Spanish football titans Barcelona have taken another step to securing financial security, with a further £255m cash boost from a US investment giant.
The debt-ridden Catalan club secured additional cash from Sixth Street to the tune of €300m (£255m), days after unveiling their latest landmark signing, striker Robert Lewandowski.
Sixth Street bought a 15 per cent of the club’s TV rights for the Spanish division LaLiga, building on 10 per cent it already purchased just weeks ago, worth €200m (£170m). Its 25 per cent stake will hold for the next 25 years.
While Forbes valued Barcelona as the fourth most valuable sports brand in the world last year, it accumulated huge debts due to average wage bills of more than €10m, and the pandemic’s impact.
Its gross debt rose to about $1.4 billion in 2021, leading to the club selling off many of its stars and being unable to purchase new players.
This week however, sports fans were scratching their head as the £42.5m purchase of Polish forward Lewandowski went through, and he was unveiled during Barca’s trip to Florida pre-season.
The new cash injection looks set to give the club renewed hope it can continue to compete and make more summer signings.
“We continue to move forward on our strategy and are pleased to have completed this additional agreement with Sixth Street providing us with a meaningful increase in capital strength,” said Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona.
“Over the past few weeks, we and Sixth Street have engaged and collaborated with a shared understanding of what we are seeking to achieve for our organization, and we look forward to our long-term partnership.”
Alan Waxman, Co-dounder and CEO of Sixth Street called Barcelona “one of the world’s premier sporting organizations, and we are glad to be expanding our relationship through this additional investment”.
The firm has global investments worth $60bn in assets, and has recently expanded into the sports market.