Barcelona chief explains non-payment of economic lever

Barcelona Economic Vice-President Eduard Romeu has denied claims that German investment fund Libero missed a series of payment dates for their purchase of 29.5% of Barca Vision, amounting to €40m.

The Blaugrana resold a portion of Barca Vision after Socios and Orpheus Media in order to speed up the income process this summer, instead going with NIPA and Libero as a partner bid for that percentage. €60m of the €120m they spent was reportedly due by the end of August, and then again by the 10th of October, of which Barcelona have only received €20m. President Joan Laporta and Treasurer Ferran Olive had to provide a bank guarantee to register Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo.

Romeu presented the Barcelona accounts for the 22-23 season, and the budget for the 2023-24 campaign on Wednesday, and confirmed that Barcelona wanted economic levers to become a thing of the past

“This is the target. A normal year at Barca we know is impossible, but we hope that the lever concept disappears. We have to talk about ordinary income.”

“We have two extraordinary operations approved and not used: BLM and part of the Media area. It is important to say that we are doing this in a very complicated year, which is the year of Montjuic.”

He was quizzed on the Libero situation, and Romeu denied that payment dates had been missed.

“In that case there is no non-payment. We want to mix a sporting interest with a commercial interest. Libero had always told us that they wanted to make the payment in the last quarter of the year. We were interested in [it happening in] August for registrations. They offered us to pay it earlier in exchange for some things that did not interest us.”

“We end up back at the starting point. The situation is normalised with them. We cannot allow ourselves to go on the market with a value and then have it deteriorate. We must do prior work. We have a very powerful creative team. We have the gears and people interested in investing. We need a little more time.”

Now into the final quarter of the year, Barcelona will be desperate for that payment to be made before the January transfer window, especially if they want to have any chance of bringing in Vitor Roque.

It was also put to him that Barcelona would have made a loss without the economic levers again.

“Without the rights and without Bridgeburg, we would not have taken on the expenses that we have, like the Espai Barca project, we got rid of a load of expenses that were not foreseen. We would have been dealing with those €200m in losses down continuously down the line.”

This has been the narrative since President Joan Laporta arrived at the club. It seems to be the case that Barcelona are in a much more financially healthy position than they were, and are able to make payment deadlines themselves. Yet on all three occasios they have presented budgets, they have fallen back on ‘unforeseen costs’ as the reason for their continual losses.

Tags Barcelona Eduard Romeu Libero
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