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Barcelona: Barcelona alleged to have inflated TV rights sale by 150m euros

Following a turbulent time both on and off the pitch last year, Barcelona were faced with a mountain of debt and drastic action was required.

Out of necessity, the club sold parts of a number of their assets, including the naming rights of the Camp Nou and 25 percent of the club’s LaLiga TV rights for the next 25 years to US investment firm Sixth Street.

The price paid by Sixth Street was reported to be around 667 million euros. However, according to journalist Pedro Morata, who stated his concerns on COPE’s El Partidazo, that amount could have been inflated by Barcelona themselves to the tune of 150 million euros.

Barcelona stated that their deal with Sixth Street for 517 million euros would yield a capital gain of 667 million euros. But president Joan Laporta said in Manhattan that the 667 million euros had been accounted for and that he hoped that there were no differences of interpretation from LaLiga.

A difference of a 150 million euros is a large amount, more so when Financial Fair Play is considered. For context, the signings of Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha cost approximately 120 million euros.

According to Pedro Morata, Sixth Street helped Barcelona to facilitate the deal. A shell company called Locksley Invest S.L was allegedly set up, and Barcelona sold their television rights to the company.

Sixth Street then agreed to lease the rights for a period of 25 years with Barcelona paying an additional 150 million to take control of the rights from the 26th year onwards.

While this move was supposed to solve their financial issues, the club’s move was blocked by LaLiga with Barcelona eventually being forced to pull a second lever and sell another 25 percent in Barca Studios.

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