Barcelona sell further 15% of TV rights to investment firm Sixth Street

Barcelona have sold a further 15% of their national television rights to global investment firm Sixth Street, the club announced on Friday, with sources telling ESPN the deal is worth around €320m.

Sources have told ESPN that Barca hope the sale will allow them to book the summer signings of Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski.

Barca will also use the money to re-register Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele in LaLiga after the duo signed new contracts, while president Joan Laporta says the club will now look to strengthen defensively.

Sixth Street has already bought 25% of Barça’s revenue 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 last season), so based on those numbers, which will fluctuate, Sixth Street could earn €41.4m. euros per year with the agreement.

Over 25 years, that would equate to just over €1bn of its initial investment of €527.5m.

Sixth Street’s investment in the sport continues in recent years. The firm also recently entered into a partnership with Real Madrid related to the Bernabéu operations.

They also own a 20% stake in the San Antonio Spurs and are majority owners of the Legends, in partnership with the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys.

Last month’s deal with Sixth Street prevented Barca from ending the 2021-22 financial season with a loss, but sources told ESPN the money would not increase their transfer budget this summer.

However, club sources told ESPN earlier this month that the sale of an additional 15% of their domestic media rights would help them tackle the team review that coach Xavi Hernandez requested this summer.

The operation will help increase the spending limit imposed by LaLiga, which stands at -144 million euros, the only negative limit in the league, but which is constantly being reviewed by the Spanish league.

The costs of the Barça squad last season, which include salaries and depreciation, among other elements, were around 560 million euros.

If that figure is adjusted to the LaLiga spending cap, Barça will be able to spend at a 1:1 ratio, which means that for every euro they make in transfers or save on wages, they will be able to invest one euro.

As it is, they’re currently restricted to a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio, depending on the size of the savings they make, so they can only spend a fraction of the money they bring in through player exits.

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