BarcelonaThe sale of 10% of the League’s television rights to the Sixth Street fund allowed Barça to close the 2021/22 financial year with profits. However, with this money, 267 million in capital gains, is not enough to reverse the Barça economy. The debt is still capital and, with the rules of the salary limit of the League, there is no room to sign players. For this reason it is necessary to sell more assets. The “levers”, as President Joan Laporta once called them.
Barça’s compromising partners authorized the board to sell up to 25% of the television rights and up to 49.9% of Barça Studios and Barça License & Marketing (BLM). So far, 10% of the television package has been sold and the intention of the Barça management is to activate the remaining 15% in the coming days. In fact, this will be the only sale that will take place, at least for now. Barça Studios and BLM have been parked sine the.
The decision of the management team is a twist on the initial plans, because they did not want to get rid of 25% of the total television, but to distribute sales between the audiovisual package and some of the companies. The problem is that during the negotiations Barça did not get what they wanted, neither with Barça Studios nor with BLM. In the first case he has not found any partner to pay the amount they deem appropriate. And in the case of the company that manages Barça’s merchandising, because the small print of the contract would have meant that Barça would lose control.
“The headline, the money you put on the table, is always a very juicy figure. Now, when you review the operation you see things you don’t always like,” says a person close to the negotiations. The same thing happened with BLM. Some reports point to figures that could be around 300 million euros for 49.9% of this company. At the shareholder level, this guaranteed that Barça would have a majority shareholding. But according to sources consulted, the club would not have had the last word in some key decisions. In addition, one of the funds that were interested in buying this asset also wanted to include in the agreement the contract with Nike, the multinational that wears the Barça set.
In the case of Barça Studios, the reason is purely economic. The club was looking for a very juicy offer for this company, but has only received downward proposals. Initially, the budget for this season that has ended included the sale for 50 million. But Laporta and his people had a much higher return, even though the company has an annual turnover of 30 million. Faced with the impossibility of meeting expectations, the board has chosen to postpone the operation.
Barça hopes to earn 400 million for the remaining 15% of television rights
The only lever that remains active, then, is the television. In a conversation with reporters, the president admitted that the club has an interest in signing the remaining 15% with Sixth Street, the same company that already acquired the first 10%. The reason is simple. This fund already knows Barça, has studied the financial situation of the entity and does not need to carry out additional checks. Therefore, the operation could be closed as quickly as possible. So much so that even the president believes that an agreement can be reached before Barça leaves for the United States for the summer tour in mid-July. In the same way that it generated a capital gain of 267 million (of which, in cash, 207.5 entered) for the first 10%, the club counts that they will be able to achieve the same conditions and thus sign up a profit of 400 million (311.25 cash).
Barça could have sold the entire television package at once, but at an accounting level the club was interested in being able to carry out the operation in two rounds. In this way it could generate enough resources to close the 21/22 course in a positive way; and now he will get a cushion big enough to ensure that the 22/23 season, which has just begun, closes with green numbers as well. The negative part of the operation is that, from now on, the club will stop paying 25% of what it charges for the audiovisual rights of the League. In other words, if it received 165.6 million this year, it would receive 124.2 million.
Barça will have to sell players in order to sign
With this money, Barça must have enough to reverse the economic situation and start having positive equity. However, the entity admits that this will not be enough to sign the letter to the Kings that the technical secretariat wants. For Lewandowski, Raphinha, Koundé and Bernardo Silva to land at the Camp Nou, some of the players with the most posters would have to be sold.