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Barcelona $1.57B in Debt, Looks to Sell Media Stake

  • FC Barcelona is in $1.57 billion in debt, and is seeking to sell a $58.1 million stake in its media venture, Barca Studios.
  • Team president John Laporta said the team can get its finances in order in 18 months.
FC Barcelona/Design: Alex Brooks

FC Barcelona is seeking a foothold to climb out of $1.57 billion in debt.

The club is looking to sell a $58.1 million stake in Barca Studios, the club’s media production arm, with the buyer then putting another $58.1 million into the venture.

Launched in September 2019, Barca Studios is producing a fictional teen drama and has teamed with Sony Music on an animated series and coaching app MOJO on training videos.

  • Club president Joan Laporta said in August that 17 investors were interested in Barca Studios. His predecessor, Josep Maria Bartomeu, had sought to sell a 49% stake for $116.2 million.
  • Barcelona reported $558.9 million in losses in the 2020/2021 financial year on $733.2 million in revenue – a 26% drop year-over-year.
  • The club hired Goldman Sachs to sell $625 million in private placements.

Laporta said in August that the team’s salaries totaled 103% of its income, which is about 20%-25% higher than its competitors. He added that the club can get its finances back on track in a year-and-a-half.

That same month, superstar Lionel Messi signed with Paris Saint-Germain after a deal with Barcelona fell through due to the team’s financial constraints.

In April, Forbes said that Barca was the most valuable soccer club in the world, at $4.76 billion.

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