million (€5.6 million).

This amount would be added to a total $62 million (€58.05 million) raised so far according to Mundo Deportivo, with such revenue much-welcomed at a time when Barca struggles to register players and navigate Financial Fair Play limits mired in debt.

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