A year after having to let Lionel Messi go after tearing up the €1.35bn ($1.96bn) owed money crippling the club, Barcelona have spent €153m ($222m Aussies) in transfer fees simply to bolster his roster. Robert Lewandowski is essentially the most notable newcomer.
“It’s a really exciting season. Nothing gives me more pleasure than making all the fans happy,” coach Xavi Hernandez said, ahead of last weekend’s friendly where he beat the team. Mexican Pumas UNAM 6-0.
“It involves successful trophies. This is our main goal,” he said.
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After three years of struggle on and off the pitch, this summer has seen the return of hope at Camp Nou as president Joan Laporta spoke of an exciting ‘new period’ since the club launched Lewandowski as a Barcelona player.
“Euphoria” was the headline on the Daily Sport native’s quilt on the day. Even Partizan Madrid-based sports newspaper Marca admitted Barca were ‘scary’ after praising Pumas UNAM, who netted Lewandowski’s first goal since joining from Bayern Munich last weekend .
But how Barcelona went about raising funds to sign Lewandowski, defenders Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen, AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Leeds United Brazilian winger Raphinha have raised eyebrows.
Faced with extreme spending limits to accommodate La Liga’s monetary controls, Barcelona knew they wanted to raise money fast so they could put money in any switch and most importantly sign new players.
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– PULL THE ‘HANDLES’ –
They soon began promoting goods to usher in money by activating a series of issues called financial “levers”.
Over the next quarter century, the club offered 25% of its local television rights to US funding agency Sixth Avenue for €400 million.
Barcelona will transfer 24.5% of Barca Studios, which manages the club’s digital business and audiovisual productions, to Socios.com on August 1 for €100m, followed by 25% in the United States for €100m additional. offered to the funding agency GDA Luma.
In a few weeks, 600 million euros had been paid to fill the coffers.
The aim was to clean up members’ funds, make it possible to extend the salary cap set by La Liga and allow all new signings to be registered at the start of the season.