REVEALED: Barcelona tried to buy back future TV rights income from THEMSELVES in a bid to create a £126m windfall before LaLiga rejected the inflated figures… as giants look for ways to register their summer signings
- Barcelona have tried a remarkable financial trick in a bid to register new stars
- They attempted to buy their own future TV revenue from themselves last week
- But LaLiga noticed and did not accept the club’s artificially-inflated income
- Joan Laporta is desperately trying to register his club’s raft of summer signings
- The club are confident though and continue to buy players for Xavi’s squad
Barcelona were so desperate to satisfy LaLiga’s financial fair play rules this summer that they bought their own TV rights future revenue from themselves, and tried to declare the deal as new income.
Spanish radio station Cope revealed the perfectly legal maneuver and confirmed that LaLiga did not accept the artificially-inflated declared income, leaving the club still trying to find ways to register all their new signings.
Barca brilliantly dismantled Pumas on Sunday in their final pre-season friendly of what has been an extraordinary summer. And president Joan Laporta said: ‘There will be no problem in registering all the players we have signed. We are on the right road (to doing that).’
Barcelona (whose president Joan Laporta is pictured) bought their own TV rights future revenue from themselves to satisfy LaLiga’s rules
But LaLiga noticed and dismissed the artificially-inflated income, leaving Barcelona boss Xavi (pictured) still without some of his summer signings due to financial fair play rules
But a measure of how difficult the process has been can be seen in the way Barcelona structured one of their asset sell-offs this summer.
The club sold 25 per cent of future TV rights but there was a difference of opinion when it came to declaring how much money they had raised from it. They declared €667million (£562m) but LaLiga only accepted €517m (£435m).
The difference can be explained by the financial card trick the Spanish club played.
First they formed a spin-off company called Locksley Invest with the US investment fund Sixth Street. Both Barca and Sixth Street own 50 per cent of Locksley Invest.
Twenty-five per cent of Barca’s future TV rights income were sold to Locksley with Sixth Street paying €517m (£435m) for them for the next 25 years and Barca paying €150m (£126m) to buy them back in 25 years time.
The club declared the total of €667m (£562m) in their paperwork sent to LaLiga last week. But LaLiga have only accepted the €517m (£435m) deeming the other €150m (£126m) to be the club buying from themselves, in effect.
Barcelona are unable to register some of their new signings, who include Robert Lewandowski (centre), until they ease financial pressure
A big-name exit like Frenkie de Jong (right) would allow Barcelona to register more new faces
That has created a shortfall in Barca’s increased revenue figures. But there is still optimism the club can begin the season with all new signings registered.
That confidence is reflected in the fact that the club continue to sign players. Chelsea left-back Marco Alsono will pass a medical at the start of this week ahead of joining for a fee of €8m (£6.7m).
There are various ways in which the club plans to find the missing money. They are close to closing another shirt sponsorship deal with Cryptocurrency exchange, WhiteBIT, who could pay as much as €20m (£17m) to appear on the sleeve of the shirts.
They could also sell more of the club’s assets. There is the option to sell another 24.5 per cent of Barca studios to socios.com, which has already bought 24.5 per cent. And there is the possibility of selling part of the club’s merchandising arm Barca Licensing and Merchandising (BLM).
The club does not want to have to mortgage its future any more than it has done and selling a big name player will mean it wont have to but persuading Frenkie de Jong, who played and scored in the friendly, to move on continues to be very difficult.