On Thursday, Barcelona announced that they had sold 10% of La Liga television rights for 25 years to US investment group Sixth Street for € 207.5 million ($ 215.5 million).
“Sixth Street will initially invest € 207.5 million and in return will receive 10% of the Club’s LaLiga TV rights for the next 25 years,” Barca said in a statement.
The agreement will allow Barcelona, plagued by financial problems, to close the fiscal year that ends Thursday in profit.
The Catalan sports daily Sport reported that otherwise Barca “would have closed the year with a loss of 150 million euros”.
“With this transaction, FC Barcelona generates a total capital gain of 267 million euros for the current season,” the club’s statement read.
Barcelona, along with Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, renounced an agreement in January with another American fund, CVC, to buy between 8 and 11% of the broadcasting and commercial rights of the first two. Spanish divisions for 50 years.
In May, Real struck a deal with Sixth Street and Legends that called “a premium experiences company for sports and live organizations, for 30 percent of revenue” sports and live event organizations “at the Bernabeu stadium, which is underway. of redevelopment, for 20 years for 360 million euros.
Last August, Joan Laporta, who returned as Barcelona president last November, said an audit had uncovered the club’s total debt of € 1.35 billion. The club let Lionel Messi leave last June saying they couldn’t afford to keep him even on a reduced salary.
On Thursday, Laporta welcomed his club’s agreement in a statement.
“We are leveraging financial levers and executing our patient, sustainable and efficient strategy to strengthen the club’s financial base,” he said.
Sixth Street CEO Alan Waxman was also quoted in the statement.
“We believe in the strategy that Joan Laporta and FC Barcelona are implementing and we are proud that one of the most famous clubs in football has chosen us as their partner and capital solutions provider,” said Waxman.
The sale of the television rights was one of two “levers” approved last week by a meeting of club members to quickly increase revenue so that Barcelona could shop for next season.
The assembly authorized the transfer of up to 25% of the television rights income for up to 25 years, which means that Laporta can still seek a buyer for the remaining 15%.
Members also approved the sale of 49.9% of its licensing and merchandising division, BLM.
“We will once again have positive funds,” Laporta told members when he asked them to vote for the measures.
“We will pay off our debt in a reasonable way and will be able to make the necessary investments to make our teams more competitive.”