A further 15% of Barcelona’s future rights revenue must also be sold to generate another €300m. All of this requires the approval of Goldman Sachs, which is the club’s biggest institutional creditor. Loans for the Camp Nou reconstruction and debt refinancing last year put loans to the US investment bank alone at between €1.5bn and €2bn. For their part, Real Madrid sold 30% of the stadium’s future revenue over 20 years to Sixth Street.
Real’s debt still exceeds £1billion when the responsibility for rebuilding their stadium is taken into account. The problem is bigger in Barcelona where the hole was dug by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu. With its Sale Tomorrow to Fund Today, Laporta has done nothing more than keep digging.
Real president Florentino Perez and his La Liga counterpart Javier Tebas disagree on much. But both will know the league needs Barcelona to be strong for everyone to thrive and so the club is allowed to drag on, book loans as income and somehow comply with Financial Fair Play.
The two great Spaniards, as well as the others, have bet the house on a continuous increase in the value of the broadcasting rights. Nothing will threaten as much as a procession for Real Madrid’s title every season.
Barcelona have pulled two of the levers available to fund themselves now. The third is the sale of 49% of their merchandising business. Can the club afford to commit so much future revenue to creditors? Can he afford not to? The club needs funds to stay competitive now.
Despite all the public disapproval, the three Super League rebels, along with A22 and Spanish financiers Anas Laghrari and John Hahn, engaged in the legal battle to defeat UEFA. They seek to free, according to them, the richest clubs to create their own competition. They will soon announce a spokesperson to speak on behalf of the project they are creating. At each stage, the defeated April 2021 Super League envelope is patched up, refined and adapted to emerge from the vault again.
ESL is far from over. Next time, according to the ESL, there will be no permanent members. The goal for the three rebels is to get rid of the UEFA monopoly, as they see it, and one day create the competition that will bring them the share of revenue they think they deserve. The decision comes next year and nobody needs a result more than Barcelona, where the future sells.