Barcelona board agree to sell off the club’s retail operation and part of TV rights for £555 million

Joan Laporta president of FC Barcelona, Barca during a press conference
Joan Laporta president of FC Barcelona, Barca during a press conference

Members of the Barcelona board have struck a deal that will allow them to sign players this summer, according to reports. 

The Spanish La Liga club has been under an intense financial burden and has been able to sign plates this summer. But that appears to have been addressed according to a report by the Spanish publication Marca.

The report has it that Barca chiefs have voted in favour of the club selling off part of its retail arm Barcelona Licensing and Merchandising (BLM), and part of its future TV rights revenue, so they can sign players this summer

According to the report, the sale of 49.9% of BLM was voted through by 568 in favour, 65 against, while 13 votes were against.

Also, the sale of up to 25% of the TV rights for 25 years was supported by 494 voting members in favour, with 62 against and again 13 abstentions.

The deals, according to the club president Joan Laporta, could raise between £512m and 598m. 

He told members before the vote: 

“Barça is a Formula 1 car with no fuel and a seized-up engine. We need to do this because we have been making losses for years. We have inherited a very difficult situation.”

If the deals indeed bring in £512m, it will swing the club’s salary cap from its current £123m in the minus to something closer to £384m in the positive.

Although Laporta blamed the previous board for the situation, the club finds itself in. He also said: “I do not want to keep looking back. It is important to make a profit because if we continue to make losses, our competitors see us as weak. And not only them, but people with power in regulatory bodies systematically and obsessively put obstacles in our way.”

With most club members now in agreement, Barca now has to make the deals happen before the end of the month. They will hope that, coupled with a reduction in the wage bill, they will be in the clear to operate normally in the transfer market.

Should that happen, they will move to close the deal for their number one target summer, Robert Lewandowski. But with Bayern Munich holding out for £34m in one straight payment and Barcelona’s wage bill still needing to be cut, there is work still to be done.