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Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Real Madrid’s Borrowing Extends Financial Issues In Spanish Soccer

  • La Liga giants turn to private markets to fund stadium renovations
  • Proposed move to be presented to club partners at meeting set for Nov. 11
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

La Liga giants Real Madrid are looking to borrow $390 million from institutional investors, exacerbating some thorny financial issues at the top levels of Spanish soccer.

Just days after a new financial report from rival FC Barcelona revealed mounting debt issues, Real Madrid is turning to private debt markets to help finance a nearly complete renovation of its Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

The 75-year-old venue is in the midst of a series of upgrades, including an expansion of its seating capacity, a new facade, and an installation of a removable pitch to accommodate non-soccer events.

The club’s turn to private lenders is seen as a move to create more privacy and stability around the transaction, something other top European clubs have done, including Barcelona. Funds are set to be repaid from future ticket revenue.

Unlike Barcelona, Real Madrid has been able to stay profitable through the pandemic and since, reporting a $13.25 million after-tax profit in July for the 2022-23 financial year. The club, however, has also been at odds with La Liga on behind-the-scenes media access that would have garnered the team an additional $14.2 million.

Real Madrid’s additional debt will require approval by club partners, and the matter has been put on the agenda for a Nov. 11 meeting.

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