By Jonathan Copping, Sports Lawyer, Bolt Burdon Law Firm, London, United Kingdom
Spanish football club, FC Barcelona (Barcelona), has announced record revenues of €708 million for the 2016/17 season, with profit after tax of €18 million. The announcement also confirmed that 66% of the Barcelona expenditure is on player’s wages and that the club’s debt was reduced by €24.5 million to €247 million.
With the sale this summer of Neymar Jr to Paris Saint-Germain FC for €222 million (which Paris Saint-Germain reportedly paid in full rather than by installments) and the commencement of a new shirt sponsorship deal with Japanese electrical company, Rakuten, reportedly worth as much as €61.5 million per season, the Barcelona revenues for the 2017/18 season are likely to increase even further, with a prediction by the club that they could reach €900 million. Barcelona had previously announced an extension to their kit sponsorship deal with Nike, that will see them earn up to €155 million per season until 2026.
To further bolster their financial results, Barcelona star player, Lionel Messi, signed a contract extension to keep him at the club until 2021. Messi, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest players of all time, has scored more than 350 goals at Barcelona. It has been reported that Messi’s release clause is €300 million, which should hopefully deter any potential rivals from attempting to sign him. Messi has been key to the success of Barcelona – both on and off the pitch – over the last 10 years.
Barcelona has plans to renovate its stadium, the Nou Camp, including expanding the capacity to 105,000. The Club President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, stated in an interview recently regarding the funding of the renovation works:
“We said it in the 2014 referendum, when we presented it, that a third of it is from the naming rights for the stadium, and another third of it is Barca being able to go to a bank and get a loan. The other third is new income that we will receive”.
It is the club’s aim to break the €1 billion revenue barrier by 2021. With the recent financial results and the expected increase in the next set of financial results, Barcelona certainly seems to be on track to do so. It is, therefore, onwards and upwards for Barcelona towards achieving its aim of becoming a world-class football club.
Incidentally, the current ongoing political issues in Catalonia are unlikely to affect Barcelona as the club has already stated that it wishes to remain in La Liga if Catalonia actually becomes independent from Spain. In any case, it would be extremely unlikely for La Liga to remove Barcelona from the League, considering that the club is one of its flagship teams.
Jonathan Copping can be contacted by e-mail at ‘JonathanCopping@boltburdon.co.uk’