FC Barcelona on Thursday announced they had sold 10% of their La Liga television rights for 25 years to US investment group Sixth Street for 207.5 million euros.
‘Sixth Street will initially invest €207.5 million and in return will receive 10% of the Club’s La Liga TV rights for the next 25 years,’ Barça said in a statement.
The deal will allow Barcelona, beset by financial problems, to end the fiscal year that closes this Thursday in profit.
Catalan sports daily Sport had reported that otherwise the club ‘would have ended the financial year with a loss of 150 million euros’.
‘With this transaction, FC Barcelona generates a total capital gain of €267 million for the current season,’ said the club’s statement.
‘We are activating economic levers and executing on our patient, sustainable, and efficient strategy to strengthen the club’s financial footing,’ said Joan Laporta, president of FC Barcelona. ‘Sixth Street is a proven supporter of football, an experienced investor across global sports and media, and a partner that will contribute significant knowledge and resources while allowing us to independently manage our operations.’
‘We believe in the strategy Joan Laporta and FC Barcelona are implementing and are proud that one of the most celebrated clubs in football has chosen us to be its partner and capital solutions provider,’ said Alan Waxman, Co-Founder and CEO of Sixth Street. ‘Our team looks forward to a long-term partnership providing our flexible capital and deep sports sector expertise to support Barça as it continues to strengthen its organisation and achieve its strategic objectives.’
Barcelona, along with Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, opted out of a deal in January with another American fund, CVC, to buy between 8 and 11% of the broadcasting and commercial rights for the top two Spanish divisions for 50 years.
Last August, Laporta, who returned as Barcelona president the previous November, said an audit had uncovered total club debts of 1.35 billion euros. The club had let Lionel Messi leave last June saying they could not afford to keep him even at a reduced salary.