Barcelona have sold a further 15% of their domestic television rights to the global investment firm Sixth Street, the club announced on Friday, with sources telling ESPN the deal is worth around €320 million.
Sources have told ESPN that Barca hope the sale will enable them to register summer signings Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski.
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Barca will also use the money to re-inscribe Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele with LaLiga after the duo signed new contracts, while president Joan Laporta says the club will now look to strengthen in defence.
Sixth Street have now purchased 25% of Barca’s income from LaLiga television rights for the next 25 years, having bought 10% for €207.5m at the end of June.
The rights were worth €165.6m in the 2020-21 season — figures are not yet available for this past season — so, based on those numbers, which will fluctuate, Sixth Street stand to make €41.4m annually from the deal.
Over 25 years, that would equate to just over €1 billion on their initial investment of €527.5m.
It continues Sixth Street’s investment in sport in recent years. The firm also recently entered into a partnership with Real Madrid related to the operations of the Bernabeu.
They also own a 20% stake in the San Antonio Spurs and are the majority owners of Legends, in partnership with the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys.
Last month’s deal with Sixth Street prevented Barca from ending the 2021-22 financial season with losses, but sources told ESPN the money would not increase their budget on transfers this summer.
However, sources at the club told ESPN earlier this month the sale of an additional 15% of their domestic media rights would help them tackle the squad overhaul coach Xavi Hernandez has requested this summer.
The operation will help increase their LaLiga-imposed spending limit, which stands at -€144m — the only negative cap in the league — but which is being constantly revised by the Spanish league.
Barca’s squad costs last season — which include wages and amortization payments among other elements — stood at around €560m.
If that figure can be brought in line with LaLiga’s spending cap, Barca will be able to spend at a ratio of 1:1, which means that for every euro they make in transfers or save in wages, they can invest a euro.
As things stand, they are currently restricted to a ratio of either 1:3 or 1:4, depending on the size of the saving they make, so can only spend a fraction of any money they bring in through player departures.