Well, First Before starting the article, We’d like to clarify that, what happened to Milan was a whole other beast. It was partly due to financial troubles plaguing the club stemming from the poor Italian economy. They just weren’t selling many seats (they’re still not) and as such, they sold their 4 best players in the span of 4 years.
Even though Pirlo left on a free, Kaka, Ibrahimovic, and Thiago Silva was sold off to keep funds afloat. Combine that with older key players retiring, like Maldini, Gattuso, Seedorf, Nesta and Ambrosini, and young prospects failing to hit the mark, like Pato, Bojan and El Shaarawy and what you have left is a depleted club with little chance for future success. Actually, only now after the substantial outside investment has AC Milan risen from the ashes.
Barcelona on the other hand is in a much better place versus AC Milan in 2013. They still have the best player in the world at their disposal. However, FC Barcelona still looks like falling apart throughout its signings and mismanagement.
President Josep Bartomeu is perhaps the most complicit in Barcelona’s downward spiral because of his mismanagement and alleged corrupt practices. The turmoil in the Barcelona boardroom even saw a number of directors resign and threaten legal action against Bartomeu.
The club elections are scheduled for next year, the rest of the board have the power to convene an emergency meeting and remove Bartomeu from his position and We believe Eric Abidal also needs to be replaced, he may be a club legend, the Frenchman’s performance at the executive level has been appalling. Luis Campos and Ralf Rangnick are potential alternatives for Abidal.
Coming back to their roots
Barcelona’s current modus operandi bears no resemblance to their philosophy of ‘Mes ques une club’ or ‘more than just a club.’
The Barcelona board needs a revamp from scratch, using Johan Cruyff’s principles as a foundation to build on. Coaching appointments and player recruitments must be made based on the style of football Barcelona play rather than vice versa.
Coaching appointments have been poor as well, with the likes of Valverde and Setien proving to be way out of their depth at the Camp Nou.
Trust La Masia
La Masia holds a special place among the premier football academies in world football. The academy has been pivotal in Barcelona’s success over the years, producing prospect after prospect. The principles of total football are ingrained into the La Masia players, enabling them to understand and appreciate the values the club holds dearly.
The likes of Riqui Puig and Carles Alena have seen very less game-time, even when the apparent ‘stars’ have failed to perform consistently. It will save money as well as preserve the prized ‘Barcelona DNA’ that has brought so much success to the club. Academy players could make mistakes, but they will only get better over time.
Player transfer policies
The signings made by Barcelona in recent years have been expensive, confusing and inefficient. From overpaying for Philippe Coutinho to swapping Arthur for Miralem Pjanic.
Should Bartomeu and Abidal leave, the Blaugrana must align their policies in the transfer market with the club’s core philosophy. Incoming players like Frenkie de Jong and Francisco Trincao represent good business and ideally are the profiles Barcelona should be looking at.
The Catalan club must invest in a side that can prolong Messi’s time at the top level by reducing the team’s heavy reliance on him. The fact of the matter is that the spine of the Barcelona squad needs replacing. If recent history teaches us anything, it is that Barcelona need to overhaul their player transfer policies at the earliest.
Major squad Clearout
The current roster does not make for good reading if you’re a Barcelona fan. There is an obvious dearth of quality in key areas, with many players past their best and some not good enough.
The Barcelona board needs to ignore any sentiment around replacing erstwhile legends like Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique who have seen their stock drop drastically. Even if they are retained for the time being, a plan to gradually ease them out of the side must be in place. Whereas player such as Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic who are on huge salaries despite their inconsistencies. A successful side needs a balance of youth and experience, and Barcelona need more of the former and less of the latter.
We believe, A massive overhaul of the squad is required, and ideally, at least six to seven players need to be taken off the wage bill.