Barcelona’s financial woes aren’t exactly a surprise and the Catalan club have had high-profile struggles economically over the last couple of years, which even resulted in the departure of Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain in August 2021.
The next season doesn’t look too optimistic for the club either but Joan Laporta’s board are now in a race against time in order to raise immediate revenues with major sales so as to offset the losses. These economic operations might give the Catalans some relief in the summer transfer window.
Despite it being Laporta’s second year in charge of the club in his second term, Barcelona’s economic situation doesn’t look healthy and they are still under immense financial pressure. The damage done to the club by previous president Josep Maria Bartomeu cannot be understated and it left the Catalan club with a debt of over a billion euros.
Those economic problems, which even led to the departure of Messi, continue to haunt the Blagurana as they hope to rebuild a competitive squad over the upcoming transfer window. However, journalist Sique Rodriguez has provided a damning assessment of Barcelona’s current financial situation. According to him, Barcelona could be on the verge of an ‘economic collapse’ if they fail to sort things out before June 30.
As such, Laporta and his board are in a race against time in order to raise large funds and revenues as soon as possible. These ‘economic levers’ could end up solving the club’s financial crisis in the short-term and it will also help them make signings this summer while also holding on to their best players.
Barcelona-based news outlet Sport have now reported that the Barcelona board has decided to approve the sale of stakes in the Baraa Licensing & Merchandising and the TV rights agreement with CVC, which is set to bring in a massive injection of funds to the tune of 740 million euros into the club.
Further developments also include that Barcelona president Joan Laporta met at La Jonquera yesterday to discuss and communicate the next steps that the club will be taking in order to get out of the financial meddle that they’re in right now.
During the session at La Jonquera, Laporta and his board have also agreed to call an Extraordinary Assembly of Barcelona members on June 16 at the Auditori 1899, in a remote format, in which members will be asked for authorisation for various financial moves.
Barcelona is a fan-owned institution and therefore, the board of directors have to take the permission of the members who own the club before deciding on major decisions like selling a stake in the club’s properties in order to raise funds.
The two decisions that will be taken during the Extraordinary Assembly of Barcelona members are:
– The authorisation for the acquisition by one or more investors of minority stake in the social capital of the business Barça Licensing & Merchandising (up to 49.9%).
– The authorisation for the cession to one or more investors of up to 25% of income for the exploitation of the corresponding television rights to the competition organised by the La Liga and/or the obtaining of financing based on the aforementioned television rights.
The reports also suggest that the board has agreed to ratify the sale of Barca Licensing & Merchandising for an investment of around 200 million from a consortium formed by Fanatics and Investindustrial. They had been working on this operation for quite some time and it is likely to go through and is only pending approval from the assembly.
Barcelona will also be able to bring in a huge investment of 540 million from the sale of up to 25% of the TV rights to one or more investors. The La Liga-backed CVC deal, which was the cause of much controversy last season, looks to be close to completion.
The Catalans are set to be sanctioned a 270 million loan as equity in exchange for 8.2% of the profits generated from the audio-visual rights for the next 50 seasons.
On top of that, Barcelona have also negotiated a deal with American banking organisation Goldman Sachs to inject 270 million for the broadcasting rights, although the details of the operation are not entirely clear as of now.