Barcelona trigger fourth financial lever in bid to register new signings

Barcelona have sold another 24.5% of Barca Studios to Orpheus Media for €100m in order to register all signings for Saturday’s game against Rayo Vallecano.

Barca still have seven unregistered players going into the first game of the season but sources say they hope the situation can now be resolved.

LaLiga will examine the documents to see if everyone, including €45m signer Robert Lewandowski, can now be registered.

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It’s possible Barca still need to cut their wage costs slightly to ensure everyone is available for Rayo, but that could be done through an adjustment to Gerard Pique’s salary with talks at an advanced stage.

It’s the fourth ‘financial lever’ Barca pulled this summer. They previously sold 24.5% of Barca Studios to Socios.com and sold 25% of their 25-year domestic television rights to Sixth Street in two separate deals worth over €500m.

Barca had hoped the deals with Socios.com and Sixth Street would allow them to include all players included in LaLiga’s transfer window.

They were in talks with GDA Luma to sell another 24.5% of Barca Studios but when talks stalled they had to look elsewhere this week.

Orpheus Media is owned by Catalan businessman Jaume Roures, who also helped Barca president Joan Laporta get the guarantee to become the club’s president last March. The Catalan club have spent over €150m on Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde, while Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen arrived on free transfers.

Meanwhile, Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele have signed new deals but both deals have yet to be ratified by the Spanish league.

Therefore, Barca have seven unregistered players a day before the first game of the season.

It was a similar scenario last year when Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia were registered on the eve of the campaign after Pique accepted a pay cut.

The three levers pulled so far this summer would have allowed Barca to register some of those seven players, a La Liga source confirmed to ESPN, although who and how many depended on the combination.

A club source said Barca’s preference is to always be able to register all players at the same time. There is optimism it will now be possible and alongside the deal with Roures, talks are ongoing with Pique and Sergio Busquets about further pay cuts to create wage space.

Barca must respect LaLiga’s spending limit. At the end of last season it was -€144m, the only negative cap in Spain, but after selling assets this summer it should rise significantly for the new season.

Barca Studios is the club’s in-house production company, but it’s also branching out Blaugrana said the deal with Socios.com earlier this month will also “accelerate the club’s audiovisual, blockchain, NFT and Web.3 strategy.”

https://www.espn.com/soccer/soccer-transfers/story/4716986/barcelona-trigger-fourth-financial-lever-in-bid-to-register-new-signings Barcelona trigger fourth financial lever in bid to register new signings

Emma Bowman

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