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Barça will sell assets to avoid ruin and dribble “obsessive obstacles”

BarcelonaOn a hot working Thursday in June, electronically, without spontaneous debate or concrete proposals and with a tight quorum (636 delegates out of the 4,478 that were convened). This is how Joan Laporta’s board of directors obtained the green light it requested to carry out the partial sale of BLM (Barça Licensing & Merchandising) and a percentage of the television rights, two operations that must be used to advance future income. and start covering the patrimonial hole that affects the institution due to the mismanagement of the government of Josep Maria Bartomeu, which the pandemic just guillotined. The sum they hope to raise at the Camp Nou for both mechanisms: a minimum of 600 million euros.

Without papers, as usual, and with a tone ignited by the importance of the moment, Laporta opened the assembly with a 15-minute speech to begin cooking the partner’s yes. The Barça chief executive made up for the lack of accurate information with strong and easy-to-understand messages. “After the elections we found Barça, which is a Formula 1, without petrol and with the engine seized. The decisions we have made these months have allowed us to start it. And if we now activate these levers, we will pass the car through pits and we will take him to the starting grid so that he can compete again “, Laporta stated, amassing the maxim with doubts about the club’s ownership model (in case of non-approval), the shadow of a possible spill and lament the “obsessive-compulsive disorder” of national and supranational estates. “They want to weaken us and we will not be allowed to stand guard or be involved,” he said, referring to Javier Tebas, LaLiga Impulso, CVC and UEFA’s threats to the Superliga. The recipe worked.

Despite the complication of the operations that were put to the vote, no Barça executive took the microphone to present arguments in favor of yes. The board, and especially Laporta, monopolized the word. Regarding the first lever, BLM, Vice President Juli Guiu made a brief speech to justify it: “We need a partner to help us expand the Barça brand. We need to grow in other markets, move to places where we don’t even exist, and go hand in hand with those who know. ” They therefore do not know whether the specialist investor will enter without intermediaries (or through a financial partner) or the relevant terms. ARA has already explained that it will be difficult to close this operation – approved with 568 votes in favor – before June 30.

Urgency to close the year with benefits

More advanced is the cession of television rights, approved in assembly by 494 votes in favor. From the economic area, Laporta was urged to sign with CVC in the framework of LaLiga Impulso to close the season in a positive way, but the Catalan president does not see the measure clearly because he is 50 years old and comes into conflict with the common front that has built with the president of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, against the employer. At this point, without Thebes rowing in favor when calculating the fair play financially, Barça is negotiating alternatives on its own to sell up to 25% of its television rights for a maximum of 25 years. “We have to put different investment funds in competition in a financial operation, but we do not intend to accept less than 200 million for every 10%,” explained the vice president of economics, Eduard Romeu, visible face of the official explanations in the previous the assembly. Despite its links with the League, CVC is one of the suppliers on the table, along with Bank of America, which has recently become Sabadell’s largest shareholder. “We don’t like selling this asset, but we have no choice,” Romeu said. 10 months ago, Barça resigned from Leo Messi after rejecting a similar operation.

The famous economic levers have already passed the assembly procedure (we must add the outsourcing of a part of Barça Studios, already approved by the members). All that remains now is for the entity to activate some of them with the many proposals it says it has. Especially because the year expires at the end of this month and, at the moment, the balance sheet picture shows a loss of well over 100 million. As the revenue forecast (765 million) has fallen short compared to the expenditure forecast, extraordinary last-minute operations are needed to avoid a third closure with red numbers, the first under the full responsibility of Laporta, which figures the institution’s negative equity by 600 million. With the money that will rain on the sale of part of the club’s assets, the chief executive will also be able to go to the transfer market with the fullest pockets. However, Tebas will continue to have the keys to a salary cap conditioned by the oversizing of the contracts of the first team staff.

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