FC Barcelona’s troubled summer

Sale of assets, new sponsors and five-star recruitment: At FC Barcelona, ​​​​​​​​which has done everything possible to improve its economic situation, strengthen its team and become a contender for the title, have This summer, deals in the tens of millions multiplied again in Spain.

Robert Lewandowski will join the ranks of FC Barcelona in the summer.

keystone

The amounts are staggering. While he was €1.35 billion in debt and had to part ways with Lionel Messi in August 2021, this summer FC Barcelona (the club that spends the most behind Chelsea) spent €153m on the transfer window to sign a top international player like Robert Lewandowski.

“We are starting into a very exciting season. I’m the first to be happy. Nothing would make me happier than making all the “cules” (Barça supporters, editor’s note) happy. This will go through winning titles. That’s the main goal,” Xavi, the Catalan coach, promised the fans in attendance at the Camp Nou for the Joan Gamper Trophy, won 6-0 against Mexico’s Pumas on Sunday.

After three years of hardship, Barça found hope again in one summer. “It’s a new era of splendour,” said Joan Laporta, the Blaugrana president, during the Polish centre-forward’s presentation. “Euphoria” was the headline in the Catalan newspaper Sport that day, August 6th.

Sale of assets and sponsorship

After selling 10% and then 15% of the La Liga TV rights revenues to American investment fund Sixth Street this summer for a total of €400m, FC Barcelona sold 24.5% and then 25% of the shares in Barça Studios (Responsible Subsidiary). management of the club’s audiovisual productions and digital commerce) respectively on August 1 for 100 million euros to the Socios.com platform and on August 9 for 100 million euros to the American investment fund GDA Luma. A total of 600 million euros was raised in just a few weeks.

The goal of these four levers? Raise money quickly to improve his financial situation, increase the salary cap set by LaLiga and be able to register all his recruits (Raphinha, Franck Kessié, Andreas Christensen, Jules Koundé and Robert Lewandowski) before the start of the championship.

Furthermore, the sponsorship deal with Spotify, which includes Camp Nou ‘naming’ and on-shirt advertising, brings in around €435m for the Blaugranas. The biggest sponsorship deal in club history. “I take calculated risks,” Joan Laporta assured the New York Times in an interview in early August.

“It’s a desperate club with €1.3bn in debt who are selling off future revenue streams to spend that money on players hoping it pays off. It’s as risky as rolling a dice!” exclaimed former England player Gary Neville on Twitter. “This is the only club in the world that has no money but can buy any player, that’s crazy!” Julian Nagelsmann also emphasized in July. On Monday, rating agency Fitch kept Barca’s rating at BBB but downgraded the outlook from “stable” to “negative”.

the summer is not over yet

But thanks to this XXL summer, Barça have once again become a serious contender for the LaLiga title, which they will start with on Saturday’s welcome to Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou. Only time will tell if his method has borne fruit. But it’s already inspiring other clubs like Betis Sevilla who are thinking about emulating Barça’s bet by selling assets.



However, Blaugrana’s summer isn’t over yet. The club estimate LaLiga are missing around €40m to agree to validate all their recruits. In return, he is considering parting ways with certain players such as Frenkie de Jong, Martin Braithwaite or Samuel Umtiti. Memphis Depay is also informed of the departure, with the Italian press hyping up a possible move to Juventus. Finally, the Catalan media have revealed that Barca are still trying to cut some salaries, including Gerard Pique’s and delay payment of captain Sergio Busquets’ salary.

According to The Athletic, the club have also approached UEFA to find out if they could get an advance on their future TV rights to the Champions League. Problem: Nothing can ensure that Barça will qualify for the future Champions League. Barca’s ‘economic miracle’, as the press dubbed it, has yet to turn into a sporting miracle.


TTY


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