Barcelona sell further 24.5% stake in audiovisual studio to Orpheus Media

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By Martin Graham | 13th Aug 2022

Barcelona have been able to raise another €100m, which could allow them to register their new players for the season.

The 2022/23 La Liga season kicked off on Friday with teams seeking to dethrone champions Real Madrid. While Real Madrid are looking to consolidate their hold on the top position, its eternal rivals Barcelona are working around the clock to ensure their newly signed players are eligible to play this season.

Barcelona have been battling severe financial distress and have struggled to meet their financial obligations. In the 2021/22 season, Los Blaugrana had to wait long to sign their newly signed players. The Catalan giants find themselves in much the same boat as they seek the finances that will allow them to register their players in time for their first game against Rayo Vallecano.

It has been a struggle for the Catalans to meet up with the financial fair play rules of the Spanish La Liga.

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Barcelona activate another lever

With La Liga’s financial fair play rules with a choke hold on Barcelona, the Catalan giants face the challenge of raising more funds to meet their obligations. After signing Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, Barcelona have not met the standards that allow them to register the players.

After activating several levers, Barcelona are still short of the requirements. Los Blaugrana have now sold another part of their assets. On Friday, the club announced they had sold a 24.5% stake in their audiovisual studio. Orpheus Media bought the stake for €100million (£85m). The funds raised from the sale would allow the Catalan club to register their new players.

Last month, Barcelona signed a deal with digital fan token firm Socios.com to sell off 25% of their stake in Barca Studios.

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Registration of players

Barcelona have signed five players already this summer but still want to sign more. The players who have arrived at the Nou Camp include Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde. They also want to sign Marco Alonso and Bernado Silva after failing to land Cesar Azpilicueta.

Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen reportedly have clauses in their contract that allows them to leave for free if the club fails to register them before the end of the month.

Barcelona have registered 17 senior players before their weekend game against Rao Vallecano. The registered players are Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Sergino Dest, Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Jordi Alba, Eric Garcia, Samuel Umtiti, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Miralem Pjanic, Frenkie de Jong, Nico Gonzalez, Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Braithwaite. 

The activated levers for Barcelona include the sale of a further 15% stake in their LaLiga TV rights last month. U.S. private equity group Sixth Street bought the stake. They now own 25% of the rights.

Barcelona are working to meet the salary cap stipulated by La Liga to register their new signings. The club and players have made sacrifices to ensure things fall in place. The latest investment deal and a possible sale of Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong could help the Catalans hit their target.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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