Barcelona approves broadcast rights sale

Joan Laporta

Catalan football giants FC Barcelona have approved the sale of 25% of its broadcasting rights.

The club, whose poor financial performance over the past several years led to the departure of its record goalscorer Lionel Messi in summer 2021, have also approved the sale of a minority share of their licensing and merchandising division. 

Joan Laporta, the club’s president, confirmed that the Barcelona expects to sell up to 49.9% of Barcelona Licensing and Merchandising (BLM) for €200-300 million, while each 10% of the club’s LaLiga TV rights for 25 years is expected to fetch a minimum of €200 million.

At an EGM, which was announced earlier this month, the TV rights deal was approved by 86.8% of voters (though only 14.2% of the club’s total delegates took part in the meeting), while 89.3% approved the BLM sale.

Speaking at the meeting (via Reuters), Laporta said: “When we arrived last year, we found ourselves in a very complicated financial situation. We couldn’t afford the payroll of May 2021. Investors were demanding 200 million euros that we did not have. We believe that using club’s assets to create financial levers is the best way to bring back Barca to being competitive again.”

The club is still dealing with the fallout from LaLiga’s deal with CVC Capital Partners. The league agreed a deal with the private equity fund in December 2021 which saw it buy 8.2% of a new company that will get revenues from LaLiga broadcasting and sponsorship rights for 50 years. The fund invested €1.994 billion in the venture.

The deal however was not backed universally among LaLiga’s 42 member clubs, with four clubs – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and one unnamed club – opposing it. The three named clubs, along with the Spanish FA (RFEF) launched a lawsuit against the deal, calling on “the annulment of the agreement” and arguing that it would cause “incalculable damage” to Spanish football.

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