With Lionel Messi set to turn 33 next month as La Liga plans to resume the season, Barcelona fans are hopeful that their skipper would lead them to yet another title victory. However, as the Argentina reaches another milestone age-wise, fans would also be bothered about a post-Messi world for Barcelona.

While the club management and the board remain optimistic about the revenue numbers for the rest of this season and next, things do not look very rosy for the Catalan outfit. In the 2018/19 season, the club made over 840 million euros but the impact of Covid-19 would reveal cracks – and there are lots of cracks in the Barcelona wall.

There are reports that the club could lose under 200 million euros as a result of the pandemic even if the league restarts. The club’s superstores, museum and tourist revenue are gone. Summer touring, summer and winter transfer deals for players they intend offloading would plummet. With football set to be played behind closed doors for the rest of the season and possibly in the first half of next term, matchday stadium is gone.

The club agreed to a 72 percent salary cut with the players while the season is suspended,but the situation would reveal an unsustainable wage to revenue ration. 70 percent of the club revenue reportedly goes to servicing the huge players’ wages. In the last decade the club has not been very strategic with its business in the transfer market, with over a billion euros spent on transfers not yielding as much results. Messi’s current contract takes up to 40 percent of the salary base, based on the Football Leaks documents. With the current crop of players aging, the succession plans have not been effective.

There are still question marks over the long-term presence of major transfers like Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele. There are even debates that Arthur Melo could be traded to get Miralem Pjanic from Juventus, disrupting the partnership with Frenkie de Jong. Carles Alena is likely not to be a stable force in the midfield, Nelson Semedo might exit the club as well as Samuel Umtiti. Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal are more likely to exit but Rakitic is keen on finishing up his contract at the Nou Camp. There are several others that are on loan and others Barca are linked with buying like Lautaro Martinez. The club’s debt is estimated to be around 400-800 million euros.

A post-Messi would is scary. It means a lower wage bill but Barcelona’s preparation is far behind and the story could be similar to Leeds United, AC Milan and Manchester United.