The Catalan entrepreneur who bought the most recent €100m sale of Barcelona’s future revenues, taking the total sold to around €700m this year, says it will allow the biggest-spending club in Europe this summer to register new players in time for the start of the league season this weekend.
Jaume Roures’ Orpheus Media bought a share in the Barca Studios enterprise, 24.5pc, as the club pulled the fourth of its “economic levers” yesterday. Barcelona, one of the most indebted clubs in Europe, said that the deal relates to NFTs and digital assets and follows the sale of 25pc of Barca Studios to Socios.com, which specialises in the sale of digital fan tokens.
The understanding is that the so-called boost to Barcelona revenues will enable them to register new signings Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha and Pablo Torre as well as re-register renewals for Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto. It is likely that this latest move will mollify La Liga president Javier Tebas to allow them to play today against Rayo Vallecano.
Speaking to Radio Barcelona, Roures, a friend of club president Joan Laporta, said that he would not have interrupted his summer holiday were it not to make a significant intervention for the club: “I don’t know what Barça need to register all the [new] players. What I do know is that this investment of €100m is enough to see the team we want to see [on Saturday].”
He described the finances that Laporta had inherited from his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu as “a s***** scenario” adding: “We started with a situation that people can’t even imagine.” Roures said Laporta had overseen, from a transfer and financial point of view, “the best July in history” and had demonstrated the “strength of the club and brand” but added Barcelona “still hasn’t solved all its problems.”
La Liga’s rules on how they calculate the spending cap for clubs relate to projections for earnings over a season which are submitted to the league executive. Barcelona are permitted to book these €700m sales of future income streams as revenue, when they are, in effect debt.
Under Laporta, Barcelona have already sold 25pc of its future TV revenue from La Liga for the next 25 years to the US investment company Sixth Street. The first 10pc tranche was valued at €207m, although that was in order to settle losses for the previous financial year.
There was no precise figure placed on the subsequent 15pc sale last month, but it is likely to have raised in excess of €300m. The sale of 49.5pc of Barca Studios has raised €200m. Barcelona are around €1.5bn in debt in total.
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