FC Barcelona are ranked by UEFA as the second biggest football club in the world, behind only Real Madrid.
They are a club who year after year look to win everything there is in football, including their domestic league and the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy.
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But to what extent has this affected them in recent times?
Just four years ago, while all of the top clubs were gaining incredible amounts of income through shirt sponsorship deals, Barcelona were instead giving money to Unicef, one of the largest children’s charity in the world.
However, along with the growth of the importance of money in football came the need for the Barcelona to take the opportunity to sign the biggest shirt sponsorship in football history, a world-record £125 million deal with the Qatar Foundation.
Since then, the club has changed drastically.
A club that used to invest highly into developing their own young players – Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi being three recent examples of this - instead now prioritise paying huge amounts to bring in players from elsewhere.
In addition to this, the recent news regarding the transfer of Luis Suarez could have possibly left the club at an all-time low.
The Uruguayan, who some believe should never play football again after his infamous bite on Giorgio Chiellini just weeks ago, has now joined Barcelona for a fee of around £75 million.
We now have a team who just 3 months ago were handed a 14-month transfer ban, signing a player who has been banned from any football-related activity for four months.
It seems a real shame that a club such as Barcelona are quickly becoming the opposite of the vastly respected club they once were, but it would be unfair to put the sole blame on the club.
Just as much of the responsibility, if not more, should be placed on FIFA, the international governing body of association football.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter is supposed to have put procedures in place to bring back a sense of credibility. And though there is evidence that certain rules are in place, we are yet to see any real action regarding these restrictions.
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