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The board of FC Barcelona, looking for positive numbers

The board meeting at Spotify Camp Nou offices lasted five hours. During the meeting, President Joan Laporta briefed the directors on the current economic situation in order to close the financial year of the 2023-2024 season with profits by June 30th. However, there are still some loose ends to tie up.

The most important pending issue for the club is the outstanding debt with Barça Vision, the club’s digital business. The organization is finalizing an agreement with an American company that will pay 40 million euros. Another global company associated with Spotify will also enter the scene, providing an amount close to 20 million. However, there are still details of the agreement being finalized, such as whether the music giant will have more or less exploitation rights over the Spotify Camp Nou. Time is ticking, and the financial experts of the organization continue to work tirelessly.

The origin of this negotiation lies in the €40 million that the fund Libero Football Finance AG agreed to pay in the last quarter of 2023 for a stake in Barça Vision. LaLiga has already blocked this amount from Barcelona’s salary cap for the 2023-2024 season. The club, unable to make signings in January, opted to close loan deals or free transfers. They also relied on the €12 million guarantee paid by president Joan Laporta and treasurer Ferran Olivé, which was used to register players.

To balance the budget, the club is negotiating with two investors who will cover 60 million

For the 2024-2025 season, another 60 million were supposed to arrive from Libero as well. But, considering the non-payments, Barcelona first reported the German fund, and then reformulated the schedule.

They estimate that this July, the 40 million from the previous fiscal year should arrive from the American company, and efforts are being made to generate another 20 million through the partnership with Spotify.

Club sources do assure that they have the auditor’s approval for these operations to be included in the 23-24 season, even if the agreements are reached after June 30. Since it is a default on an operation that was already approved by LaLiga, the accounts need to be reformulated.

On the other hand, the employers will gradually release millions as the amounts arrive. Relations between Barcelona and LaLiga have improved significantly, with constant communication. However, the club acknowledges that as of today, they will enter the transfer market with the wage limit exceeded, and therefore, unable to operate under the 1-1 rule.

The negotiations with Nike for the jersey are slowing down due to several requests from the North Americans

The wage margin at Barcelona is shifting as operations are being finalized, such as Marc Guiu’s transfer to Chelsea, which will bring in six million. The sale of Chadi Riad from Betis to Crystal Palace also generated revenue close to nine million as the club had retained 50% of a future transfer when loaning the player to Betis. There are also efforts to offload players like Lenglet or Dest, which would further reduce the wage bill, currently standing at 415 million euros.

But beyond player sales and leverages, there is still a need for an extra push to meet the financial targets set by LaLiga. The club projected to finish this season with revenues of 859 million euros and a profit of 11 million.

In that sense, the club would also greatly benefit from being able to close the ten-year renewal agreement with Nike for sponsoring the jersey before June 30th. This deal implies an immediate income of a 100 million renewal premium for the club. However, everything indicates that this amount will enter the books for the next fiscal year. The American company has requests to renew until 2038. They believe they should have a right of first refusal to decide whether to renew or not when the contract ends. They also want to have a certain degree of decision-making power and control if Barcelona, as it has been doing in recent years, decides to design an exclusive line of vintage content apparel with BLM, their own clothing license, and the manager of the official Barcelona stores.

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