Barcelona sell 15% of their television rights | Sports

Joan Laporta, during the Barcelona tour in the United States.
Joan Laporta, during the Barcelona tour in the United States.

The Barcelona announced the sale of 15% of television rights to the investment fund Sixth Street for the next 25 years. Last June, Barça sold an additional 10% to the same company, in exchange for 207.5 million for the same period. In any case, as the Catalan club reported at the time, the first sale of television rights will generate “a capital gain of 267 million euros for the current season”. [la 2021-22]”. This time, however, Barcelona haven’t made the numbers for the deal official. Sources from the Barça entity have told this newspaper that this second sale will leave the club with almost 320 million, with a capital gain for the 2022-23 campaign of 400 million.

Barcelona, ​​in this way, after obtaining approval from Goldman Sachs -The finance company had the TV rights as collateral for the €525m loan it made to the club in August 2021- it adds around €527.5m to the cash, plus capital gains of around €667m in exchange 25% of its TV revenue for the next 25 years. If with the operation at the end of June, Barcelona managed to close the last financial year in positive (it was calculated that the losses could amount to 161 million) after two consecutive balances in red -97 million in the academic year 2019 -2020 and 481 in 2020-2021–, with this new transfer of television rights to Sixth Street, the Catalan entity is seeking to regularize its financial situation.

The Barça club has a net worth in the red (450 million). The agreement with Sixth Street allows Barcelona to clean up its own negative funds and thus stand up to LaLiga with a new and healthy financial situation. This new context would free Barça from employer pressure to register new players. In the latest LaLiga salary cap – it is calculated from estimated income minus expected non-sporting expenses – Barca were the only club of First and Second in negative: 144 million. That is, in order to register the signings, the Barça club had to comply with the 1×3 rule (to register one euro of salary in the first team, it was necessary to release three first).

So, if LaLiga gives the green light to the new revenue, Barca would revert to the 1×1 rule. It would no longer be necessary for him to juggle the economy to register all his new recruits (Kessié, Christensen, Raphinha and Lewandowski), plus his two renewals (Sergi Roberto and Dembélé).

Another advantage of this double operation with Sixth Street, according to the club, the liquidity that Barça now has. The club have already been able to repay the first debt with Goldman Sachs (the 125 million loan that the presidency of Joan Laporta took as soon as he took over the club) and will now seek to negotiate with the players a reduction in deferred wages . “But for that, we needed cash. Now we can stand in front of x player and say: How much do I owe you? 50, well there you have 35. I don’t have more, ”assures a source from the economic zone of Barça.

However, there are those who understand in the Camp Nou offices that the capital gains of 267 [para la campaña 2021-2022] and from 400 [para la actual] are not correctly accounted for. “If the sale is for the next 25 years, a proportional income should have been allocated each year, and not 267 in one and 400 in the other. A fictitious income is generated,” they point out. Transfers, for example, are counted according to the years of the contract. That is, Lewandowski, who according to Barca cost 50 (Bayern assured this newspaper that they transferred him for 60) and he will have a four-year contract, his amortization will be 12.5 million per season.

In any case, at Barça, we celebrate the agreement with Sixth Street. “We are moving forward with our strategy, which provides us with a significant increase in our financial strength,” Laporta said. “Barca are one of the most important sports organizations in the world. We are delighted to extend this additional new investment,” added Alan Waxman, CEO of Sixth Street.

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