LaLiga tells Barcelona to activate fourth economic lever via further prodco sale

Debt-ridden Spanish football giant FC Barcelona has been told to activate their fourth ‘economic lever’ of the summer by selling up to 49 per cent of its content production business.

The club previously sold 25% of its LaLiga TV rights for the next 25 years to US investment firm Sixth Street in two deals worth over €500 million. The third ‘lever’ activated last week was the 24.5% sale of production house Barcelona Studios to fan token business Socios for €100 million.

All of this was done to generate funds for incoming transfers, with the club signing high profile players such as Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessié and Brazilian winger Raphinha. 

The Spanish league takes an alternate approach to regulating financial fair play to many other European competitions. While competitions like the English Premier League retroactively consider clubs’ wage balances, LaLiga mandates clubs to register player and coach salaries, with an overall salary cap limit based on a club’s reported budget – with that limit obtained by subtracting the costs and debt from a club’s income.

Despite raising over €600 million, The Athletic reports that LaLiga has told Barcelona that it cannot register its new signings without settling its books and generating more funds. 

The club’s members had previously approved selling up to 49% of Barcelona Studios, thus opening the likelihood that it will sell a further 24.5% of the production house though it remains unclear whether this would also be sold to Socios or another third-party. Barcelona is also looking to raise money by selling players and convincing existing players to agree to lower pay packages. 

Should it fail to make enough money to register its new players, Barcelona faces fees from LaLiga or – in the worst-case scenario – relegation from Spain’s top division.

Tags: FC Barcelona

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