Economist Iván Cabeza , an expert in the numbers of FC Barcelona , is certain that before August 31, when the market closes, the Barça club will have registered “all the players they have signed, because now” He is in a normal situation” in which he does not depend on the rule that only allowed him to invest one euro in footballers for every three he released.
This was explained in an interview with EFE. Barcelona is the football club that has spent the most money (153 million euros without counting the possible variables) in this summer transfer market and the football world wonders how the situation could have been reversed after the delicate economic situation that proceeds.
But the explanation does not lie in magic, but in the activation of the ‘levers’ that have allowed him to sign world-class players such as Robert Lewandowski (45), Jules Koundé (50) and ‘ Raphinha ‘ (58). With this investment figure, Barça is ahead of Bayern Munich and Arsenal, who spent 137.5 million and 132 million, respectively, according to the ‘Transfermarkt’ portal.
The so-called ‘levers’ are nothing more than the sale of club assets during a certain period of time. At the moment, the Barça club has sold 25% of the television rights of LaLiga for the next 25 years to the North American investment fund Sixth Street in exchange for 519 million, which represents an accounting capital gain of 667 million for the Barça coffers.
The first consequence of this income (100 million has been used to return a part of the loan from Goldman Sachs) has been that FC Barcelona has been able to quickly reverse the net worth, which at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year was negative by 451 million euros.
“It is very likely that Barça has already entered all the money from Sixth Street or, at least, a large part of it,” Iván Cabeza explains to EFE . Thus, this income is also allowing the Barça entity to undertake world-class signings that they could not have even dreamed of just a few months ago.
Lewandowski , Raphinha and Koundé are three renowned players who will allow Barça to opt for all the titles in the course that is about to start. In addition, Franck Kessié and Andreas Christensen have arrived free , and the transfer market still has a month to go before it closes.
Despite the fact that there is talk of the possible need to execute a new ‘lever’ (the sale of up to 49% of Barça Studios, the club’s audiovisual production company) or to sell valuable players such as the Dutch Frenkie de Jong or Memphis Depay to be able to register all the signings, Cabeza does not consider it necessary in this regard.
“Thanks to the ‘levers’, Barça may now already have the capacity to register all the players it has signed up to now. And, if not, it is very close to achieving it,” says the economist, who at all times leaves Of course, his assessments cannot be exact because the club has not made public most of the data on the operations.
The sale of the club’s assets has allowed a Copernican turn in the economic and sporting situation of Barça. But only time will tell if the move has gone well for Joan Laporta ‘s board in the medium and long term .
“For it to go well, it is not as important to win titles as to compete until the end, generating a brand. You must get back to where you were. This way you will always generate a lot of income (sponsorships, ticket sales, among others) that will allow you to reverse what you will stop entering annually because of the sale of assets”, analyzes Cabeza .
The final challenge, according to the economist, “is to have a sustainable club, that the income at the end of the season is always higher than the wage bill, because in this way the debt can be covered (the last figure was 1,350 million, in the absence of close the financing of up to 1,500 million for the Espai Barça) and recover the income that you will not have for television rights (just over 40 per season)”.
There is no turning back. Laporta has activated his solution to the situation inherited from the board of directors of Josep Maria Bartomeu . The performance of the team and the ability of the offices to convert the possible sporting successes into income will dictate the sentence.