Barcelona's financial crisis deepened as the Catalan club saw its spending salary cap slashed dramatically owing to the clubs significant debts. The La Liga giants' cap is now seven times lower than arch rivals Real Madrid.

The Camp Nou outfit's salary cap has been reduced to €90 million from €385 million last season. In the last two seasons, Barcelona's spending cap has dropped by almost €695 million. The drastic reduction is one of the reasons the club failed to hold on to talisman Lionel Messi this summer.

The Argentine superstar was earning close to €140 million, but had agreed to take a massive pay cut to sign a new deal. Even a fifty percent reduction from Messi was not enough to keep him, while the club also sacrificed Antoine Griezmann, who was the second highest earner at the club.

Ronald Koeman's hands were tied in the transfer market, with the club only managing to complete three free transfers and one loan deal in the summer. A number of senior players at the club have also agreed massive pay cuts to help the club out of his financial troubles.

Every club has a different spending cap, which is based on a series of factors that include revenues, expenses and debts. The adjustments are under the Spanish League's financial control to ensure the clubs remain in good financial health going forward.

Barcelona are now seventh in the spending cap standings with Real on top of the pile with a spending cap which has gone up from €470 million last season to €739 million. Sevilla and Atletico Madrid round out the top three with €200 million and €171 million respectively.

Valencia, owned by Singaporean businessman Peter Lim, are bottom of the pile after Los Che saw their salary cap reduced from €100 million to about €30 million. According to Sports Illustrated, the financial crisis crippling the Spanish league also saw them become the smallest spenders among the top five European leagues this summer.

Joan Laporta
Barcelona president Joan Laporta said the club's debts were "abominable" Pau BARRENA/AFP